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Daniel Dennett

Dennett is an American naturalist philosopher specialising in the philosophy of mind. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1963 and subsequently pursued graduate study at the University of Oxford. Studying under Gilbert Ryle, Dennett became interested in the nature of consciousness and wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic, which he later turned into his first book, Content and Consciousness (1969). He received a D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965, whereupon he returned to the United States to teach at the University of California, Irvine. In 1971 he moved to Tufts University, Massachusetts, where he was appointed University Professor and became director of the university’s Center for Cognitive Studies in 1985. He was appointed Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts in 2000. In addition to his formal philosophical training, Dennett made autodidactic forays into the fields of artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. His interdisciplinary strategy became more prevalent among philosophers as scientific researchers gathered more information about the brain’s mechanisms. On the strength of his philosophical contributions to the emerging field of cognitive science, Dennett was appointed director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts in 1985. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. From 1993 Dennett was involved with a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that attempted to construct an intelligent, and perhaps even conscious, robot called Cog. Throughout his career he authored a number of books that detailed his theories of consciousness, such as Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996) and Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (2013). Other philosophical works include Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds (1998) and Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness (2005), Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language (2007). His 2006 volume Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon advanced evolutionary explanations for the development of religious thought.'

Danielle Bassett

Bassett is an American physicist using tools from network science and complex systems theory to enhance our understanding of connectivity and organisational principles in the human brain. Combining a strong background in physics with training and collaborations in neuroscience, Bassett adapts mathematical approaches associated with the study of complex networks to analyse interactions among neurons in different regions of the brain while a person does certain activities, thereby unraveling how these connections give rise to the functions or jobs the brain performs. With her work on graph theoretic characterisations of interconnections within the brain and how those connections change over time and under varying conditions, Bassett determines the specific relationship between network organisation and cognitive ability and also how functional connectivity in the brain is modified by memory and language processing, and by psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. With additional lines of research focused on dynamics in social and physical networks, Bassett is also making contributions to disciplines as far-ranging as cell biology, materials science, and social systems. Danielle Bassett received a B.S. (2004) from Pennsylvania State University and a Certificate of Postgraduate Study (2005) and Ph.D. (2009) from the University of Cambridge. She was a postdoctoral associate (2009–2011) and a Sage Junior Research Fellow (2011–2013) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is currently the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering. Her scientific papers have appeared in such journals as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Neuron, Physical Review E, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Chaos, among others.'

Philip Campbell

Campbell is editor-in-chief of Springer Nature. He was editor-in-chief of Nature from 1995 to 2018 and has been responsible for Nature’s journals, and in developing a prize to recognise excellence in scientific mentoring in different countries, now in its 14th year. Following the merger in 2015 of Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education to form Springer Nature, he was also responsible for the foundation and delivery of the Springer Nature Editorial Advisory Group, which oversees and creates editorial policies and standards across the organisation. Campbell has BSc in aeronautical engineering from University of Bristol, MSc, in astrophysics from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, and PhD and postdoctoral fellowship in upper atmospheric physics from University of Leicester. Has worked with UK government, the EU and US National Institutes of Health on science and its impacts in society. Former Trustee, Cancer Research UK. Founding Trustee and Chair, MQ: transforming mental health. Elected Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society. Fellow, Institute of Physics. In 2016 he was knighted for ’services to Science’.'

Karl Deisseroth

Deisseroth is the D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He earned his BA in biochemical sciences from Harvard University and his MD/PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University in 1998, and completed medical internship and psychiatry residency at Stanford Medical School. He is known for creating and developing the technologies of CLARITY and optogenetics, and for applying integrated optical and genetic strategies to study normal neural circuit function as well as dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease. Deisseroth focuses on developing molecular and cellular tools to observe, perturb, and re-engineer brain circuits. His laboratory at Stanford University, which he has led since 2004, employs a range of techniques including neural stem cell and tissue engineering methods, electrophysiology, molecular biology, neural activity imaging, animal behavior, and computational neural network modeling. Also a clinician in the psychiatry department, Dr. Deisseroth employs novel electromagnetic brain stimulation techniques in human patients for therapeutic purposes. He has been affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2009. Since 2014 he is a foreign Adjunct Professor at Sweden’s Karolinska medical institute.

