Bruce A. Beutler, M.D., is a Regental Professor and director of the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He received his medical training at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1981. As a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University (1983-1986), he isolated mouse tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and discovered its importance as a mediator of inflammation. In 1986, he returned to UT Southwestern, where he analyzed mammalian responses to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. This work culminated in the identification of Toll-like receptors as key sensors of the innate immune system, used to detect infection. In further studies, Dr. Beutler employed a forward genetic strategy to elucidate many aspects of mammalian immunity.
Dr. Beutler has received numerous awards for his work including the Balzan Prize (2007), the Albany Medical Center Prize (2009), the Shaw Prize (2011), and election to both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine (2008). In 2011, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.”
Wah Chiu, Ph.D. (NAS)
Alvin Romansky Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Director, National Center for Macromolecular Imaging | Baylor College of Medicine
Visualizing Viruses Inside and Outside the Cells
Wah Chiu, Ph.D., is the Alvin Romansky Professor of Biochemistry and director of two NIH-supported research centers at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Chiu has made many important contributions in computational and structural biology. His laboratory has pioneered various experimental and computational methods in biological cryo-electron microscopy and tomography at unprecedented resolutions. He has been a leader in coordinating collaborative efforts across computational, physical, and biomedical sciences from multiple institutions across the country. Moreover, he is highly esteemed as an enthusiastic teacher and mentor who recognizes the significant benefits of being exposed to young researchers from a large range of disciplines and the resulting impact on his research. Dr. Chiu was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 for his work in the areas of biophysics and computational biology.
Clint Dawson, Ph.D.
Professor and Edward S. Hyman Endowed Chair in Engineering | Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics | The University of Texas at Austin
Studying the Impacts and Mitigation of Hurricane Storm Surges and Oil Spills
Clint N. Dawson, Ph.D., is the Edward S. Hyman Endowed Chair in Engineering, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and a member of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, all at The University of Texas at Austin. He received bachelor of arts and master of science degrees in mathematics from Texas Tech University in 1982 and 1984, respectively. He received his doctorate in mathematical sciences from Rice University in 1988. From 1988–90, he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and Dickson Instructor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Chicago. In 1990, he returned to Rice as an assistant professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and relocated to UT Austin in 1995. He was promoted to full professor in 2000. He has held a Temple Foundation Faculty Fellowship and Joe J. King professorship in engineering at UT Austin. He received the Edward S. Hyman Endowed Chair in Engineering in 2011.
Dr. Dawson has authored or co-authored over 150 technical articles in the areas of numerical analysis, numerical methods, and parallel computing, with applications to flow and transport in porous media and shallow water systems. In 2001, he was elected chair of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Activity Group on Geosciences and has served on numerous conference organizing committees and review panels. He has served on numerous editorial boards and is current co-managing editor of Computational Geosciences. In 2011, he was given the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences Distinguished Research Excellence Award. He recently received the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Geosciences Career Prize at the SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences, held in Padova, Italy.
Robert Duncan was elected to District 84 in the Texas House in 1992, and in 1996 he won a special election to the Texas Senate. During his more than two decades in the Texas Legislature, Senator Duncan has crafted major legislation impacting water rights, healthcare transparency and affordability, the integrity of public investment funds, public and higher education, eminent domain, and the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil justice system. Since 2004, Senator Duncan has served as chairman of the State Affairs Committee. He was elected and served as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate during the 81st Legislative Session. Senator Duncan is also a member of the Natural Resources Committee, the Committee on Higher Education, and the Committee on Education.
Over four decades, Dr. Larry Faulkner was a member of the chemistry faculties of Harvard University, the University of Illinois, and The University of Texas at Austin, where he served as the 27th President. He recently retired as president of the Houston Endowment, a position he held from 2006–2012. Dr. Faulkner is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of Exxon Mobil Corporation. He was previously a member of the boards of Temple-Inland and Sandia National Laboratories and was chair of the board of trustees of Internet2. From 2006 into 2008, he chaired the National Mathematics Advisory Panel by designation of the president and the secretary of education.
