iCOMOS Speakers and Committee Members

Peter Agre, MD

Dr. Agre received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of aquaporin-1, the first known membrane water channel, and elucidation of it and related water channels at basic and clinical levels. Dr. Agre’s lab has since focused upon the role of aquaporins in malaria. As Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, he serves as Program Director of the International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Essential to all of these studies was the NIH support that has been uninterrupted since 1981. Dr. Agre has served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009-10), Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academy of Sciences (2005-2009), Director of the Johns Hopkins Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (1998-01) and Director of the Duke Medical Scientist Training Program (2006-07).He was previously Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor for Science and Technology at Duke Medical Center. Dr. Agre, a Minnesota native, received the BA degree from Augsburg College, and the MD degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Maria Sol Perez Aguirreburualde, PhD 

Dr. Perez Aguirreburualde is a Postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota. Dr. Perez received her DVM in 2009 from Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Buenos Aires, and subsequently received her Ph.D. in animal virology and vaccine development from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2014 she conducted her first post-doctoral position at the Unit of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA), Argentina. She is currently a Research Development manager for Ibero-America at CAHFS, with a joint appointment in the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility at the University’s Academic Health Center. Perez’s research interests focus on understanding the role of biotechnological advances as interventions to improve animal health and food safety in developing countries. Through her joint appointment in research and research development, Dr. Perez seeks to build on interdisciplinary evidence to inform best practices for the implementation of collaborative research and capacity building programs with international partners.
 

Bruce Alexander, PhD

Dr. Alexander is Mayo Professor of Public Health and Head of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He is an occupational and environmental epidemiologist with research interests in cancer, respiratory disease, injury prevention and control, One Health, the health of agricultural populations, and global health. His work focuses on the development of multidisciplinary approaches to address complex public health problems and building public health and practice capacity.  Dr. Alexander is the director of the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, which is dedicated to improving the health, safety, and well-being of the people who produce our food by building interdisciplinary networks and applying a One Health approach to research, education, and engagement. He is also the director of the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Training Program of the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Trevor Ames is Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He oversees national and international centers of excellence: the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety and its programs including the Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership and the World Health Organization for Animals capacity building programs; the USAID One Health Workforce component of the Emerging Pandemic Threats program; a highly successful join DVM-Master’s of Public Health degree program; and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for national and global livestock and wildlife disease diagnostic testing. Ames served previously as chair of the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine and was principal investigator of numerous projects studying the bacterial and viral pathogenesis of bovine respiratory disease complex and other infectious diseases of horses and cattle. He is also past president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He was awarded the DVM degree from the University of Saskatchewan and the MS degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Dana Baker, PhD, MPA 

Dr. Dana Lee Baker is an Associate Professor in the Program of Political Science at California State University Channel Islands. Prior to joining the faculty at CSUCI, she served on the faculties of Washington State University and the University of Missouri at Columbia. Dr. Baker is the author of The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters and co-author of Neuroethics in Higher Education Policy as well as articles on the topic of autism and public policy. Her forthcoming books include: Inculpable Intentions: Youth with Autism and Juvenile Justice Practitioners in Canada and the United States with Laurie Drapela and Whitney Littlefield to be published by UBC Press.

John Balbus, MD, MPH 

Dr. Balbus leads NIEHS efforts on global environmental health and climate change, where he also directs the NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Center for Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Balbus serves as the Department of Health and Human Services Principal to the US Global Change Research Program and co-chairs working groups on Climate Change and Human Health for the US Global Change Research Program and for the National Institutes of Health. He received his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his MPH degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University.

Kavita Berger, PhD 

Dr. Kavita Berger began her career in science and security policy in 2005, when she joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she developed activities that engaged Washington-DC-based science policy and security experts on topics ranging from health security to biological weapons. These efforts (to conduct policy studies, symposia, public discussions, and similar outreach and engagement activities) provided opportunities for scientists to bring their knowledge and experience to current security policy dialogues and for the security policy community to better understand the broader implications of science and technology. Dr. Berger’s interest in looking between the lines of policy and practice led her to initiate two significant activities at AAAS, both of which have influenced her work at Gryphon Scientific. One activity was to promote dialogue between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and university officials to enhance their familiarity with each other, find common ground, and promote trust-building–all critical for preventing deliberately harmful incidents involving laboratory materials. The relationships she developed with university officials, security policy experts, and the FBI enabled her to conduct forward-looking studies, such as the 2014 evaluation of the security implications of big data in the life sciences. The second activity was to engage scientists across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia to work together to prevent biosecurity threats. This effort was new to the cooperative threat reduction community and required different approaches for engagement. Her work in the MENA region promoted partnership and trust among U.S. and regional scientists to jointly reduce biological risks. The trust she built with regional leaders has persisted, allowing her to explore new opportunities for partnership with her regional colleagues. Dr. Berger came to Gryphon Scientific in 2015, where she is building new programs on international bioengagement and science policy. A genetics and molecular biologist by training, Dr. Berger has become a well-known and widely-respected voice in world-wide efforts to prevent the harmful use of biology.

Linda Birnbaum, PhD 

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., is director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Prior to her current appointments in 2009, Dr. Birnbaum, a board-certified toxicologist, spent 19 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directing the environmental health research program. She is an elected member of the U.S.A. Institute of Medicine and the Collegium Ramazzini, and received honorary doctorates from the University of Rochester, Ben-Gurion University, Israel. and from the Surgeon General’s Medallion. She is a Distinguished Alumna from the University of Illinois. Dr. Birnbaum has been vice president of the International Union of Toxicology and president of the Society of Toxicology. She is the author of more than 800 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and reports. Birnbaum’s own research focuses on the pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals, mechanisms of action of toxicants including endocrine disruption, and linking of real-world exposures to health effects. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as in the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program at Duke University. A native of New Jersey, Birnbaum received her M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Laura Bloomberg, PhD 

Dr. Laura Bloomberg is Dean of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Her research focuses on community-based leadership, program evaluation, public value creation, cross-cultural dialogue and educational policy. Her co-edited volume Public Value and Public Administration (Bryson, Crosby and Bloomberg, 2015) received a Best Book Award for research from the American Society of Public Administration. Dr. Bloomberg consults internationally on program evaluation and education policy initiatives in Canada, China, Cyprus, countries across Africa and the European Union. She has worked with several states, federal agencies, and indigenous nations to improve civic leadership and education systems across the United States. Dr. Bloomberg holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from St. Cloud State University, master's degrees in psychometrics and educational psychology from Cornell University, and a PhD in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

Steven J. Brams, PhD

Steven J. Brams is Professor of Politics at New York University and the author, co-author, or co-editor of 18 books and about 300 articles. His most recent books are • Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures (Princeton, 2008); • Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds (MIT, 2011). He holds two patents for fair-division algorithms and is chairman of the advisory board of Fair Outcomes, Inc. Brams has applied game theory and social-choice theory to voting and elections, bargaining and fairness, international relations, and the Bible, theology, and literature. He is a former president of the Peace Science Society (1990-91) and of the Public Choice Society (2004-2006). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1986), a Guggenheim Fellow (1986-87), and was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1998-99).
 

Vincent Brioudes

Dan Carlson, PhD 

Dan is a “farm kid” from southwestern Minnesota that took an interest in biotechnology when his family began planting genetically modified crops in the 90’s. In pursuit of this interest, Dan attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a PhD in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in biotechnology and molecular genetics. The focus of his research is the refinement and application of methodology for genetic engineering in livestock. Through his 15 years in biotechnology research, Dan has led the development of transposon systems and gene editing technology in livestock. As the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Recombinetics, he directs the application of gene editing in livestock to develop solutions for agriculture and biomedicine while continuing to innovate in the field of genome engineering.

François Caya

Hualan Chen, PhD 

Hualan Chen is a virologist whose research is focused on avian influenza and the development of vaccines against this virus. She has established several platforms for avian influenza vaccine development. Over 200 billion doses of the vaccines developed by her have been used to control H5N1 influenza in poultry in China and other countries. She also performs extensive basic research to understand the evolution and the genetic basis of the host range, pathogenicity and transmissibility of animal influenza viruses, and has published over 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, including Science, PNAS, PLoS Pathogens, and Journal of Virology. Because of her contribution to the research and the control of avian influenza, she was selected as one of “the 10 people that mattered in 2013” by Nature, and was the winner of “Women in Science International Awards” issued by UNESCO in 2016.