Bernard Feringa

Feringa is a Dutch synthetic organic chemist, specialising in molecular nanotechnology and homogenous catalysis. He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines". Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and at the Shell Biosciences Centre in the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van’t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Feringa’s research has been recognised with a number of awards including the Koerber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009), the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), Humboldt Award (2012), the Grand Prix Scientifique Cino del Duca (French Academy 2012), the Marie Curie medal (2013) and the Nagoya Gold Medal (2013). The research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems.

Michael Gazzaniga

Gazzaniga is Director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at University of California Santa Barbara. He is the president of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute, the founding director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project and the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. He received a Ph.D. in Psychobiology from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked under the guidance of Roger Sperry, with primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. He subsequently made remarkable advances in our understanding of functional lateralisation in the brain and how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another. He has published many books accessible to a lay audience which, along with his participation in the public television series The Brain and The Mind, have been instrumental in making information about brain function generally accessible. This accessibility has been essential in obtaining public support for clinical and basic science research. Gazzaniga’s newest book, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2015), recounts his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. Gazzaniga’s many scholarly publications include the landmark series for MIT Press, The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th edition, 2014), which is recognised as the sourcebook for the field. Dr. Gazzaniga’s long and distinguished teaching and mentoring career has included beginning and developing Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California-Davis and Dartmouth, supervising the work and encouraging the careers of many young scientists, and founding the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. He is an advisor to various institutes involved in brain research, and was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2009.

Kathryn Holt

Holt is an Australian computational biologist specialising in infectious disease genomics at the University of Melbourne and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and is currently a HHMI-Gates International Research Scholar and Viertel Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellow. Kat and her group use genome sequencing, phylogenetics, spatiotemporal analysis and epidemiology to study the evolution and transmission of bacterial pathogens, including tropical diseases such as typhoid and dysentery, tuberculosis, and hospital associated pathogens. She is particularly focused on the global health crisis of antimicrobial resistance, using genomic epidemiology tools to understand the evolutionary history and global dissemination of multidrug resistant pathogens, and developing new tools for prospective surveillance and tracking of emerging problems in the public health and clinical infectious disease space. Recognising that the rise of antimicrobial resistance is due in large part to horizontal transfer of genes between bacterial species, Holt is also interested in the interplay between infectious disease-causing bacteria and microbial communities in human, animal and environmental microbiomes. Kat has been awarded the Australian Academy of Science’s Gottschalk Medal for early career medical research (2017), a Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science (2016), L’Oréal-UNESCO Rising Talents Fellowship (2015), and is a Senior Editor of the new journal Microbial Genomics.

Leroy Hood

Hood is an American biologist who has served on the faculties at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Washington. Hood has developed ground-breaking scientific instruments which made possible major advances in the biological sciences and the medical sciences. These include the first gas phase protein sequencer (1982), for determining the amino acids that make up a given protein, a DNA synthesiser (1983), to synthesise short sections of DNA, a peptide synthesiser (1984), to combine amino acids into longer peptides and short proteins, the first automated DNA sequencer (1986), to identify the order of nucleotides in DNA, ink-jet oligonucleotide technology for synthesising DNA, and nanostring technology for analysing single molecules of DNA and RNA. The protein sequencer, DNA synthesiser, peptide synthesiser, and DNA sequencer were commercialised through Applied Biosystems, Inc. and the ink-jet technology was commercialised through Agilent Technologies. The automated DNA sequencer was an enabling technology for the Human Genome Project. The peptide synthesiser was used in the synthesis of the HIV protease by Stephen Kent and others, and the development of a protease inhibitor for AIDS treatment. Hood established the first cross-disciplinary biology department, the Department of Molecular Biotechnology (MBT), at the University of Washington in 1992, and co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology in 2000. Hood is credited with introducing the term "systems biology", and advocates for "P4 medicine", medicine that is "predictive, personalised, preventive, and participatory."

