David W. Russell, Ph.D., President
Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research
Eugene McDermott Distinguished Chair in Molecular Genetics
Professor, Biophysics and Molecular Genetics
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. David W. Russell received a B.A. degree in biology from UT Austin in 1975 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1980. He was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow from 1980-1982 with Nobel Laureate Michael Smith (Chemistry, 1993) at the University of British Columbia. He joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in 1982, was promoted to professor in 1990, and received the McDermott Distinguished Chair of Molecular Genetics in 1992. Russell's research interests are in cholesterol metabolism, in particular the enzymatic pathways that dispose of cholesterol. His laboratory has isolated over a dozen genes that encode enzymes involved in cholesterol breakdown, and has identified the molecular bases of seven human genetic diseases characterized by abnormal lipid metabolism. Russell and Dr. Joseph Sambrook are the authors of the 3rd edition of the best-selling laboratory manual titled Molecular Cloning published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Russell is the recipient of a research career development award from the National Institutes of Health, the Katz Award from the American Heart Association, the Kilby Science Place award from Texas Instruments, the Oppenheimer Award from the U.S. Endocrine Society, the Windaus Prize from the Falck Foundation of Germany, the Avanti Award in Lipids from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Barbara H. Bowman Distinguished Geneticist Award from the Texas Genetics Society. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2011.
Russell teaches introductory and advanced courses in biochemistry and molecular biology to medical and graduate students, and is a member of numerous administrative committees at the medical school. He has served on the editorial boards of Biochemistry, Annual Reviews of Biochemistry, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Trends in Biochemical Sciences and Molecular Endocrinology, and now serves on the editorial boards of Cell Metabolism, the Journal of Lipid Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. He reviews research grant applications and programs for the US National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and is a consultant to law firms, the pharmaceutical industry, and biotechnology companies.
In December of 2010, Russell joined the UT Southwestern administration as Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research. His responsibilities include strategic planning and development of research initiatives across campus, research faculty recruitment to departments and centers, and oversight of the basic science departments, graduate education, the Animal Resource Center, and core laboratory facilities.
The Honorable Gordon R. England, Vice President
Chairman of the Board
V1 Analytical Solutions
Previous to his position at V1 Analytical Solutions, Gordon England was president of E6 Partners LLC, a firm specializing in defense, security, and mergers and acquisitions for domestic and international companies. He is the executive chairman of Totus Solutions, Inc., a firm specializing in lighting-based security solutions, and he is on the board of directors for various start-up technical companies.
Previously, Mr. England served as the 29th Deputy Secretary of Defense. He also served as the 72nd and 73rd Secretary of the Navy and as the first Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Prior to joining the federal government, Mr. England served as president of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (later Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company); as vice president of Engineering at General Dynamics Land Systems and later as president; and as corporate executive vice president of General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology Sector, Ground Combat Systems Sector, and the International Sector. His business career spanned over 40 years as an engineer specializing in aerospace avionics and senior executive positions.
A native of Baltimore, Mr. England graduated from the University of Maryland in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In 1975 he earned a master's degree in business administration from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. He is a distinguished alumnus of both universities. He is a member of business, engineering, and leadership honor societies. He serves on the board of trustees for the University of Maryland and is a chairman of the foundation board for the U.S. Naval Institute and chairman of the Heroes and Families Foundation.
Mr. England has served in a variety of civic, charitable and government organizations, including serving as a city councilman; vice chair, national board of Goodwill, International; the USO's Board of Governors; the Defense Science Board; the board of visitors at Texas Christian University; and many others. He has been recognized for numerous professional and service contributions by universities, professional and civic organizations, local government, and the Department of Defense.
Kenneth E. Arnold, P.E., Treasurer and Past President
Senior Technical Advisor
In 1980, Ken Arnold founded Paragon Engineering Services, a 600 person company providing engineering services to the upstream oil and gas, and pipeline industries. Paragon was sold in 2005 to AMEC, a UK based global project management and services company. Arnold is currently a Senior Technical Advisor for WorleyParsons and an independent consultant to the oil and gas industry. Prior to forming Paragon, he had 16 years experience with Shell as an engineer, research department manager and engineering manager. In the 1980s, Arnold developed and published in a series of articles a rational basis for sizing gas-liquid separators, oil-water separators, oil treating systems and produced water treating systems based on droplet settling theory. This formed the basis of two textbooks he co-authored on the design and project management of oilfield production facilities which have gone through multiple printings and two editions and are still being used in petroleum engineering schools around the world.