 

Emily Therese Cloyd, MPS

Emily Therese Cloyd is the Project Director, Public Engagement at AAAS. She is a scientist and public engagement enthusiast and focuses her work on building scientists’ skills in communicating and engaging the public around science. She is responsible for the daily operations of the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. Since 2004, the AAAS Center for Public Engagement has worked to further awareness of science and the scientific process and increase public input into scientific research and policy agendas, encouraging and facilitating dialogue between policymakers, the general public, and the scientific community. Emily’s background is in ecology and environmental policy, and prior to joining AAAS, she led engagement and outreach efforts at the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

José Cordero, MD, MPH

Dr. Cordero is Patel Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Department Head, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. He served for 27 years in the US Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as Assistant Surgeon General of the PHS and is the Founding Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at CDC. He is a recognized international expert in Maternal and Child Health. 

Nancy Cox, PhD

Nancy J. Cox is a quantitative human geneticist who has a long-standing research program in identifying and characterizing the genetic component to common human diseases and complex traits, including pharmacogenomic phenotypes. She is the Mary Phillips Edmonds Gray Professor of Genetics, Director of the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute and Director of the Division of Genetic Medicine at Vanderbilt, where she has been a faculty member for 3 years. Professor Cox earned a BS in Biology at the University of Notre Dame in 1978, a PhD in Human Genetics at Yale University in 1982 and did post-doctoral research at Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the University of Chicago in 1987, where she spent 28 years before moving to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Genetic Epidemiology 2005-2011 and the past President of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Greg Cuomo, PhD

Dr. Cuomo is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. He oversees the college’s research portfolio and serves as the Deputy Director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. He facilitates research collaborations within the University of Minnesota and coordinates activities with other research institutions. Dr. Cuomo also provides strategic direction and leadership for CFANS Graduate Programs. His research interests are in agronomy with a specific interest in the grasses.  Dr. Cuomo was awarded the PhD degree from the University of Nebraska.
 

Jessica Deere, MPH

Jessica Deere MPH is a PhD student in the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Minnesota. Jessica has an MPH in environmental health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, where she studied disease transmission at the human-nonhuman primate interface. During her MPH, Jessica worked with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International studying mountain gorillas and training local students in Rwanda. She completed her thesis on disease transmission among humans, baboons and the chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Currently, Jessica is an investigator on an ecotoxicology project aiming to evaluate tools used to assess fish health and subsequently utilize these tools to determine the impact of detected contaminants on subsistence fish species at sites with different levels of anthropogenic impact. Additionally, Jessica is interested in utilizing the integration of parasitological, endocrinological, behavioral, and spatial long-term datasets from chimpanzees living in Gombe National Park, Tanzania to better understand the ecology of infectious diseases in this system.

Peter Doherty, PhD

A graduate of the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize for his immunology research and was the 1997 Australian of the Year. Since then, he has gone in to bat for evidence based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. So far he has published 5 “lay’ books on science with the latest, “The Knowledge Wars”, suggesting how those who don’t know much (or anything) about science can “interrogate” both the scientific evidence and those who claim to be scientists for themselves. 

Adrian Dubock profile

Adrian Dubock, PhD

Adrian Dubock PhD is Swiss and British, with public and private sector experience, as a farmer and a range of international agri-business responsibilities. In 2000 he proposed and negotiated the architecture of the Golden Rice Project. He still works to bring the humanitarian not-for-profit vision to fruition. From 2008-2014 he served on the advisory Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Freiburg University in Germany. In 2013 he was recognized personally by Scientific American World View for bringing philanthropy to industry. In 2015 he was awarded a Patents for Humanity Award for the Golden Rice Project at the White House. In 2016 he participated as an invited expert in WHO/FAO consultation on micronutrient biofortification and joined the board of the Borlaug Training Foundation.

Kristie Ebi

Kristie Ebi, PhD, MPH, MS

Dr. Ebi’s research focuses on the impacts of and adaptation to climate variability and change, including on extreme events, thermal stress, foodborne safety and security, and vectorborne diseases. She focuses on understanding sources of vulnerability, estimating current and future health risks of climate change, and designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risks of climate change in multi-stressor environments. She has supported multiple countries in Asia and the Pacific in assessing their vulnerability and implementing adaptation measures.

Kaylee Myhre Errecaborde, DVM, PhDc 

Kaylee Myhre Errecaborde DVM, Policy PhDc is a veterinarian and policy scholar working with the University of Minnesota to support infectious disease preparedness and response. Utilizing applied, systems-based policy and evaluation tools, Kaylee works to enhance health program outcomes. She works specifically on health workforce development projects in Southeast Asia, Eastern & Western Africa and Latin America. She previously worked for the US Congress on global health security issues with both the US House Foreign Affairs Committee and later on the US Senate Homeland Security Committee. Her interest in policy began during her graduate experiences working for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and the Institute of Agriculture Technology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kaylee has developed invaluable global perspective and cultural competence from professional work and travel in over 25 countries.

Lynne Gaffikin

Lynne Gaffikin, DrPH, MPH

Lynne Gaffikin has worked for over 25 years helping to improve maternal and child health in developing countries.  For the past 10 years her work has also extended to the interface between human and wildlife health. She received her doctorate of public health in community health and epidemiology in 1988. Her thesis focused on factors affecting the uptake of family planning in Niamey, Niger. Subsequently, she worked as senior advisor to the Kenya Ministry of Health on a USAID-funded family planning information system project. Starting in 1991, she served as Director of Research and Evaluation at JHPIEGO, a Johns Hopkins University affiliate, focusing initially on family planning training and then, post-Cairo, on broader women’s reproductive health issues.  In 1996 she founded her own research and evaluation organization, EARTH Inc., to provide technical assistance related to initiatives focusing on broader ecosystem health initiatives. In this capacity, she has worked closely with numerous conservation organizations (e.g. Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, Jane Goodall Institute) as a public health and/or research and evaluation advisor. Between 2004 -2006 she served as a senior technical advisor to the USAID/Madagascar mission to help strengthen linkages between family planning, health and conservation initiatives as a Population/Health/Environment (PHE) fellow. She continues to provide similar technical assistance to NGOs that acknowledge and aim to strengthen human health and environmental conservation linkages. Currently, she is a consulting associate professor at Stanford University’s, School of Medicine and provides support to the Woods Institute’s INOGO effort.  

Barney Graham, MD, PhD 

Barney S. Graham MD, PhD, Senior Investigator, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA Dr. Barney Graham is one of the founding investigators of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center at NIH where he is now the Deputy Director and Chief of the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory. He oversees the advanced development of VRC candidate vaccine products, and his laboratory investigates basic mechanisms by which T cells affect viral clearance and immunopathology, explores mechanisms of antibody-mediated viral neutralization, and develops vaccine approaches for respiratory virus infections and emerging viral diseases including Zika. 

Karen Hanson, PhD

Karen Hanson is executive vice president and provost of the University of Minnesota, a position she has held since February 2012. As the University's chief academic officer, she oversees colleges and academic units as well as the policies and practices that affect academic life. Previously she was provost at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University and executive vice president of that university. A Minnesota native who began her career as a U of M undergraduate in philosophy and mathematics, she is also a distinguished scholar and teacher of philosophy, with research interests in the philosophy of mind, ethics and aesthetics, and American philosophy.

Gray Handley, MSPH

Mr. Handley coordinates and facilitates international research activities for NIAID, the NIH Institute with the largest international engagement. He serves on the Boards of Directors for scientific and biomedical research organizations in India and South Africa, has evaluated health research activities at USAID, the South African Medical Research Council and other organizations, and he leads joint research programs that involve NIH and counterpart organizations in China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Turkey, Georgia, and other countries. He has previously served as Health Attaché and HHS Regional Representative in Southern Africa, at U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa, where he led initiation of the PEPFAR program; and as U.S. Science Attaché and HHS Representative in South Asia at U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India. At other times during his career, he served as: Associate Director for Prevention Research and International Programs at the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Associate Director for International Relations at the NIH Fogarty International Center; and Global Public Health Advisor for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Organizations, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. He has received many government service awards and has a master of science in public health degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Jessica Hellmann, PhD

Dr. Hellmann is Director of the Institute on the Environment and the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence at the University of Minnesota. She provides overall strategic leadership for the Institute, working to solve grand environmental challenges, while promoting interdisciplinary research, teaching and leadership across the university. She is an expert on global change ecology and climate adaptation, and has led an important paradigm shift in ecology and natural resource management by showing that adaptation — living with climate change — is just as crucial to the future of humanity and Earth’s ecosystems as slowing and stopping greenhouse gas emissions. Current work is focused on climate change adaptation to human systems, including health, infrastructure, food and water. Previously, Hellmann was a professor at the University of Notre Dame, where she pioneered new techniques in conservation management to reduce the impact of climate change. Hellmann earned the Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Biodiversity Research.

