Robert Gallo


Robert Gallo is globally-recognized for his pioneering discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the agent responsible for AIDS. He has developed blood tests to screen for AIDS, created therapies to increase the lifespan of AIDS patients, made breakthroughs in slowing AIDS with chemical compounds. In addition to his work on AIDS, Dr. Gallo was the first to discover a human retrovirus, the only known cancer-causing human leukemia virus (HTLV), and an interleukin compound now used to treat cancer.

Robert Gallo served as the head of the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology for three decades at the NIH’s National Cancer Institute and has published nearly 1,300 papers. He is also a co-founder of the biotechnology company Profectus BioSciences, Inc. He has won over 80 awards, including two Lasker Prizes, the most prestigious American award in biomedical research, the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor, the Griffuel prize from the Association for Cancer Research. Between 1981 and 1990, he was the most cited scientist and was ranked third globally for scientific impact between 1983 and 2002. Robert Gallo is currently director and co-founder of The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Laurie Santos


Laurie Santos is a Professor of Psychology at Yale University and conducts research exploring the human mind and cognitive ability through an evolutionary perspective. Her studies of non-human primates answer the questions: How are non-human primates similar to humans in irrationality--or more specifically, biased decisionmaking? What are the cognitive abilities unique to the human mind? How do primates perceive and group objects in the physical world? Do primates have a theory of mind? Her Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale looks closely at human-like behaviors such as jealousy, judgment, financial irrationality, and frustration. She has been featured in TEDGlobal, Big Think, The New York Times, The Economist, The New Yorker, and NOVA, and was named by Popular Science Magazine as a “Brilliant 10 Young Minds.” Her numerous awards include Harvard University’s George W. Geothals Award for Teaching Excellence, Yale University’s Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Junior Faculty, and the Stanton Prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for her important contributions to interdisciplinary research.

Stephen Wolfram


Stephen Wolfram is the creator of the popular computational software program Mathematica as well as knowledge search engine, Wolfram|Alpha. As founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, Stephen Wolfram is pioneering computational science, providing increasingly more useful tools in scientific and technological innovation.

As a boy, Stephen Wolfram wrote his first book on particle physics at the age of 14. In his early teens, he published widely-cited papers in journals such as Nuclear Physics, Nuovo Cimento, and Physical Review. At the age of 20, he received his PhD in theoretical physics at Caltech, at which he became a faculty member, winning a MacArthur “Genius” grant a few years later for his work in physics and computing. Drawing inspiration from his work on cellular automata, Stephen Wolfram has introduced new ways of thinking in his book A New Kind of Science. Stephen Wolfram is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He is now cited by over 30,000 research publications and has featured his cutting-edge ideas at the global TED conference.

John Mather


Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he specializes in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He received his Bachelor’s degree in physics at Swarthmore College and his PhD in physics at the University of California at Berkeley.

As an NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and the Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on COBE. He and his team showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million, confirming the Big Bang theory to extraordinary accuracy. The COBE team also discovered the cosmic anisotropy (hot and cold spots in the background radiation), now believed to be the primordial seeds that led to the structure of the universe today. It was these findings that led to Dr. Mather receiving the Nobel Prize in 2006.

Dr. Mather now serves as Senior Project Scientist (95-present) for the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the great Hubble Space Telescope.

Xiao-Li Meng


Xiao-Li Meng is the Dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor at Harvard University, and previous Chair of the Statistics Department. As a prominent academic known for not only his visions as an administrator but also as a successful researcher in the field of statistics, Xiao-Li Meng has contributed more than 120 publications in areas ranging from statistical methods and computations to applications in engineering and medical sciences as well as in professional development. In 2001, he received the COPSS President’s Award in recognition for his outstanding contributions in the field of statistics. He has also made contributions as an editor for the journals Bayesian Analysis and Statistical Sinica. In 1982, he received his BS from Fudan University before receiving his PhD in statistics at Harvard in 1990. Now, he is a fellow of the Institute of Statistical Sciences as well as the American Statistical Association.