Since the late 1980s, most of Arnold’s publications have been in the area of offshore safety and project management, and he has won awards from API and SPE for his work in promoting offshore safety. He was the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Houston Engineer of the Year in 2003 and won the Society of Petroleum Engineers Public Service Award in 2006, the DeGoyler Award in 2007 and Honorary Membership in 2008. His two greatest achievements were realized when Paragon was named one of the ten best places to work in its size range by the Houston Business Journal in 2002 and when AMEC Paragon received the Texas Association of Partners in Education Gold Award in 2006 for pioneering work they did in setting up a partnership with SBISD for mentoring, tutoring, Texas Scholars and teacher for a day programs.
Danny D. Reible, Ph.D., Secretary
Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair
Environmental and Water Resources, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Texas Tech University
Dr. Reible is the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. Previously he was the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and the director of the Center for Research in Water Resources at The University of Texas in Austin. He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Professional Engineer (LA), and in 2005 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for the “development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments.” In 2012 he helped found and currently chairs the International Society of Water Solutions, a society focused on industrial water management. He also chaired the program committee for TAMEST’s 2012 Texas Water Summit on the assessment and management of Texas water resources.
Dr. Reible’s research is focused on the fate, transport, and management of contaminants in the environment and the sustainable management of water resources. Current interests include the assessment of bioavailability of mercury and hydrophobic organics in sediments and their in-situ remediation. He has also evaluated the impacts of coastal flooding, e.g. during hurricanes, on contaminant mobility and availability. His water resources work has included water management for hydraulic fracturing for shale gas and oil and the efficient allocation of water resources, particularly in the face of drought.
C. Thomas Caskey, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.G., F.R.S.C.
Professor, Molecular & Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. C. Thomas Caskey has over 35 years of experience in molecular genetics. Dr. Caskey currently serves as Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Caskey was the Director and CEO of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Caskey previously served as Senior Vice President, Human Genetics and Vaccines Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories, West Point and as President of the Merck Genome Research Institute.
Dr. Caskey is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Genetics, and Molecular Genetics with 25 years of patient care experience in these specialties. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Royal Society of Canada, member & Chair of the Board on Health Sciences Policy - Institute of Medicine and past President of the American Society of Human Genetics and the Human Genome Organization, and Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science. He is an editor of the Annual Reviews of Medicine.
Dr. Caskey has received numerous academic and industry honors. His genetic research has identified the genetic basis of 15 major inheritable diseases and opened up the understanding of triplet repeat diseases (Fragile X, myotonic dystrophy and others). His personal identification patent is the basis of worldwide application for forensic science and he is also a consultant to the FBI in forensic science. Recent publications address the utility of genome wide sequencing to preventive medical care. His current research is focused on the genetic basis of schizophrenia.
Dr. Caskey has completed 150 full genomes on Young Presidents Organization (YPO) members and physicians by conducting interpretation of “Need to know” disease alleles and counseling all of them.
Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.
Ashbel Smith Professor and Director of Pediatric Transplantation Surgery
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Yale University in 1979 and earned his medical degree in 1983 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. His post graduate training was both at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital in General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and Transplantation Surgery. He served as President of the University of Texas Health Science Center from 2000-2009 and then Chancellor of the University of Texas System from 2009-2015.
Dr. Cigarroa received national recognition for his Framework for Advancing Excellence at the University of Texas System and was a pivotal leader in establishing the Dell Medical School, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its associated Medical School residing in South Texas. He also provided leadership in establishing the Transformation in Medical Education Initiative across the UT System, the Institute for Transformational Learning and the Virtual Brain Institute funding interdisciplinary research across the UT System.
Upon completion of his tenure as Chancellor of the University of Texas System he assumed the role of Director of Pediatric Transplantation at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is also the Principal Investigator on establishing a biorepository for hepatocellular carcinoma among Hispanic patients as well as studying the epigenetics of this neoplasm. It is hypothesized that genetic and epigenetic analysis in combination with high throughput drug screening in hepatocellular carcinoma tissues and cells will allow the identification of novel molecular targets and therapeutic strategies for Hispanic patients suffering from this tumor and will also provide insights for the development of novel therapeutics in the general population.
