2015 About TWD 2015 Speaker Information

Confirmed Speakers/Presenters
(listed in the order as they appear in the program)

Dr. Jon Lorsch Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health  Credit: Bill Branson, NIHJon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., became the director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in August 2013.

In this position, Lorsch oversees the Institute's $2.291 billion budget, which primarily funds basic research in the areas of cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics and computational biology. NIGMS supports nearly 4,500 research grants—about 10.5 percent of those funded by NIH as a whole—as well as a substantial amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.

Lorsch came to NIGMS from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a professor in the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1999 and became a full professor in 2009.

A leader in RNA biology, Lorsch studies the initiation of translation, a major step in controlling how genes are expressed. When this process goes awry, viral infection, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer can result. To dissect the mechanics of translation initiation, Lorsch and collaborators developed a yeast-based system and a wide variety of biochemical and biophysical methods. The work also has led to efforts to control translation initiation through chemical reagents, such as drugs.

NIGMS supported Lorsch's research from 2000-2013. He also received grants from NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Institute of Mental Health, as well as from other funding organizations.

Lorsch is as passionate about education as he is about research. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he worked to reform the curricula for graduate and medical education, spearheaded the development of the Center for Innovation in Graduate Biomedical Education, and launched a program offering summer research experiences to local high school students, many from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. In addition, he advised dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Lorsch received a B.A. in chemistry from Swarthmore College in 1990 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1995, where he worked in the laboratory of Jack Szostak, Ph.D. He conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the laboratory of Daniel Herschlag, Ph.D.

Lorsch is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters and other papers. He has also been the editor of three volumes of Methods in Enzymology and a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. He has one patent and one patent application related to his translation research. His honors include six teaching awards from Johns Hopkins.

Lorsch’s other activities include membership on the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s mentoring committee, the RNA Society’s board of directors and NIH review committees.

Photo Credit: Bill Branson, NIH
  Dr. Audrey Murrell Audrey Murrell, Ph.D. is currently Associate Dean of within the College of Business Administration and Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Business.  She received her B.S. from Howard University, magna cum laud in 1983 and both an M.S. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Delaware. After obtaining her Ph.D., she joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. 

Dr. Murrell conducts research on mentoring, careers in organizations, workplace/supplier diversity and social issues in management.  This work has been published widely in management and psychology journals including several books: “Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations” (with Crosby and Ely); “Intelligent Mentoring:  How IBM Creates Value through People, Knowledge and Relationships” (with Forte-Trummel and Bing); and, the forthcoming books entitled “Mentoring in Medical and Health Care Professions” (with South-Paul) and “Mentoring Diverse Leaders:  Creating Change for People, Processes and Paradigms” (McGraw-Hill) with Stacy Blake-Beard.

Dr. Murrell serves as a consultant in the areas of mentoring, leadership development, and workforce/supplier diversity.  Her clients have included Alcoa, IBM, Microsoft, Heinz, Novartis, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Bombardier, Kaiser Permanente, Fed-Ex Ground, Executive Leadership Council (ELC), National Association of Minorities in Communication (NAMIC), American Association of Blacks in Energy, YWCA, Carnegie Libraries, Human Engineering Research Labs, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Kent State University, Howard University and Hampton University.  Audrey’s community service activities include having served on and chaired a number of non-profit and community boards.
 Michael Sesma, Ph.D., is chief of the Postdoctoral Training Branch in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity, where he oversees postdoctoral programs for research training, postdoctoral fellowship, career development programs, as well as the Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) and workforce modeling programs. Sesma returned to NIGMS after a 10-year career at the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was chief of the Research Scientist Development Program in the Office for Special Populations. Before that, he was a scientific review administrator in the NIGMS Office of Scientific Review and a program director in the Institute's Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. Sesma earned a B.A. in biology and psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside. He conducted postdoctoral research at Vanderbilt University.
Carlos Crespo, Dr.Ph.D., M.S. 
MariaElena Zavala, Ph.D. 
Dr. David Burgess David Burgess, Ph.D. is a professor of biology at Boston College and a former president of SACNAS. His Cherokee great grandmother was a medicine woman, his father was a teacher and junior high school principal honored for serving minority students and his mother was a homemaker. He was raised in New Mexico and Northern California. His current research, funded by the NIH since 1977, is in the area of cell division and on the science education pipeline for American Indians. He has received several awards including a Research Career Development Award from the NIH and the E. E. Just Award from the American Society for Cell Biology where he was recently elected to Council. He was recently elected Fellow of AAAS.