Alfred Spector


Alfred Spector is Vice President of Research for Google. Before his current position at Google, Alfred Spector held the title of Vice President of Services and Software Research at IBM. He was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and through his experience with distributed computing, Alfred Spector co-founded Transarc Corporation, which pioneered distributed transaction processing. In 2001, he was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Tsutsomu Kanai Award for his contributions to distributed computing systems. Alfred Spector is now a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery. Alfred Spector received a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College, and then received his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University, where his dissertation was on multiprocessing architectures for local computer networks.

NCRC 2014 Workshops



Want to be the most cited academic in the world? Perhaps you’d like to see your paper in Nature? Participants who attend this workshop will learn the ins and outs of publishing research.

The speaker is Samuel Gubins, who earned a PhD in Economics from Johns Hopkins and was on the faculty of Haverford College until 1981. He subsequently became the Senior Vice President of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia where he had broad administrative responsibilities, including the direction of its exhibit “Discovering Dinosaurs”. For the past 18 years he has been the President and Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews, a non-profit scientific publishing organization.

Since 1982 Dr. Gubins has served as the Treasurer of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian Science Publishing, an independent, not-for-profit organization that evolved from the National Research Council of Canada’s respected NRC Research Press. Dr. Gubins is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Grant Writing/Research Proposals

Be it from the NIH or the NEH, funding is fundamental to bringing your work to fruition. If you want to continue with groundbreaking research, stop by this workshop to learn about writing grants and research proposals.


Dr. Freedman was born February 6, 1955 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He received his BA from Boston University, his PhD from Yale University School of Medicine in the section of Cell Biology, and his MD from University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Freedman did his internship, residency and fellowship in gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. From 1993 to 1995, he was part of the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Freedman has been a Physician at BI Deaconess Medical Center in Boston since 1991 and Director of the Pancreas Center since 1998. In 2002, Dr. Freedman was named Trustee at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and also became Chief of the Division of Translational Research at BI Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Being the Chair of NPF’s Grant Review Council is only one of the many commitments of time and energy that Dr. Freedman devotes to NPF, in spite of an incredible schedule. Dr. Freedman joined the NPF Board of Directors in 2000 and immediately advocated for the organization’s mission by giving public credit to NPF when presenting abstracts at the annual American Pancreatic Association and DDW meetings. He has also been instrumental in obtaining financial support from healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to sponsor NPF seminars and workshops.


Want to become the next Richard Branson? This workshop will teach the fundamentals of entrepreneurship for those who wish to bring their research work to the market. Participants will learn topics ranging from forming a value proposition to giving investor pitches.

The speaker, Abby Fichtner (@HackerChick), is Hacker in Residence at Harvard Innovation Lab and creator of Hack Boston. Named an Innovation Amplifier by the Boston Globe and one of the Top 25 Women in Boston Tech – Abby launched Boston’s Big Data Hacker Space and was Microsoft’s Evangelist for Startups, where she had the extreme privilege of getting to help hundreds of early stage companies as they built out the next generation of technology.

A software developer by trade, Abby’s prior background is a mixture of developing bleeding-edge technology for startups and coaching teams on how to develop software better. Abby is extremely passionate about building communities where innovation thrives because she believes that each and every one of us is capable of changing the world.

Science and the Media

Ever wondered what it takes to become a best-selling researcher like Steven Pinker or Malcolm Gladwell? Or maybe you’re interested in how science is portrayed in the media? Join this workshop to learn about the interactions between science and the press.

The speaker is Christopher Reddy, PhD, a senior scientist and director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA. He studies marine pollution with a specialization in oil spills. He is currently investigating numerous spills from World War II wrecks in the South Pacific to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Chris has authored >130 peer-reviewed manuscripts, hold three patents, and written over 25 opinion pieces on the intersection of science, society, and the media. He also teaches and lectures on communicating science.

