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2013 New Innovator Award Recipients

Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D.

Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: New Optical Strategies to Unlock the Neural Basis of Perception

 

Jennifer Ahern, Ph.D.

Jennifer Ahern, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: A Rigorous System to Determine the Health Impacts of Policies and Programs

 

Bree B. Aldridge, Ph.D.

Bree B. Aldridge, Ph.D.
Tufts University
Project Title: Quantitative Design of Multi-drug Regimens for Tuberculosis

 

Sara Aton, Ph.D.

Sara Aton, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Project Title: Linking Network Activity and Intracellular Plasticity Mechanisms During Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation

 

Catherine A Blish

Catherine A. Blish, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanford University School of Medicine
Project Title: Harnessing Natural Killer Cell Memory to Fight Viruses

 

Jason M. Crawford, Ph.D.

Jason M. Crawford, Ph.D.
Yale University
Project Title: Cryptic Gut Bacterial Metabolites that Regulate Colorectal Cancer Formation

 

Arvin Dar, Ph.D.

Arvin Dar, Ph.D.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Project Title: Targeting Ras-Dependent Cancers with a Chemical Switch for an Inactive Kinase

 

Rahul Chandrakant Deo, MD, Ph.D.

Rahul C. Deo, MD, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Resolving Incomplete Penetrance in the Cardiomyopathies and Channelopathies

 

Maximilian Diehn, MD, Ph.D.

Maximilian Diehn, MD, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Project Title: Developing a Genomic Approach for Cancer Screening

 

Jeffrey D. Dvorin, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeffrey D. Dvorin, M.D., Ph.D.
Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Project Title: Essential Gene Discovery in the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

 

Jeffrey Dvorin is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital. After he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, he completed a Pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and then a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health in the laboratory of Manoj Duraisingh. In his laboratory, Dr. Dvorin’s research focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of infection by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. His laboratory utilizes novel genetic techniques to understand the function of essential genes in the parasite.

 

Aaron P. Esser-Kahn, Ph.D.

Aaron P. Esser-Kahn, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
Project Title: Directing the Immune System via Polymeric Combinations of Molecular Signals

 

Scott E. Evans, M.D.

Scott E. Evans, M.D.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Project Title: Inducible Epithelial Antiviral Resistance to Prevent Asthma

 

Dorothea Fiedler, Ph.D.

Dorothea Fiedler, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Project Title: Understanding Phosphate Metabolism in Cancer and Metastasis

 

Adam Frost, M.D., Ph.D.

Adam Frost, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Utah School of Medicine
Project Title: Toward Atomic Resolution of Membranes and Membrane-Associated Machines

 

Sunil P. Gandhi, Ph.D.

Sunil P. Gandhi, Ph.D.
University of California Irvine
Project Title: Rewiring Cortex Using Inhibitory Neuron Transplantation

 

Zev J Gartner Ph.D.

Zev J. Gartner, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy
Project Title: Total Synthesis of the Human Mammary Gland

 

Zev Gartner is native to Santa Cruz, California. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1999, where he conducted undergraduate research in the laboratory of Y. K. Shin. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from Harvard University in 2004, where he worked with Professor David Liu to develop DNA-Templated Synthesis as a strategy for building and evolving drug-like small molecules. In 2005 he returned to UC Berkeley for postdoctoral training with Professor Carolyn Bertozzi. While in Professor Bertozzi’s lab, he explored DNA Programmed Assembly as a bottom-up method for building three-dimensional tissues. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. Research in the Gartner Lab is focused on the role of tissue self-organization and other collective cell behaviors in human development and disease.

 

Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D.

Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Project Title: Neuromodulation and Neurodegeneration: the Missing Link and Mechanisms of Action

 

Dr. Viviana Gradinaru is Assistant Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech as well as the faculty director of the Beckman Institute Center for Optogenetics and CLARITY. She has recently been awarded the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and been honored as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist and as one of Cell’s 40 under 40. Viviana is also a Sloan Fellow, Pew Scholar, Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator, and Kimmel Scholar for Cancer Research.

 

Robert D. Gregg IV, Ph.D.

Robert D. Gregg IV, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Dallas
Project Title: Phase-Based Control of Locomotion for High-Performance Prostheses and Orthoses

 

Robert D. Gregg IV received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007 and 2010, respectively. He joined the Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as an Assistant Professor in June 2013. Prior to joining UTD, he was a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. His research concerns the control mechanisms of bipedal locomotion with application to wearable control systems, including powered prostheses and orthoses. Dr. Gregg is a recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the 2009 O. Hugo Schuck Award from the IFAC American Automatic Control Council.

 

Scott B. Hansen, Ph.D.

Scott B. Hansen, Ph.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
Project Title: Molecular Mechanism of Mechanosensation

 

Tracey J. Lamb, PhD.

