Frederick M. Chester, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Tectonophysics
David Bullock Harris Chair in Geology
Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics
Texas A&M University

Dr. Frederick Chester

Dr. Frederick M. Chester is a geoscientist who studies the mechanics of natural and induced earthquake faulting through laboratory experimentation and field observation. He is director of the Center for Tectonophysics in the College of Geosciences and oversees the John Handin Laboratory for Experimental Rock Deformation in the Department of Geology & Geophysics at Texas A&M University. Dr. Chester has conducted numerous geologic studies of ancient, exhumed fault zones, and over the past decade has participated in several scientific drilling projects to investigate active faulting at depth. His participation in scientific drilling includes serving on the science teams for the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) from 2002-2007 and the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) from 2007-2008, and most recently by serving as a co-chief scientist for the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) from 2011-2012.

Lynda Chin, M.D.
Scientific Director
MD Anderson Institute for Applied Cancer Science
Chair, Genomic Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Lynda Chin

Dr. Lynda Chin received her M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1993 and is a board-certified dermatologist. She conducted her clinical and scientific training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she served as chief resident of dermatology. For the past 14 years, she has been a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School communities where she was professor of dermatology at the Harvard Medical School, member of the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Chin also served as the scientific director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and co-led the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s Melanoma Program and the Harvard Skin SPORE.

In 2011, Dr. Chin joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where she is the chair of the first-ever Department of Genomic Medicine and is scientific director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science. At the Broad Institute, Dr. Chin is principle investigator of the TCGA Genome Data Analysis Center.

Dr. Chin has made multiple scientific discoveries spanning the fields of transcription, telomere biology, mouse models of human cancer, oncogenomics, and personalized cancer medicine. She demonstrated the anti-neoplastic activity of the MAD family of repressors and co-discovered Sin3 co-repressor complex which provided the first link between sequence-specific transcription factors and modulators of chromatin architecture including class I histone deacetylase and N-CoR. Using the telomerase-knockout mouse, she conducted the first cancer studies which demonstrated that, in the p53 deficient setting, deactivated DNA damage signaling unleashes telomere-based crisis as a potent mutational mechanism in the development of cancer, a process that generates non-reciprocal translocations and copy number alterations of cancer-relevant loci.

Building on her successful effort to establish oligo-based array comparative genomic hybridization, Dr. Chin has championed comparative oncogenomics of mouse and human cancers and its integration with functional genomics to identify novel cancer genes. As a leader in translational genome medicine, she has enlisted these new cancer gene discoveries into productive drug discovery efforts in the Institute for Applied Cancer Science. Dr. Chin has developed function-based prognosis determinants, solving the longstanding clinical problem of identifying the subset of early stage melanoma patients who are hardwired for lethal progression and opening the opportunity for adjuvant therapy for the first time.

In addition to her service on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) executive subcommittee, Dr. Chin is actively involved enabling the community to translate genome data via the ‘disease working groups’ that bring together genome scientists, biologists, and clinicians in the broader community. She chairs two such groups – GBM and Melanoma Disease Working Groups. She is also a member of the scientific steering committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. Dr. Chin co-founded AVEO Pharmaceuticals in 2002, a cancer biotechnology company that emphasizes cancer biology and genetics to identify new cancer targets with tumor maintenance roles. Most recently, Dr. Chin also founded Metamark Genetic, a cancer diagnostic company that will develop function-based prognostic determinants that can guide customized management of early-staged cancer patients including melanoma and prostate cancer.

Yew Yuen Chow
Chief Operating Officer
Keppel Offshore & Marine

Yew Yuen Chow

Yew Yuen Chow has been with Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) for more than 30 years and was based in the US for 18 years. During that time, he was instrumental in establishing Keppel O&M as a credible competitor in the Americas and has helped set the foundation for its current standing as the preferred solutions provider. His experience covers areas of technical, production, operations, commercial, and management across different geographical and cultural boundaries.

Mr. Chow has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering with First Class Honours from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He also attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is a member of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), vice president of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries, a council member of Singapore Accreditation Council, and a member of the ABS Southeast Asia Regional Committee.

Mr. Chow is also chairman of Keppel AmFELS and Keppel Singmarine, deputy chairman of Keppel FELS Brasil SA, and president of Keppel Offshore and Marine USA Inc. He serves on the boards of AmFELS Offshore Ltd, BrasFELS SA, Deepwater Marine Technology, FloaTEC, and other companies in the group.

Ian Falconer
Marketing and Technology Manager


Ian Falconer graduated from Cardiff University, Wales in 1980 with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology. He joined Schlumberger as a field engineer in 1981 in the North Sea. He worked predominantly in the directional drilling and logging-while-drilling (LWD) business line of Schlumberger in various operations, marketing and engineering roles based in the UK, Italy, France, Nigeria, and America. More recently, he has been the vice president of marketing for Schlumberger’s oilfield services in the Middle East and Asia, based in Dubai, and the vice president of industry affairs acting as the primary focal point between Schlumberger and Shell, based in Holland. Today, he is the marketing and technology manager for the complete portfolio of drilling related services and products within Schlumberger, based in Houston.

