Speakers from Current and Past Congresses Include…
The Grand Masters
Mario Capecchi, Ph.D.
Science Director, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists
Winner, 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner, 2003 Wolf Prize in Medicine
Winner, 2001 Lasker Award
Recipient, 2001 National Medal of Science
Mario Capecchi, Ph.D., a biophysicist, is the Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies, for their work in finding ways to manipulate the mammalian genome by inserting new genes into cells. This research led to the breeding of “knock-out mice” and “knock-in mice,” animals with a single gene removed or inserted. Dr. Capecchi’s knockout mice allow scientists complete freedom regarding how to manipulate the DNA sequences in the genome of living mice. His research interests include analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, gene therapy, and production of murine models of human genetic diseases.
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
Recipient, 2009 National Medal of Science
Scientist, Entrepreneur, and Genomics Genius
Dr. Venter is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. In 2013, he co-founded Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven company creating the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of the whole genome, phenotype, and clinical data designed to enable pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and healthcare providers to impact and improve health. HLI is developing and applying large-scale computing and machine learning to make novel discoveries to revolutionize the practice of medicine.
In addition to HLI, Dr. Venter is also Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, genomics-focused research organization with approximately 250 scientists and staff, and is Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, and Co-Chief Scientist of Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines.
Sir Richard Roberts, Ph.D.
Winner, 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Dr. Roberts was educated in chemistry at the University of Sheffield, England, and in molecular biology at Harvard University. He worked for 20 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where his group discovered RNA splicing, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993. In 1992, Dr. Roberts joined New England Biolabs as Chief Scientific Officer. He has had a long-standing interest in bioinformatics, which most recently has been applied to his research on restriction enzymes and DNA methylases.
Pardis Sabeti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Dr. Sabeti is a computational geneticist whose lab develops powerful methods and tools for advancing genome biology and medicine. She has created some of the most widely-used algorithms to mine our genome for instances of human adaptation and created powerful molecular tools to elucidate their underlying biology. In 2014, she was named a TIME magazine “Person of the Year” as one of the Ebola fighters, and in 2015 was one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. Dr. Sabeti completed her undergraduate degree at MIT, her graduate work at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and her medical degree summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School.
George M. Church, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School Professor of Genetics
Dr. Church is a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Dr. Church developed the first methods for the first genome sequence, thus contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications, including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme disease and malaria. He has co-authored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, Regenesis.
Wiley “Chip” Souba, M.D.
Dean of Ohio State University School of Medicine (2006-2010)
Dean of Dartmouth University’s Geisel School of Medicine (2010-2014)
Dr. Souba was the dean of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and is one of the nation’s top cancer surgeons. He has been regularly ranked as one of The Best Doctors in America by his peers and has been recognized for his clinical expertise by Boston Magazine. Dr. Souba was funded by the National Institutes of Health for 20 years to study amino acid metabolism in catabolic diseases. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and book chapters and has served as Editorial Chair of American College of Surgeons and Co-editor of the Journal of Surgical Research. Dr. Souba is recognized for his innovative approaches to developing leaders and leadership. He lectures regularly, conducts workshops and has published extensively on diverse topics such as health care leadership challenges, personal and organizational transformation, leading oneself, barriers to effective leadership, and the language of leadership.
Leland Hartwell, Ph.D.
Winner, 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Dr. Hartwell led a research team at the Department of Genetics, the University of Washington using cell biology and genetics to investigate how yeast cells divide. He previously served as the President and Director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of protein molecules that control the division (duplication) of cells. Other honors include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Award for cancer research, and the Genetics Society Medal of Honor.
Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine
As Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Dr. Rothman oversees both the Johns Hopkins Health System and the School of Medicine. A rheumatologist and molecular immunologist, Dr. Rothman’s research focused on immune system molecules known as cytokines. Specifically, he has investigated the role these molecules play in the normal development of blood cells, as well as the abnormal development of these blood cell that leads to leukemia. Dr. Rothman received his medical degree from Yale University, earning a place in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He then trained at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in internal medicine and rheumatology and accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University prior to joining its medical school faculty.
