TAMEST 2023 Annual Conference Speakers

TAMEST 2023 Annual Conference speakers will examine how science and technology are leading to fundamental changes in society. The program will focus on four profound transitions already under way: CRISPR gene editing, “big” data science, renewable energy and decarbonization. Learn more about our TAMEST 2023 Annual Conference speakers below.

Leonela Amoasii

Leonela Amoasii, Ph.D.

Director

Research and Development

Vertex Pharmaceutical

Leonela joined Vertex in July 2019 as the Director of Gene Editing Research as part of the Exonics Therapeutics acquisition. Prior to joining Vertex, she was core to the Exonics founding team and 1st scientist to help build the team and physical labs (Boston BioLabs Downtown and Watertown sites) to develop gene editing for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other genetic disorders.

Previously, as a post-doctoral fellow, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Olson at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Over the last years Leonela has been involved in developing a new therapeutic approach for correction of Duchenne muscular dystrophy using CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing. She pursued the in vivo optimization of the CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing, her work revealed promising results in mouse and large animals for translation of the genome editing technology to human patients.

Leonela did her graduate studies at the Institut de Genetique Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC) at the University of Strasbourg in France. During her doctoral studies, she uncovered the mechanistic basis of myotubular centronuclear myopathy and acquired expertise in the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) for manipulation of gene expression in muscle.

She has lived and worked in several countries (Moldova, France, USA) and speaks 5 languages (romanian, russian, english, french and Italian). Leonela enjoys exploring new places, hiking, biking, volleyball and tennis. In her spare time, she enjoys music, reading and photography.

Russ Conser

Russ Conser

CEO

Standard Soil, PBC

Russ Conser is co-founder and CEO of Standard Soil and Blue Nest Beef – an e-commerce startup bringing 100% grassfed beef from Audubon-certified bird friendly land direct to American consumers. Blue Nest Beef spotlights birds as both treasurer and measure in a bigger story of a new and better food system that enhances the health of both people and planet. Standard Soil continues to develop additional new business lines aimed at developing authentically regenerative supply chains to honestly sequester carbon, reduce emissions, and restore biodiversity at scale faster.

Originally a mechanical engineer, Russ spent 30 years at Shell first finding and extracting dead carbon from the deep earth, then after a brief detour into corporate finance, strategy and scenarios, leading investment in novel and alternative energy technologies at Shell Technology Ventures and Shell’s “GameChanger” breakthrough innovation program.

Russ retired from Shell in 2013 and has since been focused on the science and business of putting living carbon back into the shallow Earth by working to scale up proven regenerative agriculture practices. He is currently President of The Grassfed Exchange – a non-profit regenerative agriculture educational foundation focused on farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange.

Charles Gersbach

Charles A. Gersbach, Ph.D.

John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Duke University

Dr. Charles A. Gersbach is the John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, the Director of the Duke Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, and the Director of the Duke Center for Advanced Genomic Technologies. His research interests are in genome and epigenome editing, gene therapy, regenerative medicine, biomolecular and cellular engineering, synthetic biology, and genomics. His work has led to new approaches to study genome structure and function, program cell biology, and treat genetic disease. Dr. Gersbach’s work has been recognized through awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, and induction as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and member of the National Academy of Inventors. He is also the co-founder of three biotechnology companies, an advisor to several others.
Geoffrey Ginsburg

Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

All of Us Research Program

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health. He leads the Division of Medical and Scientific Research and is responsible for helping to set the scientific vision and strategy for the program. He also oversees the program’s collection and curation of data, and integration of new data types to support a wide range of impactful scientific discoveries. Prior to joining All of Us, Ginsburg was founding director for the Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine where he pioneered translational genomics and the development of novel diagnostics. At Duke, he was professor of medicine, biostatistics and bioinformatics, pathology, and biomedical engineering. He also was a professor in the School of Nursing; he will remain adjunct professor of medicine. He has held senior leadership roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and was a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty.