Michael Fehler, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Senior Research Scientist
Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Michael Fehler

Dr. Michael Fehler received his Ph.D. in seismology from MIT in 1979. After spending a few years in the College of Oceanography at Oregon State University, he joined Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1984 where he was leader of the geophysics group and later the division director of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division that consisted of approximately 350 staff. He is currently a senior research scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also project manager for the SEG Advanced Modeling project, which is a consortium of 23 companies in the petroleum industry that joined together to use geophysical modeling to advance our ability to address issues in geophysical characterization. He was editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America for nine years beginning in 1995 and was president of the Seismological Society of America from 2005-2007. He has coauthored a book on seismic wave propagation and scattering that was published in 1998. A second edition of the book was completed and published in 2012. His interests include seismic imaging, reservoir characterization, seismic scattering, geothermal energy, and induced seismicity.

Robert Haddad, Ph.D.
Division Chief, Assessment and Restoration Division
NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration

Dr. Robert Haddad

Dr. Robert Haddad earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography at UNC, Chapel Hill with a focus on sedimentary organic geochemistry. Following post-doctoral fellowships at NASA and at Stanford University, he joined Unocal’s Petroleum Geochemistry Research Group and provided in-house company-wide consultation on petroleum exploration and environmental liability issues. While at Unocal, Dr. Haddad also provided expert witness support in Forensic Geochemistry and technical leadership for Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) in Unocal’s worldwide emergency response organization. After leaving Unocal, he was responsible for strategic and technical leadership on NRDA cases under OPA, CERCLA, and CWA as West Coast Regional Risk Manager for ENTRIX, Inc. and then as a Vice President for ARCADIS-JSA. Prior to joining NOAA, Dr. Haddad was President and Principal Scientist for Applied Geochemical Strategies, Inc. In this role, he provided strategic and technical liability consulting for clients (OPA and CERCLA NRDA and non-NRDA issues) and expert witness testimony in various aspects of forensic geochemistry.

For the past 5 years, Dr. Haddad has been the Chief of the Assessment & Restoration Division within NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). In this position, he also co-leads NOAA’s Damage Assessment Remediation & Restoration Program (DARRP). As part of his current responsibilities at NOAA, Dr. Haddad is leading NOAA’s injury assessment efforts as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment currently being conducted for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Kimberly M. Huber, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Kimberly Huber

Dr. Kimberly Huber is an associate professor in neuroscience at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and a Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research. Dr. Huber’s research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the developing and mature rodent brain. Over the past decade, Dr. Huber’s lab has studied how genes that are mutated in human mental retardation and autism affect synapse development and plasticity. She discovered alterations in a specific type of synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, the most common inherited mental retardation and autism. This discovery has led to mechanism-based clinical trials in Fragile X and autism patients. Her work has also contributed to the understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of altered synaptic function in Fragile X and other mouse autism models which has provided novel avenues for therapeutic development.

Dr. Huber received the McKnight Foundation for Neuroscience Brain Disorder Award in 2002, the Simon Foundation for Autism Research Initiative Investigator Award in 2011, and the William and Enid Rosen Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Understanding of Fragile X in 2012.

Tom Luce
Chairman of the Board
National Math and Science Initiative

Tom Luce

Tom Luce has had a diverse and varied career.

As an attorney, he was a founding partner of Hughes & Luce, a well-respected regional law firm that grew from four lawyers to more than 150 attorneys during his tenure. It is now part of K&L Gates, a worldwide firm.

During his legal career, he was the lead attorney on multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions and commercial litigation and was responsible for unusual transactions such as the purchase of an original Magna Carta and collection of a commercial debt owed by The Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the same time, he managed to engage in public service being appointed five times by Texas Governors to important posts such as Chief Justice Pro Tempore of the Texas Supreme Court and Chairman of the Texas Superconducting Supercollider Commission. He is perhaps best known for his role as the Chief of Staff of the Texas Select Committee of Public Education, which produced one of the first major public school reform efforts in the country in 1984. He was recently appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Texas to serve as a Board Member of the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas.

In addition, he has taught as a guest lecturer at a number of schools of higher education, including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas and served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University.

In the business world, he served on the Dell, Inc.'s Board of Directors from 1991 until 2012 and recently joined the Board of Encore Health Resources and is currently self-employed as a Business Consultant.

His life's passion has been volunteer efforts to improve public education for all children. To do so, he has worked to improve local, state and national education policy serving in various appointed positions including a stint as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Budget at the U.S. Department of Education in the Bush Administration. He has also served as a member of K-12 and Higher Education undergraduate education working groups for the Presidential Commission of Science and Technology in the Obama Administration.

He has also founded or co-founded and led various non-profit entities to improve education including: the Texas Business and Education Coalition, Just for the Kids, the National Center for Education Accountability and he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of The Data Quality Campaign and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Most recently, his work with NMSI has been featured in a national advertising campaign by ExxonMobil, highlighting the success of NMSI in improving math and science education across the country.