Heather Henry, PhD

Heather Henry is a Program Administrator for the Superfund Research Program (SRP) at NIEHS where she oversees a portfolio of research grants that span human health toxicology, risk assessment, detection technologies, and remediation approaches. At NIEHS, she leads initiatives for small businesses technology transfer opportunities (remediation and monitoring devices), green chemistry/alternatives assessment, sustainable mining, phytotechnologies, GIS, stabilization of lead in soils, and risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Heather studied environmental remediation and ecological restoration for her PhD at the University of Cincinnati and as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne and University of Adelaide in Australia.

Juan Carlos Hormazabal

Hortenica Hornbeak, PhD

Dr. Hornbeak is an Associate Director for Scientific Review and Policy at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH. She obtained a BA in Biology/Chemistry from Skidmore College and her Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology from Georgetown University Medical School. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the NIAID/NIH, Dr. Hornbeak assumed the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, School of Medicine, Mobile, AL where she taught medical students and conducted independent research in virology for five years. She then returned to the NIH where she began her career in Health Science Administration.

Dr. Hornbeak has authored peer-reviewed research publications and chapters on research career development and securing research funds. She has had extensive communication and outreach efforts with the extramural scientific community including: serving as a U.S. expert consultant to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria (GFAMT) for the establishment and management of the first GFAMT review of grant applications; a representative of the State Department team that reviewed “Baltic Science and Technology” in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This effort resulted in the initiation of collaborative research among the U.S. scientists and their counterparts in the Baltic countries. Dr. Hornbeak has been integrally involvement in establishment and restructuring of the AIDS clinical trial networks including outreach workshops in several countries (i.e. Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa and the U.S.) over the last 20 years. She earned a Certificate in Public Leadership from The Brookings Executive Education, and participated in the training of scientists and administrators at the NIH and the Brookings Institute. Trainees at the Brookings Institute included Senior Executive Service candidates from federal agencies and executives from private sector. Dr. Hornbeak continues to serve as a leader and mentor to Health Scientists Administrators at NIH and the scientific community. 

R. Stephanie Huang, PhD

Dr. Huang is an Associate Professor at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Minnesota.  She is also an Associate Director of the Institute of Personalized Medicine Pharmacogenomics U of M Alliance (PUMA-IPM) and a member of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.  She is a member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), and American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT).  To date, she has published over 70 original research papers many of which are in high caliber journals, e.g., Nature, Nature Medicine, PNAS, Blood, Cancer Research, Genome Biology and American Journal of Human Genetics.  Dr. Huang is a board certified clinical pharmacologist with extensive training in genetics, molecular and cell biology, clinical trials and high throughput data analysis. 

The Huang laboratory’s main research focus is translational pharmacogenomics with particular interest in the pharmacogenomics of anti-cancer agents.  By systematically evaluating human genome and its relationships to drug response and toxicity, they are to develop clinically useful models that predict risks for adverse drug reactions and non-response prior to administration of chemotherapy.  With her broad training background, Dr. Huang assembles and leads a multi-disciplinary team that consists of computational biologist, geneticist, physician, molecular biologist and biostatistician to tackle a series of serious problems in cancer research.  These include the lack of mechanistic understanding of genomic regulation of cancer phenotypes; the lack of reproducible predictive biomarkers for cancer therapeutic agents; and the lack of effective treatment for many hard to treat cancers.

More information about the Huang lab can be found online at http://huanglab.strikingly.com/

Peter Jackson, PhD

Dr. Jackson is Chief, AIDS Research Review Branch, Scientific Review Program, NIAID. He has over 25 years of experience in the scientific and technical peer review of basic through applied NIAID research grant applications and contract proposals in HIV/AIDS, other Infectious Diseases, and Immunology. He is familiar with NIH policies and procedures for developing and evaluating grant applications and contract proposals from US and non-US investigators. In addition to scientific papers, Dr. Jackson has contributed to peer-reviewed articles on developing a competitive research career, identifying research funding opportunities, submitting successful grant applications and establishing scientific collaborations.
 
Dr. Jackson has provided NIH grantsmanship training worldwide, including an extended period in 2009 when he was a US Embassy Science Fellow in Croatia. Dr. Jackson’s is trained in Infectious Diseases with a PhD from Rice University and Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Massachusetts and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). After serving as a Research Microbiologist at the WRAIR, he joined the American Institute of Biological Sciences and provided
grant application peer review support to the USAID Malaria Vaccine Research Program. He joined NIAID in 1990.

Pamala Jacobson, PharmD, FCCP

Dr. Jacobson is a Distinguished Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota and holds a joint appointment in the Medical School’s Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation. She received her PharmD from the University of Nebraska and completed her residency training at the University of Michigan.  She was faculty at the University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy, joining the University of Minnesota in 1998.Jacobson is a clinical pharmacologist where her research focuses on the clinical pharmacology of immune suppressants and anticancer agents. Specifically she studies how genetic variation influences drug pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, efficacy and toxicity. Dr. Jacobson directs the Institute of Personalized Medicine, is co-PI of the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative, and is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. 

Nishad Jayasundara, PhD

Nishad Jayasundara is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the School of Marine Sciences and Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering at University of Maine, Orono. Nishad joined University of Maine in July 2017, after completing his postdoctoral research at the Duke Superfund Research Center, Duke University, NC. Prior to Duke, he completed his PhD in Biological Sciences at Stanford University, CA. Nishad was born in Sri Lanka and came to the United States as a Davis Scholar for his bachelor’s degree at College of the Atlantic, ME. Before that he spent his high school years at Mahindra United World College as a UWC scholar in India. Nishad’s research integrates functional genomics analyses with biochemical and physiological studies to understand how organisms survive and adapt to changes in their natural environment. This research is particularly focused on mitochondria and is aimed at evaluating human and wildlife responses to rapidly changing global chemical and physical environments. His field-research has taken him from shorelines of the United States to middle of the Pacific Ocean, to the Antarctic, and most recently back to Sri Lanka and India to examine fish inhabiting areas affected by a mysterious kidney disease. Nishad has won several awards for his research including the Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award in 2015 by the Superfund Research program, National Institute of Environmental Health.

Yalacé Yamba Kaboret, DMV

Yalacé Yamba Kaboret has been a senior lecturer and researcher for more than 25 years at Ecole Inter-Etats des Sciences et Médecine Vétérinaires (EISMV) of Dakar (Sénégal). A full Professor in Pathology and Livestock Pathology, he is a graduate of special study in Pathology and in Animal and Comparative Immunology. Born June 13th, 1957 in Tiébissou (Republic of Ivory Coast), he has been Professor of Pathology and Livestock Pathology at EISMV in Dakar for 13 years. He held a variety of responsibilities within this Institution, before being the General Director since the end of 2015. He has taught at several Veterinary Colleges and Faculties in Africa and at the University of Liège in Belgium. His whole career has been dedicated about teaching and research in animal pathology, animal health at the Human/companion-production animals/wildlife interface. He has published alone or in collaboration several scientific articles. He has received the honors of Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Lion du Sénégal and Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Burkina Faso.
 

Eric Kaler, PhD

President since 2011, Eric Kaler has focused on core priorities of academic excellence, access for qualified students, diversity, a welcoming campus climate, stewardship of tuition and public dollars, a world-class research enterprise that aligns with the needs of the state of Minnesota and its industries, and a deep commitment to public engagement and outreach, locally and globally. Under President Kaler, the University’s Twin Cities campus has committed itself to interdisciplinary research into the world’s “grand challenges,” including clean water and sustainable ecosystems, fostering just and equitable communities, advancing health through tailored solutions, enhancing individual and community capacity for a changing world, and feeding the world sustainably.

President Kaler received his PhD in chemical engineering from the University in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation’s foremost experts on “complex fluids,” and, before returning to Minnesota, was, among other positions, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University, New York. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to the National Academy of Engineering, and is a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Esper Kallas, MD, PhD

Dr. Kallas is an Infectious Diseases Specialist and a Professor of Medicine at the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He is also a member of the HIV Vaccine Committee for the HIV-AIDS Program, Brazilian MoH. PI for the Clinical Trials Unit candidate HIV-1 vaccines studies and a site for the iPrEx trial. Conducts projects on Dengue fever pathogenesis, diagnosis, cellular immune responses, viral characterization, and vaccine development.