Harvey Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. He previously served Harvard University as provost for four years and 13 years as dean of the School of Public Health. He helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization. His research has included assessment of medical technology, evaluation of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations. At the Institute of Medicine, he has chaired and served on a number of panels dealing with health policy issues, ranging from AIDS to new medical technology. He also served as a member of the Public Health Council of Massachusetts (1976–1979), as chairman of the Health Care Technology Study Section of the National Center for Health Services Research (1982– 1985), and as president of the Association of Schools of Public Health (1995–1996). He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on subjects ranging from AIDS prevention to medical education. Dr. Fineberg holds four degrees from Harvard, including an M.D. and a Ph.D. in public policy.
Omar Ghattas, Ph.D.
John A. and Katherine G. Jackson Endowed Chair in Computational Geosciences and Professor of Geological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering | Director, Center for Computational Geosciences, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) | The University of Texas at Austin
Integrating Big Data and Big Models via Bayesian Inference
Omar Ghattas, Ph.D., is the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson Chair in Computational Geosciences, professor of geological sciences and mechanical engineering, and director of the Center for Computational Geosciences in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin. Also, he is a member of the faculty in the Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (CSEM) interdisciplinary doctorate program in ICES, serves as director of the KAUST-UT Austin Academic Excellence Alliance, and holds courtesy appointments in the Departments of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, the Institute for Geophysics, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Duke University in 1984, 1986, and 1988. He has general research interests in simulation and modeling of complex geophysical, mechanical, and biological systems on supercomputers, with specific interest in inverse problems and associated uncertainty quantification for large-scale systems. His center's current research is aimed at large-scale forward and inverse modeling of whole-earth, plate-boundary-resolving mantle convection; global seismic wave propagation; dynamics of polar ice sheets and their land, atmosphere, and ocean interactions; and subsurface flows, as well as the underlying computational, mathematical, and statistical techniques for making tractable the solution and uncertainty quantification of such complex forward and inverse problems on parallel supercomputers.
Sharon C. Glotzer, Ph.D.
Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering | University of Michigan
Digital Discovery and Design: Toward the New Age of Materials on Demand
Sharon C. Glotzer, Ph.D., received a bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987, and a doctorate degree from Boston University in 1993, all in physics. She is currently the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has over 180 refereed publications and has presented over 270 plenary, keynote, and invited talks. She has supervised 32 Ph.D. students and 18 postdoctoral researchers. Her research on computational assembly science and engineering aims toward predictive materials design of colloidal and soft matter, with current emphasis on shape, packing, and assembly pathways. Dr. Glotzer was the recipient of the Charles M.A. Stine Award in Materials Science and Engineering of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. She holds a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense and is a Simons Investigator.
Thomas C. Halsey, Ph.D., is Chief Computational Scientist at ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in Houston, Texas. Since joining ExxonMobil in 1994, he has worked in a variety of research, management, and staff positions in New Jersey and Texas. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago. He received a doctorate in physics from Harvard University in 1984 and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2006, Donna Howard currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Higher Education Committee; additionally, she serves as vice-chair of the House Administration Committee. She serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (Agencies of Education) and the Subcommittee on Budget Transparency and Reform. She previously served as vice-chair of the House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism Committee and as a member of the House Technology Committee.
Kay Bailey Hutchison served in the U.S. Senate from 1993–2012. She served with distinction in the Senate leadership as vice chair of the Republican Conference and chair of the Republican Policy Committee, becoming the fourth-highest-ranking Republican senator. She was the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. In addition, she was chair of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, served on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and played an integral role in framing military policy.
In 2004, Senator Hutchison was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST) and continues to serve as its honorary chair. In just nine years, 114 members have joined TAMEST through induction into the National Academies or relocation to Texas, and Senator Hutchison has worked to move Texas from sixth to third in the nation in federal research funding.
