The Academic Minute for 2016.06.20-06.24

Academic Minute from 6.20 – 6.24

Monday, June 20
Samuel Sober – Emory University
Learning From Mistakes
I attended Wesleyan University, where I received a BA in Neuroscience & Behavior.

I did my doctoral research as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow with Philip N.  Sabes at UCSF and was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Michael Brainard, also at UCSF.

I am presently an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

I am a member of Emory’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and the joint Emory/Georgia Tech Program in Biomedical Engineering.

Tuesday, June 21
Douglas Massey – Princeton University
US Border Patrol Policy
Douglas S. Massey has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, and Latin America, especially Mexico. He is the author, most recently, of Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb (Princeton University Press 2013) and Brokered Boundaries: Creating Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times (Russell Sage 2010). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is currently president of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences and past-president of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. Ph.D. Princeton University.

Wednesday, June 22
Stephanie Seguino – University of Vermont
Better Quality Jobs for Women
Dr. Seguino’s research explores the impact of globalization on income distribution and well-being, with a particular emphasis on Asian and Caribbean economies. She has been an advisor or consultant to numerous international organizations including the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and US AID, and publishes regularly in a number of economic journals, including World Development, Journal of Development Studies, and Feminist Economics. Dr. Seguino has also contributed her services to local and global living wage campaigns.

Thursday, June 23
Matthew Will – University of Missouri
Will’s lab researches the neurological underpinnings of addiction. Using rats, he studies the neural networks in the brain that motivate humans and animals to seek out and consume addictive drugs and food. He works toward understanding two distinct types of feeding: hunger-driven eating and pleasure-driven eating. Will’s research has shown that when opioids (chemicals that can trigger euphoria) are introduced into the nucleus accumbens, a part of brain associated with drug addiction, they can stimulate a rat’s drive to eat for pleasure, or “binge,” even if not hungry. Recent work in Will’s laboratory has shown that the basolateral amygdala, an area of the brain important for regulating emotion, is required for pleasure-driven eating, but not for hunger-driven food consumption. Will is continuing to define these separable networks in the brain that affect eating, and he hopes to use the information to help treat and control obesity and addictive behavior.

Friday, June 24
Ali Torkamani – Scripps Research Institute
Ali Torkamani, Ph.D., who is Assistant Professor of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) as well as Assistant Professor and Director of Drug Discovery at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), is a leader in the scientific field of quantitative genetics and genomics. By analyzing genetic and genomic data of many types in a systems biology framework, he hopes to advance scientific understanding about the genetic mechanisms of human diseases.

Believing that complex human disease mechanisms can be fully understood only in the context of the whole biological system, Dr. Torkamani conducts studies that integrate mutation, gene expression and epigenetic data. Applying computational techniques to detect mutations that contribute to cancer initiation and pathogenesis is among his research interests.

In addition to quantitative analysis of genetic data, Dr. Torkamani produces computational tools for generation, analysis and interpretation of genomic data. These tools include specialized target capture, gene expression and sequence analysis methodologies. As a reflection of his productivity, he has authored numerous publications reflecting a variety of computational techniques.

Dr. Torkamani was awarded the B.S. degree in chemistry at Stanford University and the Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at UC San Diego. Prior to his promotion to the Assistant Professor, he was a research scientist and Dickinson Fellow at STSI in 2008 and 2009.

In addition to conducting research, Dr. Torkamani lectures in STSI’s clinical trial design graduate course in the Master’s Degree in Clinical & Translational Investigation and the Training Program in Translational Research for Advanced Doctoral Students programs.