Throughout his career, Ginsburg has demonstrated a strong commitment to interdisciplinary science and innovation, with work spanning oncology, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders. He has held leadership roles in the U.S. and internationally, serving as co-chair of the National Academies’ Roundtable on Genomic and Precision Health, a founding co-chair of the International HundredK+ Cohorts Consortium, and founder and president of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC), a not-for-profit organization aimed at creating international partnerships to advance the implementation of precision medicine. At NIH, Ginsburg has served on the board of external experts for the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, as an advisory council member to the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Centers for Advancing Translational Sciences, and most recently on the Advisory Committee of the Director of NIH.

He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in biophysics from Boston University and completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Subsequently, he pursued postdoctoral training in clinical cardiovascular medicine at Beth Israel Hospital and in molecular biology at Children’s Hospital as a Bugher Foundation Fellow of the American Heart Association.

Amy McGuire

Amy L. McGuire, J.D., Ph.D.

Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics

Director, Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Baylor College of Medicine

Amy McGuire, J.D., Ph.D., is the Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. She researches ethical and policy issues related to emerging technologies and innovative therapeutics, with a particular focus on genetics and genomics, big data, neuropsychology, and the clinical integration of novel neurological devices. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. McGuire has received numerous teaching awards at Baylor College of Medicine, was recognized by the Texas Executive Women as a Woman on the Move in 2016, and has been invited to give two TED talks: a TEDMed talk titled “There is no Genome for the Human Spirit” in 2014 and a TEDx talk titled “Can Creating Moments of Meaning Improve Mental Health?” in 2022. She has served as a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and as an advisor to the X Prize in Genomics. Currently, Dr. McGuire is on the board of the Greenwall Foundation, is a Hasting’s Center Fellow, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Geisinger Research, The Morgridge Institute for Research, and Nurture Genomics.

Joshua Mendell

Joshua T. Mendell, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles Cameron Sprague, M.D. Chair in Medical Science

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Investigator

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Joshua Mendell attained his undergraduate degree in Biology at Cornell University in 1996 and completed an M.D.-Ph.D degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2004. He then joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins and established a research program focused on mechanisms that regulate gene expression in normal physiology, cancer, and other diseases.

Dr. Mendell has been the recipient of several awards including the Allan C. Davis Medal for the Outstanding Young Scientist in the State of Maryland in 2007, the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research in 2010, the O’Donnell Award from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science, and Technology (TAMEST) in 2016, and the Paul Marks Prize in Cancer Research in 2019. Dr. Mendell was appointed as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Early Career Scientist in 2009 and an HHMI Investigator in 2015. In 2011, Dr. Mendell received a Rising Stars Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and relocated his laboratory to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he is currently a Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Molecular Biology and a member of the Simmons Cancer Center and the Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine.

Ramamoorthy Ramesh

Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Ph.D. (NAE)

Vice President for Research

Rice University

Ramesh pursues key materials physics and technological problems in complex multifunctional oxides. Using conducting oxides, he solved the 30-year enigma of polarization fatigue in ferroelectrics. He pioneered research into manganites coining the term, Colossal Magnetoresistive (CMR) Oxides. His work on multiferroics demonstrated electric field control of ferromagnetism, a critical step towards ultralow power memory and logic elements.

His extensive publications on the synthesis and materials physics of complex oxides are highly cited (over 100,000 citations, H-factor =150). He is a fellow of APS, AAAS & MRS and an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Foreign member of the Royal Society of London, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences. His awards include the Humboldt Senior Scientist Prize, the APS Adler Lectureship and McGroddy New Materials Prize, the TMS Bardeen Prize and the IUPAP Magnetism Prize and Neel Medal and the Europhysics Prize in 2022. He was recognized as a Thomson-Reuters Citation Laureate in Physics for his work on multiferroics.

He served as the Founding Director of the successful Department of Energy SunShot Initiative in the Obama administration, envisioning and coordinating the R&D funding of the U.S. Solar Program, spearheading the reduction in the cost of Solar Energy. He also served as the Deputy Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Associate Lab Director at LBNL. Most recently, he served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team for Energy. He is also a co-founder of Kepler Computing, which is focused on low power computing using ferroelectrics.