Tom has been married to his wife, Pam, for 52 years and they have three children and seven grandsons.

Lisa Monteggia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Lisa Monteggia

Dr. Lisa Monteggia’s research interests focus on the molecular and cellular basis of neural plasticity as it pertains to psychiatric disorders. She utilizes molecular, cellular, behavioral, biochemical, and electrophysiological approaches to elucidate how specific genes may contribute to psychiatric disorders, specifically focusing on better understanding depression and Rett syndrome/autism. Dr. Monteggia is the Ginny and John Eulich Professor in Autism Spectrum Disorders and associate professor of psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She is currently an associate editor for Neuropsychopharmacology and on the editorial boards of Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Neuroscience, and Journal of Biological Chemistry, as well as on several national advisory and review boards. She has received several awards for her research, including Young Investigator Awards from NARSAD and the National Alliance for Autism Research, the Daniel X. Freedman Award for outstanding basic research achievement from NARSAD, the Daniel H. Efron Research Award for outstanding basic research contributions from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Rising Star Basic Research Award from International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO).

Samuel L. Pfaff, Ph.D.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Gene Expression Laboratory
Benjamin H. Lewis Chair in Neuroscience
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Dr. Samuel Pfaff

Dr. Samuel Pfaff is a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, adjunct professor at the University of California, and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Carleton College in Minnesota and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University and the Center for Neurobiology at Columbia University.

The main objective of the Pfaff Laboratory is to discover how nerve cells are formed and wire up correctly, focusing on the fetal development of the spinal cord. Of special interest to Dr. Pfaff is how motor neurons develop and make connections between the spinal cord and muscles in the body, since these connections are necessary for all body movements. Spinal cord injuries lead to paralysis because motor neuron function is disrupted. Degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), spinal muscle atrophy, and post-polio syndrome result from the loss of motor neurons.

Dr. Pfaff has received numerous awards for his scientific accomplishments, including a McKnight Scholar Award in Neurobiology, a Whitehall Foundation Scholar Award, a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Scholar Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award, a PEW Scholar Award, and a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award.

Dr. Pfaff serves on multiple scientific advisory committees. He has a long history with the Reeve Foundation as a member of its Science Advisory Council, which oversees the Individual Grants Program. Previously, he was the associate editor of The Journal of Neuroscience and the issue editor of Current Opinions in Neurobiology. He has authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed research publications.

Danny D. Reible, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources
Bettie Margaret Smith Chair in Environmental Health Engineering
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Danny Reible

Dr. Danny Reible is 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 received his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1979 and 1982, respectively, from the California Institute of Technology after a B.S. in chemical engineering in 1977 from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. 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.” He is a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He received the L.K. Cecil Award from AIChE in 2001 and the Malcolm Pirnie Frontiers in Research Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors in 2011. In 2012, he helped found and currently chairs the International Society of Water Solutions, a group within the AIChE focused on water management, particularly to meet industrial needs. His research is focused on the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, particularly the applications to the assessment and remediation of contaminated sediments and the sustainable management of water resources.

Robert Wechsler-Reya, Ph.D.
Director of the Tumor Development Program
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Dr. Robert Wechsler-Reya

Dr. Robert Wechsler-Reya received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and did postdoctoral training at the Wistar Institute and Stanford University. He was a member of the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Center from 2001-2010 and now serves as director of the Tumor Development Program at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

Dr. Wechsler-Reya’s research focuses on the signals that control growth and differentiation in the cerebellum and how these signals become dysregulated in the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. His lab’s contributions include demonstrating the importance of Sonic hedgehog as a growth factor for neuronal precursors, discovering a novel population of neural stem cells in the cerebellum, demonstrating that both neuronal precursors and stem cells can give rise to medulloblastoma, and identifying the cancer stem cells that are critical for propagation of Sonic hedgehog-associated tumors. Most recently, his lab developed an animal model for the most aggressive form of medulloblastoma and is using this model to test novel approaches to therapy.

Dr. Wechsler-Reya’s work has garnered several awards, including a Kimmel Scholar Award, an Award for Excellence in Pediatrics Research from the Society for Neuro-Oncology, and a leadership award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D.
Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital
Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology, and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Huda Zoghbi

Dr. Huda Zoghbi is a professor of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also the director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from American University in Western Beirut in 1975. That same year, she enrolled in medical school at American University. Due to the war in Lebanon, Dr. Zoghbi transferred to Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she finished her medical training and earned her medical degree in 1979.

Dr. Zoghbi has made a series of seminal contributions to our understanding of the molecular basis of Rett syndrome and of late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Her studies of normal brain development have also, inevitably, led back to the clinic: her work on Math1 has shed light on hearing, proprioception, neonatal breathing, and medulloblastoma.

Dr. Zoghbi is a member of several professional organizations and is a senior editor for the newly founded journal eLife. Among her honors are the IPSEN prize in Neuronal Plasticity, the Bristol Myers-Squibb Neuroscience Distinguished Achievement Award, the Vilcek Prize, and the Gruber prize in Neuroscience. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.