Shaun Kennedy, BS

Shaun Kennedy created and leads the Food System Institute, LLC, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota (adjunct). Previously, he directed the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, and the Associate Director for the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety. Shaun's research focuses on food system bio-security, food safety and food defense and he has authored leading articles and book chapters on both. Professor Kennedy is the past chair of the International Association for Food Protection Food Defense professional development group, serves on the US Pharmacopeia Intentional Adulterants Expert Panel and is a scientific advisor to food firms, national laboratories and regulatory authorities. Shaun provided the inaugural lecture in the FDA’s Chief Scientist Lecture series and received the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation for advancing food defense
 

David Largaespada, PhD

Dr. David Largaespada, Ph.D, is a Full Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and the Associate Director for Basic Research in the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. He is an authority on mouse genetics, gene modification and cancer genes. He received his B.S. in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992. He was awarded the American Cancer Society Research Professor Award in 2013, the highest award given by the ACS. Dr. Largaespada has published over 165 scientific articles and has co-founded three biotechnology companies. Dr. Largaespada's laboratory is working to exploit insertional mutagenesis for cancer gene discovery and functional genomics in the mouse. The Largaespada lab pioneered the use a transposon system, called Sleeping Beauty (SB), for insertional mutagenesis in mouse somatic cells. SB is being used for forward genetic screens for cancer genes involved in sarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and mammary, gastro-intestinal tract and NF1 syndrome-associated cancers. Targeted nucleases are being used for cancer gene validation studies and the discovery of cancer synthetic vulnerabilities. An emphasis of this work is on genes that promote metastasis or govern treatment sensitivity. Finally, novel mouse models are being used for preclinical evaluation of new drugs and drug combinations for cancer treatment.

Ramanan Laxminarayan

Ramanan Laxminarayan, PhD, MPH

Ramanan Laxminarayan is director and senior fellow at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in Washington, D.C., and a senior research scholar and lecturer at the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and a visiting professor at the University of Kwazulu Natal and the University of Strathclyde. He is a co-founder of HealthCubed, which works to improve access to healthcare and diagnostics. Since 1995, Laxminarayan has worked to improve the understanding of antibiotic resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource.  His work encompasses extensive peer-reviewed research, public outreach, and direct engagement in eleven countries in Asia and Africa through the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership. In 2012, Laxminarayan created the Immunization Technical Support Unit that supports the immunization program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India and which is credited with helping rapidly improve vaccination coverage and introduction of four new vaccines.  As Vice President, Research and Policy at the Public Health Foundation of India between 2011 and 2015, he led the growth of a research division to over 700 technical and research staff.  In 2014, Laxminarayan served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s antimicrobial resistance working group. Currently, he is a voting member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance. 

Agnès Leblond, PhD 

Agnes Leblond is Professor in Vetagro Sup, Veterinary School of Lyon, France. European diplomate in Equine Internal Medicine, her research interest is mainly focused on epidemiological surveillance and early warning of zoonotic vector-borne diseases in horses, i.e. West Nile virus (mosquito-borne) and Anaplasmosis (tick-borne). 2015-17, Head of a OIE twinning project between veterinary establishments, namely Vetagro Sup (France) and Bila Tserkva (Ukraine). Since October 2017, in charge of the development and implementation of a online continuing training program for official veterinarians of Africa and Europe, aiming at favoring the sustainable promotion of OIE recommendations and the improvement of Veterinary Services Performances.

Emilio León, PhD, MV

Dr Emilio A. León has been a researcher at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) of Argentina form more the 30 years, being the epidemiology the field of his expertise. He is also Associated Professor in Public Health, at the Faculty of Veterinary of the University of Buenos Aires. He is coordinator of the Center Buenos Aires for Training of Veterinary Services (CEBASEV), collaborating center for OIE.

Allen Levine, PhD

Allen Levine was appointed vice president for research of the University of Minnesota in October 2017. In this position he oversees the University’s $900 million research enterprise across all campuses and facilities, including the administration of sponsored projects, research compliance and regulatory offices, and economic development and technology commercialization units.
  
Dr. Levine is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. In addition, he is a member of the Food Science and Nutrition Graduate Programs.  Previously, Dr. Levine served as vice provost for faculty and academic affairs; dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences; department head of Food Science and Nutrition; and associate director of research; and senior career scientist at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

Dr. Levine’s research focuses on the neural regulation of food intake and the brain circuitry involved in the rewarding properties of foods. With over 300 scientific papers and over 100 review articles, editorials, and book reviews, his current career h-index in Google Scholar is 82. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Nutrition, and the American Psychological Association, Dr. Levine is also a fellow and past president of the Obesity Society.  He has received several research awards, including the Mead Johnson Award from the American Institute of Nutrition and the Grace A. Goldsmith Award from the American College of Nutrition.

Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH

Dr. Maureen Lichtveld, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, has over 35 years of experience in environmental public health and is Professor and Chair, Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She holds an endowed chair in environmental policy and is Associate Director, Population Sciences, Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. Her research focuses on environmentally-induced disease, health disparities, environmental health policy, disaster preparedness, public health systems, and community resilience. Lichtveld’ s track record in community-based participatory research includes the impact of chemical and non-chemical stressors on communities facing environmental health threats, disasters and health disparities. As Director, Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership, and Strategic Initiatives, she serves as PI of several Gulf Coast-associated environmental health research and capacity building projects including GROWH. She is the PI of CCREOH and co-chairs a Caribbean region-wide expert panel to on climate change. Dr. Lichtveld is a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council of the Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the U.S. EPA Scientific Advisory Board; the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Global Health and the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine, the NAS Committee on Measuring Community Resilience Consensus Study, and the Advisory Committee for the NAS Climate Communications Initiative. She is a member of the Health Disparities Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee, Director CDC; Serves as Chair, Editorial Board, American Journal of Public Health, and President of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. She was inducted in the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, honored as CDC’s Environmental Health Scientist of the Year, and twice named Woman of the Year by the City of New Orleans.
 

Frank Liu, PhD, MBA

Dr. Frank Liu is the Director of China Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD degree from the University of Georgia, MS from China Agricultural University, Bachelor from Jilin Agricultural University, and MBA from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. His other work experiences in CVM include 8 years in the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and 1 year in the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety.  Dr. Liu had 5 years of postdoctoral research experience at the University of Minnesota and published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, book chapters, and edited books.  From 2004-2006, he co-founded and headed a biotechnology start-up company. From 1998-2001, he worked as the Head of Agriculture Division and Regional Project Coordinator in a UNCTD-affiliated international organization in Southeast Asia.  In his current position, Dr. Liu has worked to develop and lead various international veterinary continuing education programs and outreach activities. He also served as consultant for swine producers in China. Working with his colleagues, he is responsible for developing and organizing the Leman China Swine Conference, which is becoming a leading swine veterinary education program in Asia.  

Francisco Lopera

Francisco Lopera, MD

Francisco Lopera is a full professor and Director of the “Grupo de Neurociencias de Antioquia” (GNA) at University or Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia. The GNA works in basic and clinical neurosciences, in developmental and neurodegenerative disorders. As a Behavioral Neurologist Lopera Works at the Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Neurology Service at Medical School of the Antioquia University, He plays an active role in assisting patients with Alzheimer’s disease, CADASIL, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Mild cognitive impairment, Fronto-temporal dementia, and other forms of dementis. He also plays a role in assisting patients with ADHD, language impairment, conduct disorders, and other neuro-developmental problems. Dr. Lopera has been working with a large groups of families with Familiar Alzheimer´s Disease due to a common PSEN1 mutation (E280A) for over 30 years and published  with his collaborators more than 100 papers related with this special population. He is the Principal Investigator in Alzheimer Prevention Iniciative program (API COLOMBIA) in collaboration with Banner Health Institute and Genentech.  