Tracey J. Lamb, PhD.
Emory University School of Medicine
Project Title: The Development of Probiotic Yeast as an Inexpensive Vaccine Delivery Platform

 

Julius B. Lucks, Ph.D.

Julius B. Lucks, Ph.D.
Cornell University
Project Title: A New High-Throughput Technology To Reveal The Dynamic Functional States of RNAs

 

Linsey C. Marr, Ph.D.

Linsey C. Marr, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech
Project Title: The Role of Pathogen-Environment Interactions in the Pandemic Potential of Influe

 

Houra Merrikh, Ph.D.

Houra Merrikh, Ph.D.
University of Washington School of Medicine
Project Title: Targeted Gene Evolution via Replication-Transcription Conflicts

 

Houra Merrikh received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University in 2009. Her Ph.D. work focused on DNA damage responses in E. coli. She was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2009 until 2011, where she studied DNA replication in B. subtilis. Upon completion of her postdoctoral training in Alan Grossman’s lab at MIT, she initiated her own research program at the University of Washington Medical School. Dr. Merrikh’s research is focused on understanding how impediments to DNA replication, such as transcription, impact the structure of the replisome, general physiology, genomic instability, and evolution in bacteria.

 

Ali Mortazavi, Ph.D.

Ali Mortazavi, Ph.D.
University of California Irvine
Project Title: Comparative Analysis of the 4D Encoding of Regulatory Networks in Stem Cells

 

Ryan M. O’Connell, Ph.D.

Ryan M. O’Connell, Ph.D.
University of Utah
Project Title: Utilizing TALEN Technology to Regulate Human microRNAs

 

Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Ph.D.

Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Project Title: Using Mobile Phones for Social and Behavioral Sensing of Mood Disorder Patients

 

Christian Petersen, Ph.D.

Christian Petersen, Ph.D.
Northwestern University
Project Title: Regulatory Circuits Controlling Regenerative Growth

 

Shelly Peyton, Ph.D.

Shelly Peyton, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts
Project Title: Tissue-Specific Stem Cells and Breast Cancer Tissue Tropism

 

Vanessa Ruta, Ph.D.

Vanessa Ruta, Ph.D.
Rockefeller University
Project Title: Connecting Neural Plasticity to Learning and Memory

 

Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D.

Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Project Title: Novel Sub-Cellular Chemical and Mechanical Nanoimaging

 

Shomyseh Sanjabi, Ph.D.

Shomyseh Sanjabi, Ph.D.
The J. David Gladstone Institutes
Project Title: Characterizing HIV Latent Reservoir In Vivo

 

Elizabeth Sattely, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Sattely, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Project Title: Liberation of Plant Nutrients by the Gut Microbiota

 

David Savage, Ph.D.

David Savage, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: Fluorescent Biosensors for Metabolite Imaging in Live Cells

 

Marco Seandel, M.D., Ph.D.

Marco Seandel, M.D., Ph.D.
Weill Cornell Medical College
Project Title: Clonal Competition in Stem Cells as a Driver of Paternal Age Effect Diseases

 

Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan, Ph.D.

Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Project Title: The Kinase Toolbox: Mapping the Spatial and Temporal Regulation of Cell Signaling

 

Derek J. Taylor, Ph.D.

Derek J. Taylor, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University
Project Title: Induction of Cancer Cell Death by Selective DNA Misincorporation

 

Anna D. Tischler, Ph.D.

Anna D. Tischler, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota Medical School
Project Title: High-Throughput Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Persistence Mechanisms

 

Kay M. Tye, Ph.D.

Kay M. Tye, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project Title: A Novel Strategy for Combating Obesity: Reprogramming Neural Circuits

 

Kay Tye joined the faculty at MIT as an assistant professor in 2012, and is a member of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. Her lab is interested in understanding the neural circuits that allow us to assign positive or negative emotional valence to environmental stimuli. Perturbances in these circuits could give rise to a wide range of pathological states including anxiety, depression and addiction or compulsive overeating. She received her B.S. at MIT, her Ph.D. at UCSF and conducted her postdoctoral work at Stanford University. She has been recognized as as the recipient of the Harold Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, was named one of TechReview's Top 35 Innovators Under 35, is a New York Stem Cell Foundation Neuroscience Robertson Investigator, a NARSAD Young Investigator and a McKnight Scholar.

 

Richard White, M.D., Ph.D.

Richard White, M.D., Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Project Title: Evolutionary Dynamics of Melanoma Metastasis

 

Wilson Wong, Ph.D.

Wilson Wong, Ph.D.
Boston University
Project Title: Synthetically Reengineered T cells as the Next Generation of Smart Cancer Therapy

 

Ying Zheng, Ph.D.

Ying Zheng, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Project Title: A Microfluidic Bone Marrow Niche for the Study of Hematopoiesis

 

 

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