David Roberts, M.D.
Dean of External Education, Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School alumnus, Dr. Roberts completed his internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship in the Harvard Combined Program. Building his career as a pulmonologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, much of Dr. Roberts’ work has focused on the intersection of medicine and medical education, earning him a national reputation as a highly collaborative and innovative medical educator.
At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Roberts’s role includes defining and implementing a strategic vision to advance HMS’s educational goals throughout the world, guiding initiatives to produce a range of educational programs that incorporate the latest technologies. His responsibilities include developing and enhancing existing non-degree offerings to create a unified and inspiring vision for the future of external education, bringing the extraordinary Harvard Medical School education to new and expanded categories of learners, both locally and around the globe.
Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MBA
Dean for Medical Education, Georgetown University
Dr. Mitchell currently serves as the Joseph Butenas Professor and Dean of Medical Education at Georgetown and is responsible for the overall operation, development, curriculum, and student affairs for the School of Medicine. He also opened and continues to be the director of the Georgetown University Hospital Childhood Arthritis Center.
Dr. Mitchell has been honored numerous times for his teaching excellence, including receiving multiple “Golden Apples” for medical student education at Georgetown. In addition, he received the Kaiser Permanente Award from the faculty for the outstanding clinical teacher in the Medical Center, as well as every residency teaching award in the Department of Medicine, including induction into the Sol Katz Society.
Michael S. Brown, M.D.
Winner, 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Recipient, 1988 National Medal of Science
Dr. Brown won the Nobel Prize for discoveries concerning the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and the discovery of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which controls cholesterol in the blood and cells. He showed that mutations in this receptor cause Familial Hypercholesterolemia, a disorder that leads to premature heart attacks. His work laid the groundwork for drugs called statins that block cholesterol synthesis, increase LDL receptors, lower blood cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. Statins are taken daily by more than 20 million people worldwide. Dr. Brown served for 16 years on the Board of Directors of Pfizer, and he is currently a Director of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Bohdan Pomahac, M.D.
Harvard Medical School Professor
Director, Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program
Dr. Pomahac established the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School’s premier teaching hospital and the nation’s leading center in face transplantation. Dr. Pomahac led the nation’s first male face transplant procedure in April 2009 (only the second such surgery in the country) and, in the fall of 2009, he was awarded a $3.4 million contract from the Department of Defense to perform and investigate the outcomes of face transplantation. In March of 2011, he led the surgical team that performed the first full face transplant in the country, and in April of 2011, the team completed their second full face transplant. Shortly after, in May, the team performed the first combined face and bilateral hand transplant procedure in the nation. In October of 2011, the team performed the first successful bilateral upper extremity transplantation in the Northeast.
As principal investigator of both the face and hand transplantation studies, Dr. Pomahac is currently working on several grants and clinical protocols as well as preparing patients for face and hand transplantation. His clinical interests include facial reconstruction, burn reconstruction and microsurgery.
George M. Whitesides, Ph.D.
Recipient, 1998 National Medal of Science
Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University
Dr. Whitesides is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University. He has received dozens of awards, the most recent of which is the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences for his creation of new materials that have significantly advanced the field of chemistry and its societal benefits. Dr. Whitesides has also received the Priestley Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry for his pioneering chemical research in molecular self-assembly and innovative nanofabrication techniques. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has been appointed a Fellow of numerous societies. A prolific author of more than 950 scientific articles and patent holder who has received many awards, Dr. Whitesides received the highest Hirsch index rating of all living chemists in 2011.
Rakesh Jain, Ph.D.
Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology, Harvard Medical School
Director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Recipient, 2013 National Medal of Science
Dr. Jain is widely known for uncovering physical and physiological barriers to the delivery and efficacy of molecular, nano, and immuno-therapeutics; developing innovative strategies; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside. He has mentored more than 200 doctoral and postdoctoral students; authored more than 700 publications that have been cited more than 100,000 times – making him among the top one percent of cited researchers in clinical medicine. Today, he is the Cook Professor of Tumor Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jain is the recipient of more than 90 awards, including the 2013 National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama for developing new ways to manipulate tumors. He holds the rare distinction of being a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, AND the National Academy of Medicine.