Gary Marchant, PhD, JD, MPP 

Gary Marchant serves as the Regents Professor and Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law & Ethics, and Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Science and Innovation, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University (ASU). He also serves as a Professor at the School of Life Sciences and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. Professor Marchant’s research interests include the governance of emerging technologies, legal aspects of personalized medicine, use of genetic information in the legal system, legal aspects of risk assessment and risk management, and the application of science and technology in the legal system.  He teaches courses such as Law, Science & Technology; Artificial Intelligence & the Law; Genetics and the Law; Biotechnology: Science, Law and Policy; Health Care Technologies; and Big Data, Privacy, and Emerging Technologies. Prior to joining the College faculty in 1999, Professor Marchant was a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis, where his practice focused on environmental and administrative law. During law school, he was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology and editor of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and was awarded the Fay Diploma (awarded to top graduating student at Harvard Law School). Professor Marchant frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science at national and international conferences. He has authored more than 120 articles and book chapters on various issues relating to emerging technologies. Among other activities, he has served on five National Research Council committees, has been the principal investigator on several major grants, and has organized dozens of academic conferences and workshops on law and science issues.
 

Fernando Mardones , DVM, MPVM, PhD

Fernado Mardones, DVM, MPVM, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Universidad Nacional Adres Bello, Santiago, Chile.  His research interests include the application of quantitative methods derived from epidemiology and ecology to study the dynamics of infectious diseases associated with aquaculture practices from local to large-scale spatial extents. These approaches includes meta-analysis, multilevel regression models, spatial and spatiotemporal methods, social network analysis, infectious disease modelling, and animal health economics. The development and application such approaches will directly support more cost-effective and risk-based surveillance and control strategies. He serves as President of the International Society of Aquatic Animal Epidemiology (ISAAE) and as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Veterinary Science journal.
 

Debra Mathews, PhD, MA

Debra JH Mathews, PhD, MA, is the Assistant Director for Science Programs for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Mathews earned her PhD in genetics from Case Western Reserve University, where she also earned a concurrent Masters in bioethics. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in genetics at Johns Hopkins, and the Greenwall Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. Dr. Mathews has also spent time at the Genetics and Public Policy Center, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Dr. Mathew’s academic work focuses on ethics and policy issues raised by emerging biotechnologies, with particular focus on genetics, stem cell science, neuroscience and synthetic biology. 

Ken McColl

Ken McColl

Ken is a Principal Research Veterinarian at the high-security CSIRO–Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Australia. After completing both a Residency in pathology and a virology/immunology PhD at Cornell University, he joined AAHL in 1990, and the Fish Group (at AAHL) in 2000. While at AAHL, he has worked on rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus as a biocontrol agent for rabbits, and he now leads a group investigating the use of koi herpesvirus as a potential biocontrol agent for carp.

Tongkorn Meeyam, DVM, MSc, DMV 

Dr. Tongkorn Meeyam, is currently a lecturer at department of Veterinary Bioscience and Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University. She becomes a Director of the Veterinary Public Health Centre for Asia Pacific since 2014 after spent 3 years as a deputy director. The VPHCAP is the center for information and collaboration regarding the safety of food originating from animals, animal diseases, and cross-border issues. In addition, she is a project coordinator of the EcoHealth-One Health Resource Centre of Chiang Mai University. Dr. Tongkorn’s academic focus is on veterinary public Health, particularly food safety and quality assurance for food of animal origin. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Chulalongkorn University in 2001 and her M.S. in Health Science from Chiang Mai University in 2003. She was at the Institute of Meat Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, for three years, completing her Doctoral program in 2010.
 

Pamela Melroy, MS

Colonel Melroy, with degrees in physics, astronomy, and earth and planetary sciences, piloted two space shuttle flights and was mission commander on a third flight between 2000 and 2007, making her one of only two women who commanded the space shuttle.  She has logged more than 38 days in space. Previously, Colonel Melroy was an Air Force pilot with experience in more than 50 military aircraft, logging more than 6,000 hours flight time before retiring from the Air Force in 2007 and NASA in 2009. She was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal; Aerial Achievement Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster, Expeditionary Medal; the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. Colonel Melroy is a member of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees; the Society of Experimental Test Pilots; the Association of Space Explorers and The Ninety-Nines, Inc. She received a BA degree from Wellesley College and an MS degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Susana Mendez, DVM, PhD

Susana Mendez, DVM,  PhD, is a Scientific Review Officer of the Microbiology Review. She received a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM) and a PhD degree in veterinary science at the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. Dr. Mendez joined the laboratory of Dr. David Sacks at NIAID/NIH in 1999 to work in the field of immunology of leishmaniasis and vaccine development. In 2003, she accepted a position at The George Washington University to work with Dr. Peter Hotez and produce a human hookworm vaccine. In this position, she conducted vaccine preclinical studies for hookworm vaccines, performed basic research on the immunology of hookworm infections and established her own research program on anti-leishmanial vaccines. In 2006, she accepted a position at the Baker Institute for Animal Health/Cornell University where she continued her studies on canine and human anti-leishmanial drugs and vaccines, worked on decoding host-parasite interactions, and investigated the immunomodulatory properties of hookworm infections. She trained veterinary, undergraduate and graduate students. She has written several book chapters and published more than sixty peer-reviewed publications. She joined NIAID/NIH in 2011 to pursue a career in Health Science Administration. 

Kerri Miller

Ms. Miller is host of Minnesota Public Radio MPR News with Keri Miller, and host of Talking Volumes, a literary series at the Fitzgerald Theater, since 2004.  She was the political reporter for KARE 11 television in Minneapolis-St. Paul before joining MPR in 2004.

Robert Mwanga, PhD

Dr. Robert Mwanga is a 2016 recipient of the World Food Prize. His efforts have led to millions of Africans being spared the devastating effects of vitamin A deficiency. He successfully developed 22 new varieties, including biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). OFSP, the high-provitamin A (beta-carotene) varieties are important in reducing vitamin A deficiency, a leading cause of illness, blindness and death in children under five years. He currently leads several projects including the regional sweetpotato breeding work in East and Central Africa under the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) project of the International Potato Center (CIP). He holds a PhD from North Carolina State University in plant breeding and genetics.

Michael Murtaugh, PhD

Dr. Murtaugh is a Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota. He was recipient of the American Association of Immunologists Veterinary Immunologist of the Year 2012 Award, has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on four patents. He is co-organizer of the iCOMOS conferences and a leader in graduate education in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The Murtaugh laboratory seeks a comprehensive understanding of porcine immune responses to infectious pathogens, primarily viral diseases that limit production and welfare. His lab uses functional genomic, molecular biologic, proteomic, and immunologic approaches to help elucidate biochemical and molecular mechanisms of immune resistance that can guide future development of novel approaches for treatment and prevention of disease. The scientific goal is to elucidate the initiating molecular and cellular responses that are crucial in determining the outcome of infection. Dr. Murtaugh received the PhD degree in Entomology from Ohio State University and served as a postdoctoral fellow in cell and molecular biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

Sam Myers

Samuel Myers, MD, MPH

Dr. Myers studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed Planetary Health. He is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is Director of the Planetary Health Alliance (www.planetaryhealthalliance.org). Sam’s current work spans several areas of planetary health including 1) the global nutritional impacts of rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; 2) the health impacts of land management decisions in SE Asia associated with biomass burning and particulate air pollution; 3) the nutritional impacts of reduced access to wildlife (bushmeat) in the diet in Madagascar; 4) the local (in Madagascar) and global consequences of fisheries decline for human nutrition and health; and 5) the impact of animal pollinator declines on human nutrition at a global scale. As the Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, Sam oversees a multi-institutional effort to support research, education and policy efforts around the world focused on understanding and quantifying the human health impacts of disrupting Earth’s natural systems and translating that understanding into resource management decisions globally. Dr. Myers serves as a Commissioner on the Lancet-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health and was recently awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award for research at the interface of global environmental change and human health. Sam is also teaching Harvard University’s first course on planetary health.

Maria Neira photo

María P. Neira, MD

Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Neira was president of the Spanish Food Safety Agency and vice minister of Health and Consumer Affairs in Spain between September 2002 and August 2005. She was appointed in 1999 as director of the Department of Control, Prevention and Eradication at WHO. Prior to that, she worked for WHO in Geneva, as coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control. 

Irene Naigaga, MS, PhD 

Dr. Naigaga serves as the Regional Program Manager One Health Central and East Africa (OHCEA) a network of fourteen public health and veterinary higher education institutions located in six countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC and Rwanda.   Dr. Naigaga received a PhD  in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science in  2013 and a Master of Science  in Ichthyology from Rhodes University, South Africa.  Her Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Postgraduate Diploma (Wildlife Health and Management, 2000) were completed at Makerere University, Uganda. She is currently a Lecturer and Trainer - Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development(AFRISA);One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) Focal Person, Uganda Country Office and a Secretary for Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) East Africa an educational non-profit advancing women’s leadership and management in East Africa.
 