Dr. Reddy was a Kavli Fellow, awarded in 2009, 2010, and 2011 (chair) by the US National Academy of Science, which is the Academy's premiere recognition for distinguished young scientists under 45 years of age. He recently was awarded the 2014 CC Patterson Award for leading an innovative breakthrough of fundamental significance in environmental geochemistry, particularly in service to society.

Presenting Your Research

The speaker is Gregory Llacer, who was appointed Harvard College’s first director of the Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives in January, 2010, and now serves as the director of the recently-created Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. An Associate of Leverett House and a member of the Harvard College Board of Freshman Advisers, Mr. Llacer also directs the Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE). Before joining the Office of the President and Provost as Harvard’s institutional director of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs in 2006, Mr. Llacer formerly was an assistant director of fellowships in the Office of Career Services and coordinator of the Herchel Smith Harvard Research and Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowships Programs.

Prior to arriving at Harvard in 2004, Mr. Llacer managed educational initiatives and academic enrichment programs for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) as institutional administrator for the NSF-supported VaNTH Engineering Research Center. Mr. Llacer spent the first 16 years of his administrative career on the staff of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of California, San Diego, where he was the senior research analyst for the Vice Chancellor for Research, responsible for management of institutional exceptions to research policy, shared research facilities information, research integrity case administration, and other general research matters. Mr. Llacer received an AB degree from San Diego State University in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on education, and conducted postgraduate study at UCSD and SDSU specializing in the areas of cross-cultural education and language policy.


Hosted by the Harvard University Office of Career Services, this workshop will teach participants the essential skills for networking in time for the NCRC 2014 career fair. Dress to impress and bring your business cards.


NCRC 2014 Panels


The Interest and Imperatives of Climate Research


Dr. Kerry Emanuel is the Cecil and Ida Green professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1981, after spending three years on the faculty of UCLA. Professor Emanuel's research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction. He is the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and two books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press and aimed at a general audience, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press.

David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for twenty five years. He took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, won MIT's prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was listed as one of TIME magazine'sHeroes of the Environment 2009. David divides his time between Cambridge where he is Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in theSchool of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy in theHarvard Kennedy School; and Calgary, where he helps lead Carbon Engineering a company developing technology to capture of CO2 from ambient air.

Loretta J. Mickley co-leads the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group at Harvard. Her research focuses on chemistry-climate interactions in the troposphere. She seeks to understand how short-lived gases and particles affect climate and how climate, in turn, influences atmospheric composition. Key topics in her research include the effects of climate change on smog, the impacts of aerosol trends on regional climate, and the oxidation capacity of paleo atmospheres. Recent work from her group has suggested a link between the U.S. “warming hole” of the mid-20th century and trends in anthropogenic aerosols. Another recent study predicted increased wildfire activity in western United States during the 21st century, with consequences for air quality.

Research/Careers in the Humanities

Come learn about pursuing a research career in the humanities.

Maria Polinsky

My work is at the intersection of theoretical syntax and study of cross-linguistic variation in sentence structure. I am interested in the ways linguistic theory can be used as a roadmap for understanding how people process language and for obtaining meaningful results that feed back into theory. Language-wise, I specialize in Austronesian and languages of the Caucasus. I also have a particular interest in heritage languages which are strikingly similar to each other, regardless of the input (baseline) language. It is important to understand why they share so many grammatical similarities with each other. In terms of linguistic phenomena, I am particularly interested in long-distance dependencies, case assignment, and control/raising.

Alexander Rehding

Rehding spent many years at the other Cambridge (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD) and held research fellowships at Emmanuel College Cambridge, the Penn Humanities Forum and the Princeton Society of Fellows before joining the Harvard Department in 2003. Rehding was co-editor of Acta musicologica 2006-2011, and is Editor-in-chief of the Oxford Handbook Online series in Music (now Oxford Research Reviews).