Jack Szostak Ph.D.
Winner, 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner, 2006 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
Dr. Szostak, a biologist and chemist, is currently a Professor of both Genetics and Chemistry at Harvard University and the Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. He has made a career as a pioneer in genetics; specifically, his discoveries helped to clarify the events that lead to chromosomal recombination and the function of telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes. He is also credited with the construction of the world’s first yeast artificial chromosome. That feat helped scientists to map the location of genes in mammals and to develop techniques for manipulating genes.
Currently, Dr. Szostak’s lab focuses on the challenges of understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the construction of artificial cellular life in the laboratory.
Ferid Murad, M.D.-Ph.D.
Winner, 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner 1996 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
A world-renowned pioneer in biochemistry, Dr. Murad’s key research demonstrated that nitroglycerin and related drugs worked by releasing nitric oxide into the body, which relaxed smooth muscle by elevating intracellular cyclic GMP. The missing steps in the signaling process were filled in by Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro of UCLA, for which the three shared the 1998 Nobel Prize. Drs. Murad and Furchgott also received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1996.
Anthony Atala, M.D.
Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine
TIME Magazine, Top Medical Breakthroughs and Discoveries
Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon, researcher, and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. His current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues, and organs. He is Editor-in-Chief of Stem Cells Translational Medicine and Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy. In 2011, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Atala’s work has been included twice in Time magazine’s top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year. He was featured in U.S. News & World Report as one of 14 Pioneers of Medical Progress in the 21st Century. Over 10 applications of technologies developed in his laboratory have been used clinically. He is the editor of 20 books, has published over 400 journal articles, and has applied for or received over 200 national and international patents.
William A. Gahl, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Keynote Speaker, June 2016
The research of Dr. Gahl has focused on the natural history of rare metabolic disorders and the discovery of new genetic diseases. He elucidated the basic defects in cystinosis and Salla disease, deficiencies of the lysosomal membrane transporters that carry cystine and sialic acid, respectively, out of the lysosome. Dr. Gahl also demonstrated effective therapy for nephropathic cystinosis, bringing cysteamine to new drug approval by the Food and Drug Administration. His group has described the natural history and discovered the genetic bases of many rare disorders. Dr. Gahl has published more than 350 peer reviewed papers and trained 36 biochemical geneticists. He established American Board of Medical Specialties certification for medical biochemical genetics. He served on the board of directors of the ABMG, as president of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.
Thomas H. Marshburn, M.D.
Emergency Room Physician, NASA Astronaut, and Aquanaut
Dr. Marshburn was selected by NASA in 2004. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Davidson College, North Carolina; a Masters in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia; a Doctorate of Medicine from Wake Forest University; and a Masters in Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch. The North Carolina native is a veteran of two spaceflights, STS-127 and Expedition 34/35.
Before becoming an astronaut, Dr. Marshburn served as a NASA Representative to the Harvard/MIT Smart Medical Systems Team of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, he worked as the Lead Flight Surgeon for Expedition 7 in 2003, supporting from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Houston. He has also served as Medical Operations Lead for the space station, where his responsibilities included the development of the biomedical training program for flight surgeons and astronaut crew medical officers, and managing the station’s Health Maintenance System.
In addition to space travel, in May 2010, Marshburn served as an aquanaut during the NEEMO 14 mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, living and working underwater for fourteen days.
Michael R. Barratt, M.D.
NASA Astronaut and Two-Time Space Traveler
Dr. Barratt is an American physician and a NASA astronaut. Specializing in aerospace medicine, Barratt served as a flight surgeon for NASA before his selection as an astronaut and has played a role in developing NASA’s space medicine programs for both the Shuttle-Mir Program and International Space Station. His first spaceflight was a long-duration mission to the International Space Station, as a Flight Engineer in the Expedition 19 and 20 crew. In March 2011, Barratt completed his second spaceflight as a crew member of STS-133.