Mary Katherine O’Brien, PhD 

Dr. OBrien  is a researcher for education and outreach in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in Comparative & International Development Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and she has worked in the field of international higher education and international program development since 2002. 

Her current work focuses on  global on-line education initiatives related to capacity building for animal health, food safety, and food systems, including ProgRESSVet (Programa Regional de Educación Sistemática de Servicios Veterinarios) in the Latin American region.  O'Brien's research areas include the internationalization of higher education, cross-border partnerships, on-line education, and the intercultural aspects of teaching and learning. 

Ned Patterson, DVM, PhD

Dr. Patterson is Professor of Small Animal Medicine and Genetics at the University of Minnesota. He is a Founding Member and Director of the Canine Epilepsy Research Consortium, the Small Animal Medicine Residency Director, and a member of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine. Dr. Patterson’s instructional areas include genetics, seizure disorders, and molecular medicine. His recent research focuses on understanding and treating epilepsy in dogs and as a model for human epilepsy using novel drugs and novel devices.  He is a member of the International Veterinary Epilepsy Taskforce, and he is the originator of iCHEW (International Canine and Human Epilepsy Workshops). Additional clinical interests include clinical trials, endocrinology, and comparative medicine. He was awarded both the DVM and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota.
 

Katey Pelican, DVM, PhD

Katey Pelican is the founding Head of the One Health Division in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Pelican is currently the Deputy Director and Principal Investigator for the USAID One Health Workforce Project, part of the Emerging Pandemic Threats program.  This project is working with Universities in 15 countries in Africa and Asia to strengthen the multi-sectoral workforce responsible for prevention, detection and response to infectious disease threats.  In addition to her work with USAID, Dr. Pelican is also the lead of an ongoing partnership with USDA, CDC, FAO and WHO, focused on creating a suite of tools to operationalize One Health at the field level. Most recently, the One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit (OH-SMART) has been implemented in the United States and 19 countries globally to improve multi-sectoral cooperation around infectious disease, antimicrobial resistance, natural disasters and other complex One Health challenges.
 

Andres Perez, DVM, PhD

Dr. Perez is a Professor, Endowed Chair of Animal Health and Food Safety, and Director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota, which is an OIE collaborating center for capacity building. Dr. Perez is an expert in the field of veterinary spatial epidemiology and modeling, with more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in those disciplines. Over the past 15 years, he has served as advisor for more than 20 graduate students and led a number of educational, research, and outreach activities on quantitative epidemiology in 20 countries. He is an advisor on epidemiology for the Argentine Animal Health Service and for the Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. He received the DVM degree from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina, and the PhD degree from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
 

Enrique Perez, DVM, MPVM, PhD

Dr. Perez received his DVM from National University in Costa Rica in 1981, a MPVM from U C Davis in 1992 and his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in 1994. Is the Unit Chief, Health Emergency Information & Risk Assessment, in the Department of Health Emergencies responsible for providing coordination in tracking, analyzing and reporting information on all health hazards. Lead the teams responsible for risk assessment of all acute public health events including outbreaks, and contribute to global intelligence and risk assessment for response.
 

Nicholas Phelps, PhD 

Dr. Nick Phelps is the Director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. MAISRC is a collaborative and innovative program that brings together researchers, managers and stakeholders to identify research priorities, conduct research and inform decision making and management for aquatic invasive species. In addition, Nick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. His research group focuses on emerging threats to the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems, which lie at the intersection of humans, animals and the environment. This has included discovery and diagnostic development for emerging pathogens, environmental suitability and pathway modeling to predict invasions, risk assessment to prioritize management efforts, etc. Nick has earned a BS in Aquatic Biology, an MS in Aquaculture/Fisheries and a PhD in Veterinary Medicine.
 

Cecilia Rocha

Cecilia Rocha, PhD

Dr. Cecilia Rocha is a Professor and the Director of the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Prof. Rocha is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), and an Associate Researcher at the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University. She participated in the development of the Toronto Food Strategy (2008-2010), was a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (2005-2011), and the Director of the project Building Capacity in Food Security in Brazil (2004-2010), funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. Since 2015 she has also been co-directing the project Scaling-up small-scale food processing for therapeutic and complementary food for children in Vietnam, in partnership with Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition, and funded by Global Affairs Canada and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Dr. Rocha is the author of a number of scholarly papers and reports on food policy and programs in Brazil.

Teddie M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Teddie Potter is Coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership and Director of Inclusivity and Diversity for the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. She is Executive Editor for the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies; a peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal promoting interdisciplinary collaboration as a solution for solving society’s grand challenges. Dr. Potter is deeply committed to cultural transformation and planetary health. She co-founded the interprofessional group Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate and teaches one of the University of Minnesota’s Grand Challenge courses: Global Climate Change- Empowering a Movement.  She is an active member of the American Academy of Nursing’s Expert Panel on Environmental and Public Health and she has presented nationally and internationally about the impact of climate change on health and the role of interprofessional teams in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
 

Ronald Przygodzki, MD  

Ronald M. Przygodzki, M.D. holds a degree in medicine from the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology (American Board of Pathology), with subspecialization in molecular genetic pathology (American Board of Pathology and American Board of Medical Genetics). He has over 25 years of research and clinical experience with over 15 years of administrative experience. He is Director of Genomic in Implementation, and Associate Director of the Genomic Medicine Program. His previous leadership roles (private and public sectors) include being Director, Biomedical Laboratories R&D at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, as Chief of Pathology at the Children's National Medical Center and as Associate Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, all in Washington DC. He conceptualized, drafted and guided implementation of the Million Veterans Program, one of the largest mega-biobank worldwide. Dr. Przygodzki's research expertise and interests are in anatomic and clinical pathology and molecular genomics, spanning from the theoretical to practical clinically translatable arenas. He has developed unique molecular-based techniques—in particular, ones invented around the use of small archival tissue specimens typically found in pathology. He has authored numerous publications, book chapters, and books. Some of his molecular pathology research efforts led to the reclassification of two pulmonary malignancies by the World Health Organization, and have allowed him to receive national and international recognition. His current aims are targeting pharmacogenomic combinatorial analyses to help guide opioid and major depression therapies.
 

Srirama Rao, PhD

Dr. Rao is Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine with a joint appointment as Professor of Medicine in the Medical School.  Dr. Rao received his Ph.D. in allergy and immunology from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, in 1989, after which he conducted post-doctoral studies at Pharmacia-Experimental Medicine in La Jolla, California.  Dr. Rao’s laboratory research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation including asthma and food allergy.  Prior to joining the University of Minnesota in 2007, Dr. Rao was Vice President of Research and Professor and Head of the Division of Vascular Biology at the La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine in San Diego, California 

With his administrative and joint faculty appointment, he seeks to build on the strong interdisciplinary and cutting-edge research focus across the Academic Health Center and rest of the university to promote exciting new collaborative One Health research initiatives at the interface of animals, humans and the environment.   Specifically, he leads a transdisciplinary effort of “One Medicine One Science” that aims to advance the Science behind One Health.  In this capacity he leads the University of Minnesota’s “International Conference on One Medicine One Science (iCOMOS)”, a global forum dedicated to (i) communicating the importance of science in solving pressing health issues at the interface of humans, animals and the environment; (ii) facilitating interdisciplinary, international collaborations embracing health, science and economics; and (iii) providing information regarding the public policy development necessary for preserving human and animal health. 

He is also founder of global Consortium on the One Medicine One Science (COMOS) with its secretariat at University of Minnesota.  COMOS aims to build a sustainable community of practitioners, researchers and partner institutions who are committed to cooperating and leveraging existing resources and projects to support high impact health work, research and education around the world and advance the science behind One Health. 
 

Yaffa Rubinstein, MS, PhD

 

Yaffa was trained as a molecular biologist and received her M.S. from the Weizmann Institute /Hebrew University in Israel and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute. Subsequently at the NCI, she was the program director for the Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN). She developed the former programs The Global Patient Registry Data repository (GRDR) and the RD-HUB-a biospecimens database, while at the Office of Rare Diseases Research at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)/NIH, which she served as its program director for about 8 years. She continues her international activities in the arena of patient registries, CDEs and biospecimens. As a member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), she serves as the co-chair for the International Specimen Locator and the Rare Diseases working groups. Additionally, she is a member of the PCORI rare disease advisory panel. Recently she retired from ORDR and joined the National Library of Medicine as a special volunteer, co-leading the Data Science special interest group and assisting in areas of CDEs, standard terminologies and infrastructures for clinical data collection.