He has worked extensively on Hugo Riemann¹s theories and musical culture in nineteenth-century Germany, resulting in the books Hugo Riemann and the Birth of Modern Musical Thought (2003, pb 2008) and Music and Monumentality (2009). Rehding¹s interest in tonal theory¹s encounter with non-tonal music has found expression in an exhibition (with online catalog) "Sounding China in Enlightenment Europe" (2010). His current book project, "Notes on Sound: Nineteenth-Century Music between Acoustics and Aesthetics," examines how nineteenth-century music theory is situated between science and philosophy. Rehding has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, including Guggenheim, ACLS, Mellon, Humboldt, and Channing.

Graduate School/Fellowships

Drop by this panel to learn about applying to graduate school or securing fellowships.

Daniel Smaltz

Daniel Smaltz grew up in Paxton, Massachusetts, USA. He received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2009. During his undergraduate years he conducted research in synthetic organic chemistry with Michael Hearn at Wellesley College and James Dittami at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Daniel then began graduate studies at Harvard University, studying the synthesis and biological evaluation of anticancer natural products known as the trioxacarcins in the laboratory of Andrew Myers, with financial support from a National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship.

Charles Nelson

Nelson’s research interests are broadly concerned with developmental cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary field concerned with the intersection of brain and cognitive development. His specific interests are concerned with the effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development, particularly the effects of early biological insults and early psychosocial adversity.. Nelson studies both typically developing children and children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (particularly autism), and he employs behavioral, electrophysiological (ERP), and metabolic (fNIRS and MRI) tools in his research.

Jacob Sanders

Jacob Sanders has been at Harvard for longer than he can remember. He graduated from Harvard with an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Physics, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. there in Chemical Physics. His research focuses on applying new state-of-the-art signal processing techniques to quantum chemistry and spectroscopy. Jacob is also a devoted teacher, and has TFed classes ranging from Organic Chemistry to Quantum Mechanics to Scientific Computing during his time at Harvard, for which he received the Dudley R. Herschbach Teaching Award for "excellence in teaching and dedication to departmental service." As he is currently funded by a Department of Defense Fellowship, Jacob is happy to discuss anything about research, teaching, applying to graduate school, and applying for fellowships. In his free time, Jacob is an avid watcher of Breaking Bad (which is sadly over) and The Big Bang Theory.

Medical School

After gauging participant interest from NCRC 2013, we decided to hold a panel separate from graduate school admissions. Attend this panel to ask your questions about applying to medical school.

Nancy Oriol

As Dean for Students, Dr. Oriol heads the Office of Student Affairs, with a focus on the individual and professional growth and development of HMS students, including career path and specialty choice. She is Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Oriol is a respected researcher who has studied the effects of maternal cocaine use on fetal outcome, heart rate variability as a measure of fetal well-being, and developed the "walking epidural". She is the inventor of two medical devices: the NEO-VAC Meconium Suction Catheter for newborn resuscitation and a fetal data processing system and method for assessing fetal heart rates during labor to detect fetuses at risk for birth asphyxia. In addition Dr. Oriol is founder of the Family Van, a public health outreach program, co-creator of the collaborative research network, Most recently she co-created HMSMEDscience a high school science course that inspires critical thinking and science literacy through immersion in simulated medical emergencies.

Morgan Freret

Morgan Freret is in her third year of the combined MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School. Her doctoral research in Susan Dymecki’s lab focuses on molecular and functional characterization of subtypes of serotonergic neurons. Prior to graduate school, she obtained her BS in Biology from Stanford University and spent two years working in Phil Beachy’s lab at Stanford studying the pathophysiology of a type of pediatric brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. She is also a resident tutor and premed advisor at Mather House.

Jennifer Lo

Jennifer Lo is a fourth-year MD/PhD student at Harvard Medical School and resident tutor at Quincy House. Jennifer graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2010. She is currently a graduate student in David E. Fisher’s laboratory at MGH, where the topic of her thesis research is melanoma.