Starting 15 August, he is serving as the Vice President for Research at Rice University.

Daniel Siegwart

Daniel J. Siegwart, Ph.D.

Professor

Departments of Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Daniel J. Siegwart is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He holds the W. Ray Wallace Distinguished Chair in Molecular Oncology Research and serves as the Director of the Program in Genetic Drug Engineering, Director of the Drug Delivery Program in Biomedical Engineering, and Co-leader of the Chemistry and Cancer Program in the NCI-designated SCCC. He received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Lehigh University (2003), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University (2008), studying with Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski. He also studied as a Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo with Professor Kazunori Kataoka (2006). He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT with Professor Robert Langer (2008-2012). His research laboratory utilizes materials chemistry to enable targeted nanoparticle delivery of genomic medicines. Their efforts led to an understanding of the essential physical and chemical properties of synthetic carriers required for therapeutic delivery of siRNA, miRNA, tRNA, pDNA, mRNA, and gene editors. His lab has been at the forefront in the design of synthetic carriers for gene editing and has applied these technologies for correction of genetic diseases and treatment of cancer. They reported the first non-viral system for in vivo CRISPR/Cas gene editing. Recently, they developed Selective ORgan Targeting (SORT) lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), which was the first strategy for predictable tissue specific mRNA delivery and gene editing. They ultimately aspire to utilize chemistry and engineering to make a beneficial impact on human health.
Bobby Tudor

Bobby Tudor

CEO

Artemis Energy Partners

Bobby Tudor is a Retired Founder and CEO of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., and is currently the CEO of Artemis Energy Partners. TPH is a leading Energy Investment Bank formed in 2007 with over 180 employees in five offices in the US, Canada and UK. It is widely recognized for its industry leading position in Energy securities research and Energy investment banking advisory transactions. Artemis is an investor platform focused on companies involved in the Energy Transition.

Prior to forming TPH, Mr. Tudor was a Partner at Goldman Sachs and a leader of its worldwide Energy practice. Over his 30-plus year career in Investment Banking, he has worked on many of the defining transactions of the period, across most energy subsectors and geographies.

Mr. Tudor is currently the Chairman of the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which is a consortium of Houston’s leading energy companies working to shape the region’s Energy Transition Strategy.

Mr. Tudor is the Past Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership and of the Rice University Board of Trustees. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Jones School of Business at Rice, the Carbon Neutral Coalition, and the National Advisory Board for the Tulane Center for Energy Law. Mr. Tudor also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Petroleum Council, Puloli Inc., New ASEAN Energy Inc., the Houston Symphony, Good Reason Houston, and the MD Anderson Board of Visitors.

Mr. Tudor holds a BA in English and Legal Studies from Rice University, and a JD from Tulane.

Huda-Zoghbi610x610

Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. (NAM, NAS)

Distinguished Service Professor

Baylor College of Medicine

Director, Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Huda Zoghbi, M.D., is Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Neurology, and Neuroscience; Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and founding Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Zoghbi graduated with distinction from the American University of Beirut and received her medical degree from Meharry Medical College. She joined Baylor College of Medicine for her residency and obtained additional training in molecular genetics.

Dr. Zoghbi’s expertise ranges from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration. She and Dr. Harry Orr discovered that Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 1 is caused by expansion of a polyglutamine tract. Her subsequent studies demonstrating that such expansion leads to accumulation of the mutant protein in neurons has had profound ramifications since many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson disease involve similar accumulations of disease-driving proteins. She discovered Atoh1 and showed that it governs the development of components of the proprioceptive, balance, hearing, vestibular, and breathing pathways. She also discovered that mutations in MECP2 cause the postnatal neurological disorder Rett syndrome and revealed the importance of this gene for various neuropsychiatric features.

Dr. Zoghbi has trained over 100 scientists and physician-scientists. She has been committed to educating the next generation of scientists. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received several honors including the Breakthrough Prize, Brain Prize and the Kavli Prize.

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