Stephanie Salyer, DVM, MPH

Stephanie Salyer DVM, MPH is a Veterinary Epidemiologist with the Epidemiology, Informatics, Surveillance, and Lab Branch in CDC’s Center for Global Health. She also serves as the CDC Global Liaison for One Health in CDC’s One Health Office and is a member of CDC’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. She has extensive international experience addressing various public health challenges, which include outbreak response, strengthening and evaluating surveillance systems/programs, protocol development and implementation of serological surveys and multi-center research projects at the animal-human interface, as well as supporting various One Health capacity building activities like One Health Workforce. She has experience working on topics such as avian influenza, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, cryptosporidium, dengue, hepatitis, rabies, tuberculosis, and zika.
 

Aziz Arda Sancak, PhD

Dr. Sancak is a Professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University.
Dr. Sancak received his Ph.D. in gastroenterology from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in the United Kingdom in 1997. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University. Dr. Sancak’s research and teaching area covers dermatology and gastroenterology. Dr. Sancak has been involved in a number of different administrative tasks in his academic career; served as a consultant and also served as the General Director for European Union and Foreign Relations in the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock (MoFAL) of Government of Turkey. Currently Dr. Sancak is working on “Multi-sectoral Health Responsibility Program” (MSHRP) with the Public Health Agency of Ministry of Health, Government of Turkey, where he is taking part in the first component (Improving Biological Environment). In this program Dr. Sancak is a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota Extension, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
 

Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz, JD, MPA 

Eric Schwartz is president of Refugees International, the Washington-based non-governmental organization that advocates on behalf of the refugees and displaced persons and the principles of international humanitarians. In recent months, he and his organization have conducted fact-finding missions and have reported on forced displacement and refugee issues in Nigeria, Somalia, Burma and Bangladesh, Central America, Iraq, Turkey, Greece and the Mediterranean, Israel, Puerto Rico and other parts of the world. Until June 2017, Eric Schwartz served for six years as dean and professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and he remains on the faculty on extended leave. A practitioner with a focus on international humanitarianism and human rights, he has worked on these issues in positions at Human Rights Watch, the United Nations (where he served as UN Deputy Envoy for Tsunami Recovery), the U.S. National Security Council and as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. He holds a Juris Doctor (law) degree from New York University School of Law, a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a BA degree with honors from Binghamton University.

Darren Seifer, BS

As a food & beverage industry analyst for The NPD Group, a leading market research company, Darren provides insights based on NPD’s food-related research to organizations and companies across the country. Prior to joining NPD in March 2007, he was an analyst with Information Resources, Inc (IRI). At IRI Darren spent over seven years examining consumer packaged goods trends, and worked with a variety of industry leaders covering dozens of food and beverage categories. He has authored a number of NPD food and beverage research reports that cover topics such as how the economy affects consumers in-home meal strategies, the profile of the organics consumer, the impact of Baby Boomers and Millennials on America's eating patterns, and the unique consumption behaviors of Hispanics in the U.S. Darren is also a contributing writer for several food and beverage trade publications and shares his thoughts on food and beverage trends at www.npd.com/blog. In addition to presenting NPD’s annual report on Eating Patterns in America, he is a frequent speaker at industry events hosted by associations and organizations. Darren is often quoted in media coverage of food and beverage consumption issues and topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and makes his home in New York City.
 

Woutrina A. Smith

Woutrina Smith, PhD, DVM, MPVM 

Dr. Woutrina Smith is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Smith's research program uses One Health approaches to investigate the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of zoonotic pathogens locally in California as well as internationally at multiple project sites in Africa and Asia. As a molecular epidemiologist working at the interfaces of humans, animals, and their shared environments, waterborne fecal pathogens as well as milk- and airborne transmitted zoonotic agents are of particular interest when considering individual and population health issues. Dr. Smith's accomplishments have been recognized by the Morris Animal Foundation, the American Society for Microbiology and other organizations. Dr. Smith received BA in biology from Pomona College, and the DVM, MPVM and PhD degrees in veterinary medicine and comparative pathology from the University of California, Davis.

Srinand Sreevatsan, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, MPH 

Dr. Srinand Sreevatsan has dedicated his scientific career to zoonotic disease investigations at the cellular and molecular level. He is interested in the ecology and molecular evolution of infectious agents and how they are modulated by changes in host and environmental niches. Sreevatsan's research is highly interdisciplinary and encompasses all aspects of cellular, molecular pathogen-host interactions and epidemiology, ecology of infectious disease, and collaborations across the country and the globe. A translational aspect of his studies is the development of novel unambiguous disease detection platforms and applications into immunoprophylaxis. Sreevatsan's scientific inquiry has focused on the world’s greatest infectious diseases, such as those caused by mycobacteria, prions, and influenza A.

Pathobiological or biomedical studies in Sreevatsan's lab are designed to answer transmission questions and identify the most representative strains/molecules for optimal vaccine development. His research findings have further lent to the development of genome-wide SNP analyses in MTB Complex and enhanced understanding of disease character and outcome and velocity of pathogen spread. 

Over the last 15 years, Sreevatsan's research has taken a turn toward translational science. He has applied basic molecular evolutionary genomics and pathogenesis information to diagnostics and vaccine development. One major focus area has been in applications of high-resolution genomics and proteomics to identify pathogen-specific biomarkers for early detection and tracking of mycobacterial infections in animals and humans. A second area of emphasis is the development of pathogen/receptor specific ligands to enable detection, as well drug targeting. Sreevatsan has developed a pipeline of methods to select and validate DNA aptamers for this purpose.

In addition to a strong scientific program, Sreevatsan has developed a strong interdisciplinary, international collaboration on mycobacterial diseases of animals and humans.

Clifford Steer, MD

Dr. Clifford Steer is Professor of Medicine, Director of the Physician-Scientist Training Program, and holds joint appointments in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, and in the Stem Cell Institute.  His research program uses the Sleeping Beauty transposon system as a gene therapy vector to investigate liver, bone marrow and brain disorders.  Another area of research is the use of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), a hydrophilic bile acid, as a potent antiapoptotic agent to treat transgenic models of Huntington’s disease and retinitis pigmentosa as well as acute stroke, spinal cord injury, myocardial infarction, and acute renal failure.  Steer's lab is also actively characterizing the role of microRNAs in gene regulation for a number of different target organs and stem cell populations.  In particular, they have identified specific microRNAs that may be involved in the cancer progression of colon polyps; as well as their role in the regenerating liver.  The studies are both basic and translational in nature.  They are also identifying specific microRNAs as biomarkers of disease that can be assayed in blood.  Most notably, his lab has recently discovered a unique nuclear profile of mature microRNAs; and a subset of microRNAs in mitochondria that may act as a rheostat for the control of apoptosis.  His research now focuses primarily on the bioengineering of exogenic organs for regenerative medicine.  Dr. Steer received his MD degree and did residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  He then spent 14 years at the NIH in Bethesda, MD before returning to Minnesota.

Damian Tago Pachecho, PhD 

Damian Tago Pachecho is an Animal Health Economist at the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). His work focuses on the application of economic tools for animal diseases prevention and control in Asia. He obtained his PhD from the Toulouse School of Economics and spent some time in the US as visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. During his PhD he analyzed how animal disease control policies can induce behavioral changes in farmers which in turn impact the effectiveness of such policies. Before joining FAO’s regional office for Asia and the Pacific, he worked evaluating the impact of animal health interventions at the French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation Organization (CIRAD). 

Kimberly Thigpen Tart, JD, MPH 

Kimberly Thigpen Tart is a scientific program analyst in the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the former News Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives. She is a member of the NIEHS Global Environmental Health/WHO Collaborating Centre on Environmental Health Sciences Steering Committee. She is a founding member of the USGCRP Climate Change and Human Health Working Group and was a member of the Steering Committee and a contributing author to the 2016 USGCRP report on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States. She is a member of the Senior Staff Steering Committee of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children. She is a government liaison to the National Research Council’s Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions and former liaison to the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. She is NIEHS liaison to the Triangle Global Health Consortium and the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative. Her current focus areas include research and health policy and translation, strategic planning, climate change and human health, data science and integration, global environmental health, children’s environmental health, and prevention research. She received her B.A. in journalism (Honors) and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Masters in Public Health Leadership from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
 

Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

Dr. Jakub Tolar is dean of the Medical School and vice president ad interim for health sciences. A pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician whose life work centers on helping children with devastating genetic disorders, Dr. Tolar is a clinician-researcher whose efforts span both the clinic and the laboratory. He is known for his ground-breaking use of bone marrow transplant to treat severe forms of the devastating skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa. His laboratory is currently working with state-of-the-art gene-editing technologies to repair genetic errors in a patient’s own cells and use the corrected cells for transplant and other therapies. Tolar is a Distinguished McKnight Professor and co-chairs Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, a state-supported program funding research, biotechnology, and education to support development of regenerative medicine infrastructure in the state.
 