Avinash Ketwaroo

Dr Avinash Ketwaroo graduated from Brown University with the department's first degree in chemical physics before completing Masters degrees in theoretical chemistry and medical imaging at Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. After Harvard Medical School, he completed internal medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is now a gastroenterology fellow at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His research interests include chronic pancreatitis, esophageal disorders and hepatobiliary disease. He plans on a career in academic medicine with a focus on clinical research and global health work in his native Jamaica.

Linda Wang

Linda Wang is enrolled in the joint MD/MBA Program at Harvard University, Class of 2014. She graduated from Harvard University in 2009 with an A.B. in Chemistry, a secondary in Health Care Policy, and a language citation in Spanish. She is a John Harvard Scholar, a published author, and has been active in a variety of leadership roles ranging from director of an after-school program to designing and implementing new teaching strategies for underserved schools in Chile. She additionally was selected to serve on the Harvard Medical School Admissions Committee.

Linda was elected the National Student President of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) in 2011 and is a strong advocate for women’s health as well as gender parity in medicine. She has served as the student liaison for both the National AMWA Membership Committee and the Women's Health Working Group. Through these committees she has participated in projects that continue to push for the inclusion of gender- and sex-specific medicine into the medical school curricula. She is currently the International Co-chair of the Young Medical Women’s International Association.

Politics of Science

Science extends beyond the realm of the laboratory. Come to this panel to ask all about the role of science in public policy, be it on global development or climate change.

Robert Bates

Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for International Development, and a member of the Department of African and African-American Studies. He also serves as Professeur associe, Department of Economics, University of Toulouse. After rising to Full Professor at the California Institute of Technology, he became the Henry R. Luce Professor of Political Science and Economics at Duke University, where he also directed its Center for Political Economy. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he received his B. A. from Haverford in 1964 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1969. He is the author of numerous books, including Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981), Beyond the Miracles of the Market (1989), Open Economy Politics (1997), Analytic Narratives (1998), Prosperity and Violence (2002) and When Things Fell Apart (2008). He is also co-author and co-editor of the 2 volume study of the Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000 (2008). Bates has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Brazil and several nations in Africa. Among his fields of interest are political economy; political development; political violence; and African politics. He has served as President of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, Vice President of the Association and a member of the board of the African Studies Association. He presently serves as a member of the Political Instability Task Force of the United States government and as a consultant at the World Bank.

Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker is the author of four books, two of which tell of the history of psychiatry. His first, Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill was named by Discover magazine as one of the best science books of 2002. His newest book on this topic, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, won the Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for best investigative journalism in 2010.

Prior to writing books, Robert Whitaker worked as the science and medical reporter at the Albany Times Union newspaper in New York for a number of years. His journalism articles won several national awards, including a George Polk award for medical writing, and a National Association of Science Writers’ award for best magazine article. A series he co-wrote for The Boston Globe was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. He also was director of publications at Harvard Medical School for a time.

Eugenie Reich

Eugenie Samuel Reich is a science reporter and book author in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she covers the physical sciences for the news section of Nature, the international science journal. Reich has published numerous investigative and analytical stories on science policy and scientific wrong-doing, and is the author of Plastic Fantastic, a 2009 book on scientific fraud. She has written for Scientific American, Slate, New Scientist and The Boston Globe, and been a science documentary film researcher for the BBC in London. She has a BA in Physics and Philosophy from Oxford University.


Industry vs. Academia

Are you tormented between working at a Fortune 500 company and remaining a student for a couple more years? This panel will help you solve your dilemma.

Megan Bernard

Megan Bernard is a Doctoral Candidate in Strategy at Harvard Business School. She received her B.S.E. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University. Her current research focuses on the adoption and local adaptation of organizational and managerial practices within firms. Targeting settings in which a tradeoff exists between opportunities for adoption of or investments in new competencies and opportunities to continue with the same practices, she has evaluated this tradeoff through the lens of local firm, country, city, and team adoption. Ultimately, she seeks to holistically understand under what circumstances local adoption happens and how heterogeneity at the local level impacts investment in new competencies.