Dr. Barratt and his work aboard the International Space Station is the closest thing to being a real-life Dr. McCoy from Star Trek.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Recipient, 2009 National Medal of Science
Recipient, 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom
Keynote Speaker, November 2014
Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.
Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007 and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.
Carmen Blandin Tarleton
Recipient of one of the world’s first full face transplants
On June 10, 2007, Carmen Blandin Tarleton’s estranged husband broke into her rural Vermont home, beat her with a baseball bat, and doused her with industrial-strength lye. Doctors called it “the most horrific injury a human being could suffer.”
Tarleton spent the next three and a half months in a medically induced coma, and when she awoke, it was to an unimaginable reality: she was blind and permanently disfigured, with burns covering more than eighty percent of her body. Her recovery would include weeks of painful rehab, dozens of surgeries, and total dependence on family, friends, and strangers for physical and financial care.
With so much taken away, no one could have anticipated what Tarleton would gain from her experience: an awakening. A purpose. Joy. By sharing her struggles and ultimate victory over a catastrophic loss, Tarleton proves that life is a choice—and, in the process, offers a rare glimpse into the best and worst corners of the human heart.
Florent Groberg, U.S. Army Captain (ret.)
Recipient, 2015 Congressional Medal of Honor
U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg (ret.), recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s top award for valor in combat is the 10th living American to receive the Medal of Honor for actions since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Captain Groberg joined the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, as a platoon leader. In 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal. Returning home in 2010, he continued to serve as a platoon leader. In 2012, he was deployed again with Task Force Mountain Warrior as captain and was selected to serve as the personal security detail detachment commander for his colonel, now-Brig. Gen. James Mingus.
In a 2012 heroic mission to stop a suicide bomber, Captain Groberg sustained the loss of 45% to 50% of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. He spent nearly three years recovering and was medically retired as a captain in 2015.
Richard Sacra, M.D.
Humanitarian Physician and Ebola Survivor
Dr. Sacra has served as a medical missionary in Liberia, West Africa, since 1995. His many contributions include caring for patients; training nurses, medical students and interns; leadership development; and helping to increase the hospital’s response to HIV and AIDS, including starting a counseling program for patients living with the virus. He is also helping to develop a Christian Family Practice Residency training program for Liberian doctors.
Despite his years of saving lives in Liberia, Dr. Sacra has become renown for having survived Ebola in the autumn of 2014. Dr. Sacra has returned to Liberia to continue treating patients.
Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
“My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey”
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover all of her functions and thinking ability. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.
Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Survivor
Emily Gavigan was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in 2010 during her junior year at the University of Scranton, after over a year of misdiagnoses. She went on to graduate with a double major in English literature and business management in December 2012. She holds a master’s degree in publishing from Rosemont College and works as a technical writer at Sanofi Pasteur. Ms. Gavigan is passionate about spreading awareness of autoimmune encephalitis so that no one else has to go undiagnosed for as long as she did.
Stem Cell Patient
Co-founder, Beyond the Chair
After an auto accident when she was 16 yrs. old that paralyzed her from the neck down, Laura received her own adult stem cells transplanted into her spine. She can now feel down to her toes, has regained some movement in her legs, and has the ability to stand and stay standing with a walker with little help. She can even contract her quadriceps and hamstring muscles when standing. She is determined to walk again. Her amazing story of perseverance, focus and medical science will inspire and ignite the imagination of anyone interested in the future of stem cell research.
Recipient of the Bionic Eye
Larry Hester was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa when he was in his early 30’s. At the time, the degenerative disease would rob his sight while there were no known treatments. Now, Hester is one of several people in the United States to have a bionic eye – an Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Device. The device is activated as a visual aid to send light signals to his brain, allowing him to see for the first time in 33 years.
Mr. Hester is eager to provide researchers with the information they can use to further enhance the technology, so that future generations of patients will benefit from his pioneering effort.