Brian Clark, Ph.D.
For the past 31 years Brian Clark has been inventing and developing technology for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, and has managed research, engineering, manufacturing and sustaining of the same technology. Since joining Schlumberger in 1979, Dr. Clark has held various scientific, technical and management positions, including Research Scientist, Product Line Manager, Vice President and Director of Research, Vice President Formation Evaluation, and Technology Center Manager. He is currently one of ten Schlumberger Fellows.
Dr. Clark has received 60 U.S. patents on oil field technology and was named “2002 Texas Inventor of the Year” by the Texas State Bar Association. His inventions are used on most of the world’s deepwater wells and include instruments that are lowered into a well on a cable (“wireline”) or built into drill collars (“measurement-while-drilling” and “logging-while-drilling”). He received the 1996 “Formation Evaluation Award” from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) "for overcoming scientific and technical challenges resulting in a quantum improvement in the quantity, quality, and safety of logging-while-drilling measurements”. In 2010, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering “for contributions and leadership in development and worldwide implementation of measurement-while-drilling technology.” Other awards include Offshore Technology Conference’s Spotlight on New Technology Innovation (2004), Hart's E&P Meritorious Award for Engineering Innovation (2004), and Hart's E&P’s Special Meritorious Award for Engineering Innovation (2005).
Dr. Clark is a member of the U.S. committee of the World Petroleum Council (WPC), and is active in several professional societies. He is a member of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts (SPWLA), and the SPE. He has served as a Director of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and as a Director of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA).
Dr. Clark received a B.S. in mathematics and physics from Ohio State University in 1970, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Harvard University in 1971 and 1977 respectively. Prior to joining Schlumberger, he was an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Physics at Brandeis University from 1976 to 1979 with research specializing in experimental atomic physics.
Melanie H. Cobb, Ph.D.
Jane and Bill Browning, Jr. Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Melanie Cobb received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in biological chemistry at Washington University. Following postdoctoral work with Dr. Ora Rosen at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Cobb joined the Department of Pharmacology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern). She served as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern for eight years from 2003-2010.
Cobb’s research interests are in cellular regulatory mechanisms, which include the structure and function of protein kinases, regulation of nutrient responses, misuse of signaling pathways in cancer and other signal transduction mechanisms. A major interest is in mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and understanding the diverse functions of these pathways. She also studies properties of WNK protein kinases in regulation of ion homeostasis and vesicular trafficking. Her focus on hormonal signal transduction pathways led to one of Cobb’s greatest achievements. She was the first to molecularly characterize ERK1/2 MAPKs, critical regulators of cellular events such as proliferation, differentiation, homeostasis, motility, and apoptosis. Furthermore, her elucidation of properties of MAPK cascades and structures of some of the catalytic components with Betsy Goldsmith, also at UT Southwestern, provides insights into the development of novel antineoplastic drugs.
Cobb has a plethora of published research articles, predominantly on protein kinases and their regulatory mechanisms. As of 2014 she serves on the NIH Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology study section and the editorial board of the journal Molecular Endocrinology, and is a member of several FASEB societies. Cobb also serves on the O’Donnell Awards Committee for TAMEST.
Sharon L. Wood, Ph.D.
Dean, Cockrell School of Engineering
Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #14
The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Sharon L. Wood became the ninth dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in September 2014, after serving as interim dean for one year. She holds the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering #14 and the Jack and Beverly Randall Dean's Chair for Excellence in Engineering.
Prior to her appointment as dean, Wood served as the chair of the school’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering for five years and she is a former director of the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, one of the nation’s leading research centers in the large-scale study of the behavior of bridges, buildings, and structural components. She joined the Cockrell School faculty in 1996.
Wood is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and vice president of the American Concrete Institute. She has been internationally recognized for her research on the earthquake response of reinforced concrete structures. Her research interests include improving the structural response of reinforced concrete buildings, design and evaluation of bridges, and development of passive sensors for infrastructure systems. She has served on federal advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and the U.S. Geological Survey.