The Academic Minute for 2016.12.26-12.30

Academic Minute from 12.26 – 12.30

Monday, December 26th
Florin Dolcos – University of Illinois
Anxiety Disorders and Optimism
Prof. Florin Dolcos is a Faculty Member in the Department of Psychology, a member of the Beckman Institute’s Cognitive Neuroscience group, and the Director of the Social, Cognitive, Personality, and Emotional (SCoPE) Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His main research interests are in understanding the neuro-behavioral mechanisms of emotion-cognition interactions, in healthy and clinical populations.

Tuesday, December 27th
Andrew Stokes – Boston University
Obesity Paradox
Research and Teaching Interests include: Global health, demography, medical sociology, epidemiology, health disparities, obesity, chronic disease, program evaluation, environmental health and quantitative methods.

Wednesday, December 28th
Michael Kraus – Yale University
Clothing and Behavior
Professor Kraus’ research interest include how people perceive and explain the attainment of social status, how these status perceptions influence emotions and behavior in both cooperative and competitive settings, and how emotions guide group behavior. In particular, Professor Kraus’ work explores how people born into lower socioeconomic status families tend to engage in social judgments and behaviors suggesting that they value social connections more highly than their higher socioeconomic status counterparts, and how early physical contact (e.g., high fives) between teammates on professional basketball teams predicts enhanced team performance over time. His work appears in journals such as Psychological Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Emotion, and has been covered in the popular press by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Wall Street Journal.

Professor Kraus received his BA in psychology and sociology, and his PhD in social psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Before arriving at Yale SOM, Professor Kraus was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Thursday, December 29th
Jack Gilbert – University of Chicago
Diversifying Your Microbiome
Professor Jack A Gilbert earned his Ph.D. from Unilever and Nottingham University, UK in 2002, and received his postdoctoral training at Queens University, Canada. He subsequently returned to the UK in 2005 to Plymouth Marine Laboratory at a senior scientist until his move to Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago in 2010. Currently, Professor Gilbert is in Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago, and is Group Leader for Microbial Ecology at Argonne National Laboratory. He is also Associate Director of the Institute of Genomic and Systems Biology, Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History, and Senior Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Gilbert uses molecular analysis to test fundamental hypotheses in microbial ecology. He has authored more than 200 peer reviewed publications and book chapters on metagenomics and approaches to ecosystem ecology. He is currently working on generating observational and mechanistic models of microbial communities in natural, urban, built and human ecosystems. He is on the advisory board of the Genomic Standards Consortium (, and is the founding Editor in Chief of mSystems journal. In 2014 he was recognized on Crain’s Business Chicago’s 40 Under 40 List, and in 2015 he was listed as one of the 50 most influential scientists by Business Insider, and in the Brilliant Ten by Popular Scientist.

Friday, December 30th
Mary Murphy – Indiana University
Discrimination of Women in STEM
Dr. Murphy is an assistant professor in Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and principle investigator of the Mind and Identity in Context Lab at IU Bloomington.

Murphy’s work focuses on developing and testing theories about how people’s social identities and group memberships interact with the contexts they encounter to affect their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, physiology and motivation.

In June, Murphy received $.2.2 million from the National Science Foundation to investigate subtle, environmental signals that discourage some women from entering or remaining in careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The study is one of the first to explore the role of these small, difficult-to-detect signals on women’s success in STEM.