Grand Prize Winner, 2011 Google Science Fair
As an 18-year-old Shree Bose triumphed over 10,000 other competitors to become the grand prize winner of the first-ever Google Science Fair in 2011. For her winning research, Shree looked at the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, that is commonly taken by women with ovarian cancer. The problem is that the cancer cells tend to grow resistant to cisplatin over time and Shree discovered a way to counteract that thus opening new avenues for research.
Shree is a graduate of Harvard University and is now enrolled in the M.D./ Ph.D. program at Duke University
Grand Prize Winner
2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Breakthrough Inventor, Scientist, and Cancer Researcher
When Jack was 15-years-old he created a new diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that is 28 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than the current diagnostic tests. And, in case that’s not impressive enough, the test also works for ovarian and lung cancer.
His diagnostic test earned him first prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science research competition.
Jack is currently studying at Stanford University.
Winner, 2017 Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge
2019 Forbes 30 Under 30
After learning about the Flint water crisis in the seventh grade, Gitanjali Rao was inspired to help. She soon after designed “Tethys,” a compact device that can detect lead in drinking water with the aid of a mobile app. Tethys uses carbon nanotubes, whose resistance changes in the presence of lead. Gitanjali learned about carbon nanotubes white reading the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s website. In 2017, she was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” and was awarded the $250,000 top prize from Discovery at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. You’ve seen her on 60 Minutes, and at the age of 13, she was named to Forbes’ 2019 “30 Under 30” list of breakthrough scientists.
Gitanjali started high school in the fall of 2019 and hopes to someday study genetics and epidemiology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Grand Prize Winner, 2015 Google Science Fair
Olivia Hallisey developed a novel diagnostic Ebola test, the “Ebola Assay Card” (EAC). She determined early diagnosis was critical to arresting the epidemic’s exponential growth. The EAC is inexpensive, rapid, and visual, indicating results through a color change, eliminating language barriers, and increasing ease of use. Most recently, she has developed the “Lyme Assay Card” (LAC) for saliva-based early diagnosis of Lyme disease. She is continuing research on this assay as a broad disease diagnostic with applicability for other ELISA assay-based diseases.
She is currently studying at Stanford University.
Grand Prize Winner, 2012 Google Science Fair
As a high-school senior Brittany Wenger was well on her way to making the diagnosis of breast cancer less painful and more accurate. Brittany began studying neural networks when she was in the seventh grade. She won the grand prize in the 2012 Google Science Fair for her project, “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” The resulting Cloud4Cancer service aggregates data from biopsies done with the fine-needle aspiration process, instead of the traditional and more painful surgical option. The goal of Wenger’s network is to ensure that fine-needle aspiration biopsies are as accurate as traditional biopsies, which would allow more women to be diagnosed and treated early.
Winner, 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada
At 17-years-old, Janelle Tam has discovered that cellulose, a material found in trees that helps them stand up straight, is an antioxidant with potent anti-aging properties. Janelle’s study of minute particles in tree pulp known as nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) led to an “a-ha”! moment for the young innovator — she had unearthed a super-durable material that had the power to fight disease and prevent aging. This unbelievable discovery won Janelle the 2012 Sano fi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, a national competition for young scientists.
Janelle is a recent graduate from Princeton University.
First Place Medal of Distinction in Basic Research
2016 Intel Science Talent Search
Amol Punjabi has performed research in pharmaceuticals throughout his high school career. While working in a lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Amol became the author of a paper published in ACS Nano and owner of a pending patent for luminescent nanoparticles in cancer therapy. He also pursued an independent project in computer-aided drug design which won him the Best-in-Category Award in Biochemistry at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Currently, Amol is enrolled at Harvard University, where he is studying mathematics and chemistry.
First Place, 2014 Intel Science Talent Search
Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Google Science Fair
Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology
At 17-years-old, Eric Chen won all three major science prizes – Intel, Google, and Siemens – for his research on new drugs designed to fight dangerous strains of the influenza virus. The emergence of new highly lethal influenza viruses such as H5N1 and H7N9 poses a grave threat to the world. Eric’s project aimed to discover novel influenza endonuclease inhibitors as leads for a new type of anti-flu medicine, effective against all influenza viruses including pandemic strains. By combining computer modeling and biological studies, he identified a number of novel, potent endonuclease inhibitors. He also performed comprehensive structural analysis, laying the groundwork for further design and optimization of the anti-flu drug candidates.