Dominic Travis, DVM, MS

Dominic Travis is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, with appointments in the School of Public Health and Institute on the Environment. He is an expert in wildlife epidemiology and veterinary public health, focusing on emerging health and natural resource sustainability issues at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Previously, he has worked on designing and conducting disease surveillance and health risk assessments on emerging zoonotic diseases such as West Nile virus, Avian Influenza, SIV/HIV, Anthrax and Ebola virus, among others, across North and South America, Africa and South East Asia. Dr. Travis has served on advisory committees at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), European Union (EU), East African Union (EAU), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as well as United States Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Homeland Security and several health and conservation-focused non-governmental organizations. His current research interests focus on interactions between animal/human health and biodiversity, food and water security and the global wildlife trade. 

Juli Trtanj profile

Juli Trtanj, MS

Juli Trtanj is the One Health and Integrated Climate and Weather Extremes Research Lead for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Climate Program Office. She is responsible for developing and coordinated NOAA health-related activities and programs with other federal, state, local and international Agencies, academic and private sector partners.  Ms. Trtanj is leading efforts to build the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FEMA, OSHA, NIOSH, ASPR, EPA and other agencies.  She coordinates the NOAA One Health Working Group which brings together NOAA data, research, information and actions to inform health decision making.  She started and ran the first multidisciplinary and multi-partner research program on Climate Variability and Human Health.  She developed and directed NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative focused on Early Warning Systems, Health Benefits from the Sea, and Graduate Training.
 
Ms. Trtanj co-chairs the US Global Change Research Program, Climate Change and Human Health Group (CCHHG) and represents NOAA on the Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology Working Group. She is the Integrated Information System for Health Lead for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and is directly involved with the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners in the development of the Integrated Information Systems for heat, cholera and other water-related illnesses. She is leading the development of the US Climate and Health Science Plan and has lead and authored numerous publications and led or was author on several climate assessments for health.
 
Ms. Trtanj earned her Master in Environmental Science from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1994, and her Bachelors in 1986 from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Alison Van Eenennaam

Alison Van Eenennaam, PhD

Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Animal Science at University of California, Davis. She received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and both an MS in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. Her publicly-funded research and outreach program focuses on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems. Her current research projects include the development of genomic approaches to select for cattle that are less susceptible to disease and the development of genome editing approaches for livestock. A passionate advocate of science, Dr. Van Eenennaam was the recipient of the 2014 Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Borlaug Communication Award.

Frank von Hippel, PhD

Frank von Hippel is Professor of ecotoxicology at Northern Arizona University. He conducts research at the nexus of ecotoxicology, mechanisms of toxicity, and health disparities. He uses locally occurring wildlife and laboratory animals as models for human exposure and disease. He is especially interested in health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations and he employs a Community Based Participatory Research approach. Examples of current projects include investigations of endocrine disruption and disease in Yupik people due to exposure to persistent organic pollutants originating from Cold War military installations in the U.S. Arctic; neurological effects in the Anindilyakwa people due to manganese exposure originating from the world’s largest manganese mine on Groote Island, Australia; health risks associated with agrochemical exposure in Mayan communities in Guatemala; and health risks associated with perchlorate and agrochemical exposure in migrant farmworkers along the U.S.-Mexico border. His work integrates a variety of approaches to establish routes of exposure and mechanisms of developmental disruption ranging from the genome to the whole organism and its environment. 

Brigitte von Rechenberg, Prof Dr med Vet, Dipl ECVS:

Dan Voytas profile

Dan Voytas, PhD 

Dr. Dan Voytas is a Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and the Director of the Center for Genome Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Voytas graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1990. He conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was a fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas was a professor at Iowa State University (1992-2008). Dr. Voytas is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Specializing in molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Voytas’ research focuses on genome modification using nucleases that recognize specific DNA sequences. In 2005, he co-founded the Zinc Finger Consortium, a group of academic scientists focused on creating open-source platforms for engineering zinc finger nucleases for targeted mutagenesis. His laboratory developed a superior class of sequence-specific nucleases – Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) – which were heralded by Science magazine as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2012. Using Cas9/CRISPR-based nucleases, Dr. Voytas’ lab is currently optimizing methods for efficiently making targeted genome modifications in a variety of plant species. Recent advances in Dr. Voytas’ lab include the use of geminivirus replicons to dramatically increase the frequency of precise genome modifications in multiple plant species. In addition to his position at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas advises agricultural biotechnology companies on the use of new methods of genome engineering for crop improvement and serves as Chief Science Officer for Calyxt.

Richard Weinshilboum, MD

Dr. Weinshilboum received B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Kansas, followed by residency training in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was also a Pharmacology Research Associate at the NIH in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Julius Axelrod. He is presently Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine and Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics Research at Mayo. He also co-directs the Pharmacogenomics Program of the Mayo Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Weinshilboum’s research has focused on pharmacogenomics, with over 420 manuscripts on that topic. His major area of research has been the pharmacogenetics of drug metabolism, with a focus on methylation and sulfation. He has also applied genome-wide “omics” to study drug response--especially the drug therapy of depression and breast cancer. Dr. Weinshilboum has been the recipient of many awards including an Established Investigatorship of the American Heart Association, a Burroughs Wellcome Scholar Award in Clinical Pharmacology, the Oscar B. Hunter Award of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the ASPET Harry Gold Award and the Edvard Poulsson Award from the Norwegian Pharmacology Society. He has also served on the Advisory Councils for two US NIH Institutes, the NIGMS and NHGRI.Society.  He has also served on the Advisory Councils for two US NIH Institutes, the NIGMS and NHGRI.

Edward You, MS 

Edward You is a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Biological Countermeasures Unit. Mr. You is responsible for creating programs and activities to coordinate and improve FBI and interagency efforts to identify, assess, and respond to biological threats or incidents. These efforts include expanding FBI outreach to the Life Sciences community to address biosecurity. Before being promoted to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Mr. You was a member of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force and served on the FBI Hazardous Evidence Response Team. Mr. You has also been directly involved in policy-making efforts with a focus on biosecurity. He served as a Working Group member for the National Security Council Policy Coordinating Committee on Countering Biological Threats and is a current Ex Officio member of the NIH National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He also serves on two National Academies of Sciences committees, the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats and the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law’s Forum on Synthetic Biology. Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. You worked for six years in graduate research with a focus in human gene therapy at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. He subsequently worked for three years at the biotechnology firm AMGEN Inc. in cancer research.

Amir Zeituni, PhD

Dr. Amir E. Zeituni is a microbiologist and immunologist working as Scientific Review Officer, in the Microbiology Review Branch, for the Scientific Review Program (SRP) in the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health. He facilitates the scientific peer-review of grants, contracts, cooperative agreements applications and proposals. He received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of California in Santa Barbara. He received a Master of Science in Microbiology under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Maloy from San Diego State University. His research there focused on macrophages and whether they played a role in conferring Salmonella host range. He then left California and pursued a PhD in Microbiology at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Cutler. While at Stony Brook University, Dr. Zeituni applied for and received an NIH F31 award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), to conduct his research on Porphyromonas gingivalis and its adhesion molecules. Dr. Zeituni identified sugar moieties on P. gingivalis adhesions. These sugar moieties are utilized by the pathogen to target DC-SIGN, promote dendritic cell dysregulation and enable the microbes to travel through the endothelial system to persist. After completing his degree Dr. Zeituni went to work as an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Carole Long at the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID. There he developed an assay to explore correlates of immunity in young children against circulating malaria strains in Mali. Dr. Zeituni then went to work as a Senior Scientist for Global Science and Technology, as an embedded contractor for NASA’s Space Biology program. At GST, he was responsible to help draft NASA research solicitations for experiments to be conducted on the International Space Station, and for strategic planning to maintain programmatic balance.