BMCB-GGD Symposium 2020

Eliezer Calo, Ph.D.

Eliezer Calo

MITCalo Lab

Eliezer Calo was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He was the first in his family to attend college. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus and a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For postdoctoral training, he attended Stanford University and was awarded with the prestigious Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellowship. Currently, he is the Irwin and Helen Sizer Career Development Professorship in Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of the Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar and Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Awards and was named a 2019 Pew Scholar.

Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.

Erika Holzbaur

University of PennsylvaniaHolzbaur Lab

Erika Holzbaur is the William Maul Measey Professor of Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She received her B.S. with High Honors in Chemistry and History from the College of William and Mary and her PhD in Biochemistry from Penn State. Holzbaur joined the faculty at Penn in 1992, where she is now an endowed professor in the Department of Physiology. The Holzbaur lab studies the dynamics of organelle motility along the cellular cytoskeleton. This motility is required to drive the active transport of vesicles and organelles over distances of up to 1 meter along the axons and dendrites of neurons. The lab also investigates cellular mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration, focusing on the dynamics of autophagy and mitophagy in neurons, pathways which are critical to maintain neuronal homeostasis. Dr. Holzbaur has received a Porter Fellowship, the NINDS Javits Award, the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award, the Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award, and is a Lifetime Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology. More than 40 postdocs and students have trained in her lab, many now on faculties at major research institutes.

Kevin Esvelt, Ph.D.

Kevin Esvelt

MITMIT Media Lab

Kevin Esvelt is director of the Sculpting Evolution group, which invents new ways to study and influence the evolution of ecosystems. By carefully developing and testing these methods with openness and humility, the group seeks to address difficult ecological problems for the benefit of humanity and the natural world. Esvelt is credited as the first to describe how CRISPR gene drives could be used to alter the traits of wild populations in an evolutionarily stable manner. And recently, he and his Sculpting Evolution group devised a new form of technology, called ‘daisy drives’, which would let communities aiming to prevent disease alter wild organisms in local ecosystems. By emphasizing universal safeguards and early transparency, he has worked to ensure that community discussions always precede and guide the development of technologies that will impact the shared environment.

Graham F. Hatfull, Ph.D.

Graham Hatfull

University of PittsburgHatfull Lab

Dr. Hatfull is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Edinburgh University in 1981 and did postdoctoral work at Yale University with Dr. Nigel Grindley and at the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University, with Fred Sanger and Bart Barrell. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 and served as Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences from 2003 to 2011. Dr. Hatfull’s research focuses on the molecular genetics of the mycobacteria and their bacteriophages, and their use for educational advancement. Dr. Hatfull has published over 235 peer-reviewed articles, 40 book chapters or reviews, and has co-edited four books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor since 2002.

Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D.

Rachel Haurwitz

Caribou BiosciencesCaribou Biosciences

Rachel is a co-founder of Caribou Biosciences and has been President and CEO since its inception in 2011. She has a research background in CRISPR-Cas biology, and is also a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics. In 2014, she was named by Forbes Magazine to the "30 Under 30" list in Science and Healthcare, and in 2016, Fortune Magazine named her to the "40 Under 40" list of the most influential young people in business. In 2018, the Association for Women in Science recognized Rachel with the annual Next Generation Award. Rachel is an inventor on several patents and patent applications covering multiple CRISPR-based technologies, and she has co-authored scientific papers in high impact journals characterizing CRISPR-Cas systems. Rachel earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Jennifer Doudna’s lab at the University of California, Berkeley.