Eric is currently studying at Harvard University.
First Place Medal of Distinction in Global Good
2016 Intel Science Talent Search
Paige Brown is the first place medal of distinction winner in global good of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, for her research studying the water quality of six environmentally impaired local streams with high E. coli and phosphate contamination levels. She is currently developing a cost-effective filter largely made of calcium alginate strands to remove the phosphate from stormwater systems.
Paige is currently studying chemical engineering at Stanford University.
Grand Prize Winner, 2012 Discovery Education 3M Top Young Scientist Challenge
CEO, Catalyst for World Water
Deepika Kurup, a current student at Harvard University, has been passionate about solving the global water crisis since she was in middle school. Deepika won the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She was also named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30”, was the National Geographic Explorer Award Winner in the Google Science Fair, and presented at the White House Science Fair twice. Currently, she is CEO of Catalyst for World Water, a social enterprise aimed at bringing the water purification technology she has developed to those affected by the global water crisis. Deepika has presented at national and international conferences, TEDx events, TEDWomen, and the United Nations.
Grand Prize Winner, 2007 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology
Winner, 2010 Sanofi International BioGENeius Challenge
Isha performed her first experiment in the fourth grade, testing candy to figure out why some is chewy and some is hard. Since then, her accomplishments have only gotten sweeter: At 16 she won $100,000 for her research on bone growth in zebra fish, she’s coauthored six published scientific papers, and she helped direct Harvard’s National Symposium for the Advancement of Women in Science. “If only a small percentage of women are involved in science, we’re slowing the rate at which we’ll make new discoveries,” she says.
Raina became the youngest high-school student in the world to win an award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 2008, just days after her 14th birthday. The Intel ISEF is the crown jewel of science competitions around the world. Raina’s study of how glass implants can help bones regenerate their cells earned her a fourth-place award in the Biosciences and Engineering category.
Finalist, 2012 Intel Science Talent Search
Andrey entered an engineering project in the Intel Science Talent Search in which he used the surface tension of water to turn the shaft of a tiny motor — only 7 mm in diameter. Working in his home, Andrey began by testing various materials to determine which one best-facilitated curvature of the water surface when an electrical current was applied. After choosing the hydrophobic coating that worked the best, he constructed a motor to translate that curvature into shaft rotation. The key feature of his work is that, unlike conventional motors, the efficiency of Andrey’s motor should, theoretically, increase with miniaturization. He believes his work may pave the way for micro-robotics and a range of other micro-mechanical devices.
The Masters of Life Success and Happiness
Sean Stephenson, DCH
Dr. Sean Stephenson was predicted not to survive at birth because of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile.
Despite his challenges, he took a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world including Sir Richard Branson, President Clinton, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Dr. Stephenson has appeared on everything from Oprah to Jimmy Kimmel, in addition to online videos with millions of views. The Biography Channel did an hour feature on his life called “Three Foot Giant.”
Dr. Stephenson’s message has been heard at live events in over 15 countries and 47 states over the past 21 years. His latest book, Get Off Your “But.” has been released in ten different languages around the world.
Actor, Playwright, Motivational Speaker, and Leadership Trainer
Bo Eason is a former NFL All-Pro turned actor, playwright, motivational speaker, and leadership trainer to Fortune 500 companies. He started his NFL career as a top pick for the Houston Oilers. Continuing on with the San Francisco 49ers, during his 5-year career Bo competed beside and against some of the greatest players of his generation. After his football career ended, he branched out into acting and wrote a one-man play called Runt of the Litter that went to Broadway. Now, as a speaker and leadership coach, he trains some of the most successful people in the world on how to communicate for maximum impact and success. His first book There’s No Plan B For Your A-Game: Be the Best in the World at What You Do, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in September 2019.
