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2010 New Innovator Award Recipients

Nathalie Y.R. Agar, Ph.D.

Nathalie Y.R. Agar, Ph.D.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
Project TitleReal-Time Stereotactic Mass Spectrometry Tissue Analysis for Intraoperative Neurosurgical Guidance

 

 

Ritesh Agarwal, Ph.D.

Ritesh Agarwal, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Project TitleOptoelectronic Nanowire Probes for Investigation of Intracellular Processes

 

 

Rommie E. Amaro, Ph.D.

Rommie E. Amaro, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
Project Title: A Structural Systems Biology Approach to Drug Discovery

 

 

Alexei Aravin, Ph.D.

Alexei Aravin, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Project Title: Taming of Small RNA-Based Epigenetic Mechanisms

 

 

Andrea M. Armani, Ph.D.

Andrea M. Armani, Ph.D.
University of Southern California
Project Title: Ultrasensitive Nanolasers for Epigenetics Investigations

 

 

Diana M. Bautista, Ph.D.

Diana M. Bautista, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: New Approaches to Identify Molecular Mechanisms of Touch and Pain in Mammals

 

 

Lynette S. Cegelski, Ph.D.

Lynette S. Cegelski, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Project Title: Structure, Function, and Disruption of Microbial Amyloid Assembly and Biofilm Formation

 

 

Jianjun Cheng, Ph.D.

Jianjun Cheng, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Project Title: Developing Clinically Applicable, Cancer-Targeting Polymeric Nanoconjugates

 

Jianjun Cheng obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Nankai University, China, in 1993, a M.S. degree in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1996, and a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001 with Professor Timothy Deming. He was a Senior Scientist at Insert Therapeutics, Inc. from 2001 to 2004, and a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at MIT with Professor Robert Langer from 2004 to 2005. He joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2005, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and to Full Professor in 2015. He is now developing new functional bionanomaterials for drug and gene delivery for cancer therapy and for cancer targeting.

 

 

Neil C. Chi, M.D., Ph.D.

Neil C. Chi, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
Project Title: Directed Cardiac Cellular Programming: A New Paradigm for Cardiac Regeneration

 

 

Adam Ezra Cohen, Ph.D.

Adam Ezra Cohen, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Project Title: Optical Sensing of Voltage, pH, and Small Molecules Using Microbial Rhodopsins

 

Adam Cohen is in the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Physics at Harvard and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Current research in the Cohen Lab focuses on new approaches to imaging brain function. His work combines protein engineering, cell biology, advanced instrumentation, and development of computational methods.

 

 

Chengkai Dai, Ph.D.

Chengkai Dai, Ph.D.
The Jackson Laboratory, Maine
Project Title: Role of a Novel Stress Response Mechanism-Genetic Buffering-in Tumor Evolution

 

 

Sandeep Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D.

Sandeep Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Project Title: Revealing Fear: New Methods to Study Neural Circuits, Behavior, and Disease

 

 

Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D.

Dino Di Carlo, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Project Title: Engineering the Intracellular Micro- and Nanoenvironment

 

 

Alexander R. Dunn, Ph.D.

Alexander  R. Dunn, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Project Title: Uncovering New Roles for Mechanical Force in Tissue Development and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling

 

 

Conor L. Evans, Ph.D.

Conor L. Evans, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
Project Title: Imaging and Overcoming Hypoxia-Induced Resistance in Metastatic Ovarian Cancer

 

 

Brian J. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.

Brian J. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanford University
Project Title: Using Components of the Circadian Clock to Regulate Stem Cell Fate Decisions

 

 

M. Julia B. Felippe Flamino, D.V.M., Ph.D.

M. Julia B. Felippe, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Cornelll University College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: Epigenetics: A Novel Approach in Primary Immunodeficiencies

 

Julia Felippe is an associate professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Julia received her veterinary degree at Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia, University of Sao Paulo – UNESP, Botucatu, a Master of Science at Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in immunology at Cornell University. Julia is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She assists large animal patients at the veterinary hospital, and runs a clinical immunology laboratory that provides immunologic testing for horses. Her research program studies developmental immunology and immunodeficiencies, particularly common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) in horses. Current questions focus on epigenetic mechanisms of disease that can be applied to regenerative clinical intervention; for instance, reversing aberrant epigenetics in hematopoietic stem cells for the development and transplantation of autologous B cells in patients with humoral immunodeficiencies.

 

 

Michael A. Fischbach, Ph.D.

Michael A. Fischbach, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Identifying and Characterizing Small Molecules from the Human Microbiome

 

Michael Fischbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF and a member of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). Fischbach is a recipient of the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, a Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, a Medical Research Award from the W.M. Keck Foundation, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award, a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, and the Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research from the Global Probiotics Council. His laboratory uses a combination of genomics and chemistry to identify and characterize small molecules from microbes, with an emphasis on the human microbiome. Fischbach received his Ph.D. as a John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellow in chemistry from Harvard in 2007, where he studied the role of iron acquisition in bacterial pathogenesis and the biosynthesis of antibiotics; before coming to UCSF, he spent two years as an independent fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital coordinating a collaborative effort based at the Broad Institute to develop genomics-based approaches to the discovery of small molecules from microbes. Fischbach is a member of the scientific advisory boards of NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Reckitt Benckiser, Symbiota, and Warp Drive Bio, and a member of Genentech's Scientific Resource Board.