He has served on numerous national panels, both in basic science review and on study sections whose goal is to increase the diversity of scientists. He serves on the Minority Action Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology. He has presented a number of keynote addresses and lectures to scientific societies, universities and other organizations on his research and in the area of training disparities for minorities in the sciences. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Office of Research on Minority Health at the NIH, the Advisory Committee to the Director at NIH, the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute Advisory Council, the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering and the Biological, and Environmental Research Advisory Committee for the Department of Energy.
Dr. Fabian Miles Miles Fabian, Ph.D. is a program director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). He manages research grant awards in the areas of bioorganic and medicinal chemistry as well as overseeing institutional training grants in Chemical Biology. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Fabian was the founding scientist at Ambit Biosciences in San Diego where he led efforts to develop the company’s core technology, KINOMEscan.  He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. Fabian was a NIH Fellow at Yale University.
Dr. Thomas LargeThomas Large, Ph.D. leads discovery and preclinical research for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc, which focuses on therapies that advance the science of medicine in the psychiatry, neurology and respiratory disease areas to improve the lives of patients and their families.
Dr. Large joined the company in 2007 and prior to his appointment to Senior Vice President of Discovery and Preclinical Research, he served as Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery.  Under his leadership, the discovery group at Sunovion is heavily invested in meeting unmet medical needs, focused on different approaches and new solutions, including in the area of neurobiology, and works in research collaborations worldwide. 
Previously, Dr. Large was a scientific leader and manager for eight years at Eli Lilly in neuroscience research, where he led several projects that resulted in clinical candidates for anxiety, psychosis and pain.  During his tenure with Eli Lilly, Dr. Large also managed a group developing innovative approaches for drug targets in the central nervous system (CNS), endocrine and oncology therapeutic areas.
Dr. Large holds a PhD in Neurobiology/Physiology from Northwestern University and completed a Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Large has served as a faculty member of the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University Medical School. 
 Avery August, Ph.D. assumed his position as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in July 2010. His previous position was as Distinguished Professor of Immunology in the Department of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Molecular Immunology & Infectious Disease, at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, where he started as an Assistant Professor in 1999. He received a B.S. degree in Medical Technology from the California State University at Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. degree in Immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.  He was a Postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University with the late Hidesaburo Hanafusa.  His research program has maintained continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for research on regulation of T cell activation and the development of lung immune responses.
Anna Mapp, Ph.D.
Dr. Brian Nosek Brian Nosek, Ph.D. received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 2002 and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. In 2007, he received early career awards from the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON) and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He co-founded Project Implicit (http://projectimplicit.net/) an Internet-based multi-university collaboration of research and education about implicit cognition – thoughts and feelings that exist outside of awareness or control. Nosek investigates the gap between values and practices – such as when behavior is influenced by factors other than one's intentions and goals. Research applications of this interest are implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, automaticity, social judgment and decision-making, attitudes, beliefs, ideology, morality, identity, memory, and barriers to innovation. Through lectures, training, and consulting, Nosek applies scientific research to improve the alignment between personal and organizational values and practices. Nosek also co-founded and directs the Center for Open Science (COS; http://centerforopenscience.org) that operates the Open Science Framework (http://openscienceframework.org/). The COS aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research.
Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D.
Kenneth Gibbs, Ph.D. is a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Science of Research & Technology Branch (SRTB) of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Dr. Gibbs’ conducts policy-relevant research aimed at strengthening the research enterprise. His work focuses on: 1) Biomedical Graduate and Postdoctoral Training, Workforce Development & Workforce Diversity. Specifically, understanding the mechanisms of career development among recent biomedical Ph.D. graduates and postdocs, and how they differ across lines of race/ethnicity and gender, so that strategies can be developed to promote inclusive excellence; and 2) Developing methodologies for evaluation & dissemination of best practices in “team science”.

Prior to the NCI, Dr. Gibbs completed a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Human Resource Development (HRD). As a AAAS fellow, he contributed to the federal government’s strategic STEM education plan by developing evidence-based recommendations for engagement programs, and initiated the Burroughs Wellcome Fund supported “STEM Ph.D. Careers” research project to identify the factors impacting the career development of recent Ph.D. graduates.

Dr. Gibbs completed his Ph.D. in the Immunology program at Stanford University, and received his B.S. in biochemistry & molecular biology summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he was a Meyerhoff, MARC, and HHMI scholar. Dr. Gibbs serves on the Board of Directors for the National Postdoctoral Association. He has written about career development for Science Careers, and science diversity issues for Scientific American.

 Hannah Valantine MDAlison Hall, Ph.D., is Acting Director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which supports the Institute’s research training, career development, diversity and capacity-building activities through a number of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, faculty and institutional levels. She joined NIGMS following two decades at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with neuroscience research supported by grants from the NIH, other federal agencies and additional funding organizations. There, as professor in the department of neurosciences and associate dean of graduate education, she trained numerous graduate, undergraduate and postdoctoral fellows, and participated in federal review panels for training and research. As a graduate dean, she was instrumental in developing a relational database for following students through careers, and in institutional T32 preparation and implementation, as well as directing several research education programs. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. She brings this wealth of experience to the Division.

Larry Tabak, D.D.S, Ph.D. 
Anne L. Plant, Ph.D.