Prior to beginning her studies at HBS, Megan worked in Equity Electronic Trading at Merrill Lynch as a quantitative consultant.

Sujata Bhatia

Sujata K. Bhatia, MD, PhD, PE is a physician, bioengineer, and professionally licensed chemical engineer who serves on the teaching faculty of biomedical engineering and executive education at Harvard University. She is the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard; she is the academic advisor for all Harvard undergraduate students in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. She is also a Lecturer on Biomedical Engineering. In addition, she is an Associate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; She has demonstrated a strong commitment not only to biomedical engineering research, but also to education, community outreach, and student life.

Hongkun Park

Hongkun Park is a professor of chemistry and of physics at Harvard University. He received his BS in chemistry at Seoul National University in 1990, and his PhD in physical chemistry at Stanford University in 1996 under Richard Zare. From 1996 to 1999 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under A. Paul Alivisatos and Paul McEuen. His current research focuses on optoelectronics and plasmonics using nanostructuresnano-bio interfacing, and neuro-electronic devices.

Joint Degree Programs

Never heard of a JD/PhD program? How about an MD/JD? Come explore some additional options you thought you never had at this panel.

Loren Walensky

Loren D. Walensky, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Principal Investigator and Pediatric Oncology Attending Physician in the Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children’s Hospital Boston, Medical Director of Dana-Farber’s Linde Program in Cancer Chemical Biology, and Director of the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program. He serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber and is affiliated with the graduate programs in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Chemical Biology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Walensky’s research focuses on the chemical biology of deregulated apoptotic and transcriptional pathways in cancer and other human diseases. The goal of his laboratory is to develop an arsenal of new compounds-a “chemical toolbox”-to investigate and block pathologic protein interactions. To achieve these objectives, his group takes a multidisciplinary approach that employs synthetic chemistry techniques, structural biology analyses, and biochemical, cellular, and mouse modeling experiments to systematically dissect the signaling pathways of interest. Dr. Walensky’s team has applied chemical strategies for generating highly specific and stable “stapled peptides” that preserve the structure of biologically active peptides, maximizing their potential as therapeutic reagents and as novel tools to elucidate biological pathways in normal and diseased tissues. In attacking clinically-relevant research challenges using a cache of techniques drawn from diverse basic disciplines, Dr. Walensky has broken new ground in our understanding of the protein interactions that govern the critical balance between cellular life and death, and is providing new pharmacologic strategies to target them.

Dr. Walensky is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including a Stand Up to Cancer Innovative Research Grant, an NIH Director’s Transformative RO1 Award, the Society of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, an American Society of Hematology Junior Faculty Scholar Award, a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, a Harvard Medical School Young Mentor Award, and most recently, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Morse Award for Research Excellence and the Samuel Rosenthal Prize for Excellence in Academic Pediatrics.

Dr. Walensky graduated as valedictorian from Princeton University in 1990, majoring in Chemistry and receiving a Certificate in Science Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He went on to receive his MD and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1997, having focused his graduate studies on signal transduction in the laboratory of Solomon Snyder, M.D. Dr. Walensky trained in pediatrics at the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics. He completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children’s Hospital Boston, joined the faculty as Instructor of Pediatrics in 2003, and founded his independent research laboratory in 2006. His postdoctoral research studies that led to the development of bioactive stapled peptides as both powerful research tools and prototype therapeutics were jointly mentored by Gregory Verdine, Ph.D. of Harvard University and the late Stanley Korsmeyer, M.D. of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Walensky’s research contributed to the founding of Aileron Therapeutics, a Cambridge, MA biotechnology company that conducted the first-in-man stapled peptide clinical trial in 2013.