Tom Lange (BSChE, University of Missouri-Columbia 1978) joined Procter & Gamble in May 1978 as a Product Technical Engineer. He has spent his 35-year career modeling and simulating formulations, products, and production systems—from how hot air roasts peanuts and coffee, to how baby sizes affect urine leaks in a diaper. As director of modeling and simulation, Mr. Lange currently leads P&G’s modeling & simulation efforts, spanning the scales from atoms to the store shelf. This includes the disciplines of consumer modeling, computational chemistry and biology, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) (structures, fluids, controls, chemical engineering, empirical), and production system throughput and reliability.
Henry Markram, Ph.D. (Keynote)
Director, Blue Brain Project | Coordinator, Human Brain Project | Professor of Neuroscience | École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)Computational Science as a New Tool to Map the Human Brain
Dr. Henry Markram is a professor of neuroscience at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL). He is the founder of the Brain Mind Institute, founder and director of the Blue Brain Project, and the coordinator of the Human Brain Project, one of two 10-year one billion Euro Flagship Projects recently approved by the European Commission. After earning his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, with distinction, he was a Fulbright scholar at the National Institutes of Health and a Minerva Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research. In 1995, he returned to the Weizmann Institute, becoming an associate professor in 2000. In 2002, he became a full professor at EPFL. Dr. Markram’s research has focused on synaptic plasticity and the microcircuitry of the neocortex, in which he has discovered fundamental principles governing synaptic plasticity and the structural and functional organization of neural microcircuitry. Other key discoveries include the concept of Liquid Computing and the Intense World Theory of Autism. In 2005, he launched the Blue Brain Project to develop a data integration strategy for neuroscience. Dr. Markram has published more than 100 hundred papers and has one of the highest citation records in his area of research and stage of career. Since 2002, Dr. Markram has spearheaded Switzerland’s ambition to become a world leader in high performance computing and to prioritize simulation-based research; these fields are now two of the three national research priorities declared by the Swiss government. Dr. Markram is also co-founder of Frontiers (frontiersin.org), a new model for peer-reviewed open-access publishing.
Dr. J. Tinsley Oden is the founding director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), which supports broad interdisciplinary research and academic programs in computational engineering and sciences, involving five colleges and 18 academic departments within The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).
Dr. Oden is the author of over 500 scientific publications—books, book chapters, conference papers, and monographs. His treatise, Finite Elements of Nonlinear Continua, is cited as having not only demonstrated the great potential of computational methods for producing quantitative realizations of the most complex theories of physical behavior of materials and mechanical systems, but also established computational mechanics as a new, intellectually rich discipline that was built upon deep concepts in mathematics, computer sciences, physics, biology, and mechanics.
Dr. Oden has received numerous awards for his work, including the A. C. Eringen Medal, the Worcester Reed Warner Medal, the Lohmann Medal, the Theodore von Karman Medal, the John von Neumann Medal, the Newton/Gauss Congress Medal, and the Stephan P. Timoshenko Medal. He was also knighted as “Chevalier des Palmes Academiques” by the French government, and he holds six honorary doctorates, Honoris Causa, from universities in Portugal (Technical University of Lisbon), Belgium (Faculté Polytechnique de Mons), Poland (Cracow University of Technology), France (École Normale Supérieure Cachan), and the United States (Ohio State University and Presidential Citation, UT Austin). Most recently, he was awarded the 2013 Honda Prize for his role in establishing the field of computational mechanics, which enabled the development of computer simulation technology used broadly throughout industry and academia.