Fabienne Fredrickson is an inspirational mentor to thousands of clients worldwide, an author, international speaker and founder of Boldheart (formerly Client Attraction Business School). ranked repeatedly by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.
As one of the most influential and highly-acclaimed success mindset speakers and mentors in the world, Fabienne believes in the capacity for each and every person to become the full expression of their purpose here on earth by taking a no-excuses approach to growing within and willingness to “play a bigger game”. Her mindset teachings, born from Fabienne’s own personal experiences and challenges and once intended, are now embraced by women all around the world who seek a catalyst for their personal and professional growth and to live a life they love.
JP Sears is a YouTuber, comedian, emotional healing coach, author, speaker, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives. He is very active on his YouTube channel, where he encourages healing and growth through his humorous and entertaining informative videos, which have accumulated over 300 million views. Mr. Sears is also the host of his new podcast, The Awaken with JP Sears Show.
Jim Kwik, CEO of Kwik Learning, is a world renown memory and rapid learning expert. After a childhood brain injury left him ‘scholastically challenged’, Jim created strategies to dramatically enhance his mental performance. Jim has since dedicated his life to helping others unleash their brainpower to learn anything faster, teaching speed-reading, memory improvement, and accelerated learning for two decades. Jim’s brain training is used in 85 countries by top achievers – from students to seniors, celebrities to CEO’s. Clients include GE, MasterCard, Virgin, Nike, Marriott Hotel, Zappos, SpaceX, NYU and Harvard University.
As a leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development, Michael Gelb is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, executive coaching, and innovative leadership. He is the author of 16 books, including the international bestseller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: 7 Steps to Genius Every Day and The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World, co-authored with Prof. Raj Sisodia. He co-directs, with Professor James Clawson, the Leading Innovation: Thinking Creatively for Positive Change Seminar at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. Gelb’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Training Magazine. He has also appeared on Good Morning America, CNN’s Business Unusual and on radio programs including live interviews with NPR and the BBC World Service. Mr. Gelb is also a 5th-degree black belt in Aikido, a gifted teacher of Taiji, and a former professional juggler who performed with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
Deborah Bedor, Ph.D.
As one of the nation’s top admissions experts and CEO of College Admission Central, Dr. Deborah Bedor has had the pleasure of coaching and advising Top Tier, Ivy League, and celebrity pre-college students for the past 27 years, guiding them to acceptance into our nation’s finest universities. Dr. Bedor is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude; recipient of the Schaff Memorial Prize for Scholarship; and holds both a master’s degree and doctorate.
Dr. B, as she is called, works with students globally on every part of the college application—strategizing, developing, and implementing the most unique and winning presentation of each student’s college portfolio and application. Everyone who works with Dr. Bedor becomes a stand-out candidate. Big ideas are her specialty.
Learn more about the New Rules for Admission to America’s Best Colleges in her best-selling book: Getting IN by Standing OUT, published by Advantage Press and available on Amazon.
Brendon Burchard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive. He is also the founder of High Performance Academy, the legendary personal development program for achievers, Brendon is regularly recognized as “one of the top business and motivation trainers in the world.” (Inc. magazine, AndersonCooper.com, ABC, and more). Brendon’s books, videos, newsletters, products, and appearances now inspire two million people a month worldwide. His books have been #1 bestsellers on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon.com bestseller lists.
Dan Sullivan is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on success and happiness in work and life. He is founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. A visionary, an innovator, and a gifted conceptual thinker, Dan has over 35 years’ experience as a highly regarded speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups. He is the author of over 30 publications, including The Great Crossover, The 21st Century Agent, Creative Destruction, and How The Best Get Better®. He is co-author of The Laws of Lifetime Growth and The Advisor Century.
At only 23 years old, Jairek was awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal from the United States Congress. By 25, he became an international phenom by developing a revolutionary approach to accelerating results for businesses in different industries. Today, the 30-year old is unlocking secrets for maximizing personal performance and success (and he’s just getting started).