Stanley Shaw

Stanley Y. Shaw, MD PhD is Co-founder and Co-Director of the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH, Boston). CATCH develops quantitative phenotypes and integrative analytics for biomedical discovery and patient engagement, and involves collaborative faculty from MIT and the private sector. He is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. His research studies a wide range of measurable human traits in health and disease, from systems biology analysis on patient cells, to data mining of patient Electronic Medical Records, to wearable continuous behavioral and physiologic sensors. He received his A.B. in Chemistry & Physics from Harvard College, and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard; his Ph.D. in Biophysics studied DNA topology under the supervision of James Wang. Following clinical training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, he worked with Mark Fishman (currently President of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research) and Stuart Schreiber as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute physician post-doctoral fellow. He served as Chief Resident in the Dept. of Medicine at MGH, and is currently a practicing cardiologist in the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center.

Adrian Veres

Adrian Veres is currently a second year MD/PhD student at Harvard Medical School. Originally from Montreal, he came to Harvard for college and concentrated in Chemistry & Physics. Throughout his undergraduate years, he worked with Professor Roy Kishony on the evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic resistance. In his lab, he discovered the power of systems biology to study complex questions in biology. Since starting medical school, his interest shifted from bacteria to human stem cells. He is working in Prof. Doug Melton’s lab for his PhD, studying how human cells make fate decisions and, more importantly, how that process can be manipulated.

New at NCRC 2014! Are you interested in solving the world’s problems? Now is your chance to do so alongside the best research minds in the country. The Innovation Challenge event is a collaborative, engaging event that will take place across two days. You and fellow participants will refine macro-scale questions to frame more specific, tractable problems. Groups will then develop solutions to solve these challenges and present their proposals.

Students across diverse disciplines will tackle the some of the century’s most pressing problems:

How might we translate new technology into global development?

How can we apply a natural system to the detection or prevention of disease?

How might we balance need for care and profit in healthcare?

How might the U.S. achieve energy independence?

How might we measure and improve the wellbeing of citizens in closed, autocratic countries?

What role can numbers play in the humanities?

How might we better communicate to our current generation learnings from the past in order to learn from history?

How might we balance the expansion of MOOCs and EdX with face-to-face interaction in classrooms?


Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) is the global pharmaceutical research organization of Novartis. With approximately 6 000 scientists and physicians around the world, research at NIBR is focused on discovering innovative new drugs that can change the practice of medicine.

Headquartered in the United States in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the NIBR research network includes a major research center in Basel, Switzerland, and additional centers in East Hanover, New Jersey, USA; Emeryville, California, USA; La Jolla, California, USA; Siena, Italy; Horsham, England; Singapore; and Shanghai, China.


Schlumberger is the world’s leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to customers working in the oil and gas industry worldwide. Employing approximately 120,000 people representing over 140 nationalities and working in more than 85 countries, Schlumberger provides the industry’s widest range of products and services from exploration through production.


Naturejobs is the global career resource and jobs board for scientists. At, search thousands of science jobs worldwide, across a range of disciplines, from studentships to CEO level. We also cater for those looking for non-traditional or part-time science positions. Employers using the site range from top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to highly respected academic and government institutions and charities.

D. E. Shaw

Headquartered in New York City, the D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since its organization in 1988 by a former Columbia University computer science professor, David E. Shaw, the firm has earned an international reputation for successful investing based on financial innovation, careful risk management, and the quality and depth of our staff. Our investment activities are based on both mathematical models and our staff’s expertise, and our multi-disciplinary approach combines insights from quantitative fields, software development, sector expertise, and finance. We offer the benefits of being one of the world’s largest, most established alternative investment managers, with a world-class technology infrastructure, deep research capabilities, and programs that facilitate the ongoing growth and internal mobility of staff. We have a long history of looking for candidates who aren’t conventional “financial types,” and our culture doesn’t fit the typical corporate mold.

Get in touch

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