José Onuchic, Ph.D. (NAS)
Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics and Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, and Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Co-director, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics | Rice University
From Protein Folding to Molecular Machines in Biology
José Onuchic, Ph.D., relocated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) along with the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics co-director Dr. Herbert Levine and center senior investigator Dr. Peter Wolynes. Dr. Onuchic’s research looks at theoretical and computational methods for molecular biophysics, chemical reactions in condensed matter, and gene networks. His research group introduced the concept of protein-folding funnels to show the types of amino acid sequences that can fold into a unique protein structure. Dr. Onuchic and his collaborators also created the concept of tunneling pathways and the methodology for reducing proteins into a combination of relevant tubes of pathways that provides a new way of designing electron transfer proteins. Currently he is broadening his interests to stochastic effects in genetic networks in particular bacteria. Connections between bacteria decision-making in a colony with cancer are going to be explored. Dr. Onuchic is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2009), and the Biophysical Society (2012). In 1989, he was awarded the International Centre for Theoretical Physics Prize in honor of Werner Heisenberg in Trieste, Italy. He is the recipient of the Beckman Young Investigator Award (1992), and he was awarded the Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (2011). He was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2006.
Dr. Diane Patrick was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November of 2006. She is currently is the vice chair of the Higher Education Committee and also sits on the House Appropriations Committee and Rules and Regulations. During her four terms in office, she has successfully passed numerous pieces of significant legislation including the state’s first comprehensive Anti-Bullying Legislation, developmental education reform, increased transparency in higher education, and the Texas Teacher Residency program.
Dan Stanzione, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Texas Advanced Computing Center | The University of Texas at Austin
The Growing Scientific Importance and Competitive Advantage of Supercomputing to Science, Engineering, Medicine—and Texas
Dr. Dan Stanzione, Jr. is the deputy director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the co-director of The iPlant Collaborative, an ambitious endeavor to build cyberinfrastructure address the grand challenges of plant science. He is also a co-investigator for TACC’s 10 PetaFlop Stampede supercomputer, and has previously been involved on the deployment and operation of the Ranger and Lonestar supercomputers at TACC. Prior to joining TACC, Dr. Stanzione was the founding director of the Fulton High Performance Computing Initiative at Arizona State University. Before ASU, he served as an AAAS Science Policy Fellow in the Division of Graduate Education NSF and as research professor at Clemson University, his alma mater.
Joe Straus was elected to his third term as Speaker of the Texas House by a unanimous vote in January 2013. Under Speaker Straus’ leadership that year, the Texas House passed a balanced budget, improved public education, took historic action to address the state’s water crisis, and passed reforms that will make state government more transparent and efficient. After the session, Texas Monthly named him one of the state’s “Ten Best Legislators.” In November, he led the effort to pass Proposition 6, securing a long-term water source that will allow the Texas economy to continue to grow. Texas voters approved Proposition 6 by a 3-to-1 margin. Speaker Straus is a small businessman and lifelong Republican who has represented Bexar County’s House District 121 since 2005. He is a fifth-generation Texan and San Antonio native, and he and his wife Julie have two daughters.
Natalia Trayanova, Ph.D. (Keynote)
Murray B. Sachs Endowed Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Joint appointment, Medicine | Institute for Computational Medicine | Johns Hopkins University
Modeling Cardiac Function and Dysfunction
Dr. Natalia Trayanova is a professor of biomedical engineering and medicine and a member of the Institute for Computational Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She is the inaugural Murray B. Sachs Endowed Chair. She is a fellow of Heart Rhythm Society, American Heart Association, and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Trayanova has published over 200 papers. She is associate editor of Frontiers in Computational Physiology and Medicine, served as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (1998-2005), is on the editorial boards of Heart Rhythm and American Journal of Physiology, and is area editor of IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering.
Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator. Senator Zaffirini is chair of the Government Organization Committee and served as chair of Higher Education (2006–2012) and as chair of Health and Human Services (1993–2000). She also is co-vice chair of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and the Senate Finance, Higher Education, Health and Human Services, and Administration committees. The first Hispanic woman to serve as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate and as Governor for a Day, she also served seven terms on the Appropriations Conference Committee, 10 terms on the Senate Finance Committee, and 10 terms on the Senate Education Committee.