 

 

Benjamin A. Garcia, Ph.D.

Benjamin A. Garcia, Ph.D.
Princeton University
Project Title: Novel Methodology for Quantitative High-Throughput Cancer Epigenetics

 

 

Thomas M. Guerrero, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas M. Guerrero, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Project Title: Spatially Accurate Deformable Image Registration for Thoracic CT Application

 

 

Monica L. Guzman, Ph.D.

Monica L. Guzman, Ph.D.
Cornell University Weill Medical College
Project Title: Selection of Novel Therapies to Ablate Chemoresistant Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cell

 

 

Amy Elizabeth Herr, Ph.D.

Amy Elizabeth Herr, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: Towards High Throughput Proteomics: A Micro/Nanofluidic Framework for Blotless Western Technology

 

Amy E. Herr received her B.S. in Engineering & Applied Sciences from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). As a Ph.D. student at Stanford University, she studied electrokinetic transport in and design of multi-dimensional separations, with Profs. Thomas Kenny and Juan Santiago. She then held a staff scientist position at Sandia National Laboratories, where she turned her focus to design of microfluidic immunoassays for clinical disease diagnostics and for life sciences tools with single cell resolution. Amy joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley as an Assistant Professor (2007), where she now holds the Lester John & Lynne Dewar Lloyd Distinguished Professorship. Her laboratory employs approaches drawn from chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering with strong foundations in materials science and analytical chemistry to advance measure tools for the "mathematization" of biology & medicine.

 

 

Julie C. Dunning Hotopp, Ph.D.

Julie C. Dunning Hotopp, Ph.D.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Project Title: Impact of Bacterial-Animal Lateral Gene Transfer on Human Health

 

 

Tony Jun Huang, Ph.D.

Tony Jun Huang, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University
Project Title: On-Chip Optofluidic Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope for Early Cancer Detection

 

Tony Jun Huang is a professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Energy and Power Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, in 1996 and 1999, respectively. His research interests are in the fields of acoustofluidics, optofluidics, and micro/nano systems for biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics. He has authored/co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed journal publications in these fields. His journal articles has been cited more than 4400 times at Web of Science (h-index: 37). He also has 15 patents and invention disclosures. He is a fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Institute of Physics (IoP), and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). His work have been recognized with awards and honors such as a 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, a 2011 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Research Award, a 2011 JALA Top Ten Breakthroughs of the Year Award, a 2012 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from Society for Manufacturing Engineering, a 2013 Faculty Scholar Medal from The Pennsylvania State University, a 2013 American Asthma Foundation (AAF) Scholar Award, and the 2014 IEEE Sensors Council Technical Achievement Award from The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

 

 

Yu Huang, Ph.D.

Yu Huang, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Project Title: Graphene Nanostructures as a New Platform for Ultrasensitive Multiplexed Biological Sensors

 

 

Michelle Khine, Ph.D.

Michelle Khine, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
Project Title: Shrink Induced Manufacturing Platform for Low-Cost Diagnostics

 

 

Stavros Lomvardas

Ophir D. Klein, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: An Evolutionary-Developmental Approach to Stem Cells Using Teeth as a Model

 

Ophir Klein is the Larry L. Hillblom Distinguished Professor in Craniofacial Anomalies, Professor of Orofacial Sciences and Pediatrics, and Chair of the Divisions of Craniofacial Anomalies and Orthodontics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is also the Medical Director of the UCSF Craniofacial Center and Director of the UCSF Program in Craniofacial Biology. Dr. Klein was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. degree in Spanish Literature. He subsequently attended Yale University School of Medicine, where he received a Ph.D. in Genetics and an M.D. degree. He then completed residencies at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Pediatrics and at UCSF in Clinical Genetics. Work in Dr. Klein’s research group centers on organ development and regeneration, with a major focus on understanding the processes underlying craniofacial development and integrating evolutionary and developmental approaches.

 

 

Joshua A. Kritzer, Ph.D.

Joshua A. Kritzer, Ph.D.
Tufts University
Project Title: Drugging the Undruggable: Targeting Transcription Factors with Small Cyclic Peptides

 

 

Diana J. Laird, Ph.D.

Diana J. Laird, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Cell Competition in the Developing Mouse Germline

 

 

Erin Lavik, Sc.D.

Erin Lavik, Sc.D.
Case Western Reserve University
Project Title: Clinically Translatable Nanotechnology: Hemostasis and Neuroprotection

 

 

Jin Hyung Lee, Ph.D.

Jin Hyung Lee, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Project Title: In Vivo Control and Functional Visualization of Stem Cell-Driven CNS Regeneration

 

Jin Hyung Lee is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Bioengineering, Neurosurgery, and Electrical Engineering (Courtesy) at Stanford University. Dr. Lee received her Bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and Masters and Doctoral degree from Stanford University, all in Electrical Engineering. As an Electrical Engineer by training with Neuroscience research interest, her goal is to analyze, debug, and engineer the brain circuit through innovative technology.

