Jay Shendure is an associate professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington. He was named the 2006 “Innovator Under 35“ by the MIT technology review. He was also the recipient of the 2012 Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics for outstanding scientific achievements in human genetics that have occurred in the last 10 years.
Shendure is revolutionizing his field with new ways to sequence DNA. He is the principal investigator of the “Shendure lab,” a research group in Seattle that has made significant contributions to technologies in genomics including some of the first applications of exome sequencing to identify the basis of Mendelian disorders and autism spectrum disorders. His team developed the first non-invasive sequencing of a fetal genome, and the haplotype-resolved sequencing of the HeLa genome, which will continue to be crucial in identifying mutations and disorders.
In 2005, he used off-the-shelf parts to determine the order of all the DNA bases in a bacterial genome at 20 times the speed and one-ninth the cost of traditional DNA sequencing. Shendure is now working to make the process even more efficient. By 2015, he says, it may enable biologists to sequence a person’s genome for just $1,000.
Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington
Areas of Expertise: Human Genetics and Rare Disorders, Genomics, DNA Sequencing and Technology Development Around DNA Sequencing
Esmeralda Casas, Ph.D. is an expert in biomedical science. She is an AAAS Science and Technology Fellow. Her research focuses on gene expression and cancer biology, specifically the genetic drivers of cancer. She works in Washington, D.C.
Her research has been funded through fellowships and grants by the Department of Defense, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institute of Health, and the National Science Foundation.
Mariel Vazquez is a professor of Microbiology, Mathematics, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Davis. She is an expert on the topology of DNA– how DNA strands are looped and knotted. She uses mathematical tools to understand it’s tangled structure. Vazquez is the 2012 recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and has served on the Advisory Board at the National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). She has a passion for simplifying the complex nature of DNA to understandable concepts as demonstrated in this video from Numberphile.
Professor of Microbiology, Mathematics, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Davis.
Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. teaches and directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University. She is a clinical and molecular geneticist who performs human genetic research. Her current research focuses on the genetics of many types of diseases including breast cancer, birth defects, heart disease, autism, rare and undiagnosed disorders.
Dr. Chung is a member of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy and has won many awards for teaching including the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, American Medical Women’s Association Mentor Award, and Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She was also the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke.
She was the original plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that overturned the ability to patent genes and is a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and the Genomics & Society Working Group.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Director of Clinical Genetics Program at Columbia University
Areas of Expertise: Human Genetics, Medical Genetics
Pearl Chiu teaches at the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and in the Virginia Tech Carilion Institute in Roanoke, VA. Dr. Chiu’s research team studies the neuroscience of how, when, and why humans make and change their decisions. Using functional neuroimaging, behavioral tasks, and quantitative analytic methods, Dr. Chiu’s group aims both to understand the brain mechanisms involved in healthy decision-making and to specify how these pathways may be disrupted and repaired in disorders such as depression and addiction that affect decision-making.
Dr. Chiu was a recipient of a Biobehavioral Research Award for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) from the National Institute of Mental Health, and her work has been published in outlets including American Journal of Psychiatry, Neuron, Biological Psychiatry, and Nature Neuroscience.
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Areas of Expertise: Decision-Making, Decision Neuroscience, Computational Psychiatry, Depression, Substance Dependence, Social Influences on Decision-Making, Motivation and Incentives
Farahany is an expert on the intersection of science and ethics. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and she has testified before Congress on various issues related to policy and science.