 

 

Hara Levy, M.D.

Hara Levy, M.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin
Project Title: Integration of Genomics with Genetics - Molecular Phenotypes for CF Lung Disease

 

 

Ruth E. Ley, Ph.D.

Ruth E. Ley, Ph.D.
Cornell University
Project Title: Development of Immunization Strategies to Reshape Pathogenic Microbiomes

 

 

Minkui Luo, Ph.D.

Minkui Luo, Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Project Title: Enzyme-Engineering Approaches to Dissect Protein Methylation Profiles

 

 

Michael B. Major, Ph.D.

Michael B. Major, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project Title: Exploitation of Near-Haploid Human Cells for Functional Gene Discovery

 

 

John C. March, Ph.D.

John C. March, Ph.D.
Cornell University
Project Title: Engineering Commensal Bacteria as Therapeutic Signal Mediators

 

 

Timothy J. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.

Timothy J. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Project Title: Dysfunctional Regeneration in Cardiomyopathy: iPS-Based Diagnosis and Therapy

 

 

Alexander B. Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D.

Alexander B. Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D.
Indiana University School of Medicine
Project Title: Developing Blood Tests for Mood Disorders

 

 

Jacquin C. Niles, M.D., Ph.D.

Jacquin C. Niles, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project Title: Engineered Regulated RNA Localization and Transport in Biological Systems

 

 

Elizabeth M. Nolan, Ph.D.

Elizabeth M. Nolan, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project Title: Antibacterial Peptides and Zinc in Innate Immunity and Mammalian Physiology

 

 

Manu O. Platt, Ph.D.

Manu O. Platt, Ph.D.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Project Title: Multiscale, Mechanistic, and Predictive Models of Stroke in Sickle Cell Disease

 

 

Patrick Seale, Ph.D.

Patrick Seale, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Project Title: Molecular Regulation of Brown Adipose Cell Fate in Somitic Stem Cells

 

 

Balaji Sitharaman, Ph.D.

Balaji Sitharaman, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Project Title: Nanotechnology-Based Theranostic Technology for Bone Tissue Engineering

 

 

Luke S. Theogarajan, Ph.D.

Luke S. Theogarajan, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Project Title: Bio-Ionic Neural Interfaces

 

 

Budd A. Tucker, Ph.D.

Budd A. Tucker, Ph.D.
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Project Title: Development of a Cell Replacement Therapy to Treat Retinal Degenerative Blindness

 

 

Joseph Wade, Ph.D.

Joseph Wade, Ph.D.
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health / University at Albany, State University of New York
Project Title: Pervasive Transcription in Bacterial Genomes

 

Joseph Wade is a Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany, SUNY. Joe received his Ph.D. in Steve Busby’s group at the University of Birmingham, U.K. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Kevin Struhl’s lab at Harvard Medical School. Joe’s group studies gene regulation in bacteria, with an emphasis on genome-scale approaches. Specific areas of interest include the impact of pervasive transcription in bacterial genomes, genomic analysis of transcription factor function, and regulatory networks associated with virulence in bacterial pathogens.

 

 

Lauren A. Weiss, Ph.D.

Lauren A. Weiss, Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Project Title: Dissecting Epistasis and Pleiotropy in Autism Towards Personalized Medicine

 

 

Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D.

Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D.
The University of Arizona
Project Title: Mechanoregulation of Tissue Morphogenesis

 

Pak Kin Wong is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Surgery at Pennsylvania State University. He was a faculty at the University of Arizona from 2006 to 2015. His laboratory develops advanced manufacturing strategies for elucidating mechanoregulation of collective cell migration in tissue regeneration and cancer metastasis and developing microfluidic systems for medical diagnostics. His group has established a nanoengineered systems framework, which combines bio fabrication of organotypic and 3D tissue models, nanoengineered probes for single cell gene expression analysis and ablation, biomechanical analysis of cell-cell and cell-matrix interaction, and agent-based computational modeling, for elucidating collective migration in tissue development and cancer metastasis. Among other honors, Dr. Wong was awarded the NIH Director's New Innovator Award in 2010, Arizona Engineering Faculty Fellow in 2011, AAFSAA outstanding Faculty Award in 2013, and JALA 10 – A Top 10 Breakthrough in Innovation in 2015.

 

 

Changhuei Yang, Ph.D.

Changhuei Yang, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Project Title: Applications of Time-Reverse Tissue Turbidity Suppression to Improve Biophotonics

 

 

Peng Yin, Ph.D.

Peng Yin, Ph.D.
Harvard University
Project Title: Engineering Bioimaging Probes Based on Triggered Molecular Geometry

 

 

Xilin Zhao, Ph.D.

Xilin Zhao, Ph.D.
New Jersey Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Project Title: Anaerobic Shock as a Novel Treatment for Tuberculosis

 

 

Sheng Zhong, Ph.D.

Sheng Zhong, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Project Title: Evolutionary Models for Gene Regulatory Networks

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