Saul Kato

Kato is head of the Foundations of Cognition Laboratory and assistant professor of neurology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Saul and his team study the brain and behavior of the nematode C. elegans in search of basic principles and building blocks of neural computation and cognitive function. Saul has a background in neurobiology, theoretical physics, mathematics, computer science and hardware and software. After studying many-body quantum mechanics with Nobelist Bob Laughlin as an undergraduate at Stanford University, Saul spent a decade as an engineer and tech entrepreneur before returning to science; he founded, financed, built, and sold two technology companies: Sven Technologies, which developed software algorithms and applications for 3D graphics rendering, and WideRay Corp., which pioneered the idea of local ad-hoc wireless content delivery, manufacturing and building a network of several thousand local content delivery points in fifteen countries. After getting his PhD from Columbia University in 2013 – a computational-experimental project determining the signal processing properties of C. elegans neurons, jointly advised by Larry Abbott at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia and Cori Bargmann at Rockefeller University – Saul became an EMBO Long-Term Fellow in the lab of Manuel Zimmer at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. Saul and the rest of the team deciphered a tight relationship between the dynamics of brain-wide activity and behavior in C. elegans.

Christof Koch

Koch joined the Allen Institute as Chief Scientific Officer in 2011 and became President in 2015. He received his baccalaureate from the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco, his MSc in physics from the University of Tübingen in Germany and his PhD from the Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen. Subsequently, he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1987 until 2013, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, from his initial appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Biology and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986, to his final position as Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Biology. Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Koch authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. He has also authored the technical books Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks, and served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing. Koch’s research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach. His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attention, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind.

Nick Lane

Lane is an evolutionary biochemist and writer in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London. He was awarded the inaugural Provost’s Venture Research Prize for his research on evolutionary biochemistry and bioenergetics in 2009. His work focuses on the origin of life, and the origin and evolution of eukaryotes. He was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is leading the UCL Research Frontiers Origins of Life programme. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books on evolutionary biochemistry. Life Ascending won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books, while The Vital Question was praised by Bill Gates as ’an amazing inquiry into the origins of life’. His work has been recognised by the Biochemical Society Award in 2015 and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize in 2016.

Ottoline Leyser

Leyser received her BA (1986) and PhD (1990) in Genetics from the University of Cambridge. After post-doctoral research at Indiana University and Cambridge, she took up a lectureship at the University of York, where she worked from 1994-2010. She is Director of Sainsbury Laboratory at University of Cambridge. The Leyser Group’s research is aimed at understanding the role of plant hormones in plant developmental plasticity, using the regulation of shoot branching as a model. Axillary meristems, which are established in each leaf axil formed from the primary shoot apical meristem, can remain dormant or activate to produce a branch. The decision to activate or not involves integration of diverse environmental, physiological and developmental inputs, and is mediated by a network of interacting hormonal signals that generate a rich source of systemically transmitted information, which is locally interpreted to regulate branching. At its hub is the polar auxin transport system, which extends throughout the plant, transporting auxin basipetally from shoot apices to the roots. The system is dynamically modelled and remodelled by auxin itself. Leyser and her team are working to understand the dynamic properties of this hormonal network and their implications for adaptive developmental plasticity. Leyser was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2017. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and the Leopoldina. She is Chair of the British Society for Developmental Biology, and of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Advisory Group. She is Co-Editor in Chief of Current Opinions in Plant Biology and an Editor of Development. She is a Fellow of Clare College.

Lydia Lynch

Lydia Lynch , received her B.Sc. degree in Cell Biology and Genetics from University College Dublin, Ireland. She received her PhD in Immunology in 2008 from University College Dublin, in the lab of Prof. Cliona O’Farrelly in St. Vincent’s University Hospital. Lydia received a Newman Fellowship for her early post-doctoral studies with Prof. Donal O’Shea in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. Here they established the Immunology and Obesity Lab, which coordinates international, collaborative, translational research in obesity and its complications. Lydia then received the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal International Women In Science Fellowship, where she moved to Harvard Medical School to study iNKT cells in adipose tissue in the lab of Mark Exley. In 2009, Lydia received an International Marie Curie Fellowship to continue her postdoctoral studies in immunometabolism, in the labs of Prof. Michael Brenner and Prof. Ulrich von Andrian in Harvard. In 2013, she became a junior faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2014, Lydia started her independent lab with a joint appointment between the Division of Endocrinology and the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Lydia’s lab is interested in the effects of obesity and diet on immune cell functions, particularly innate cells including iNKT cells, NK cells and T cells. The Lynch lab also studies the role of the immune system in the regulation of metabolism and body weight, particularly the local immune system in adipose tissue in mice and humans.

John O Keefe

O’Keefe is a British-American neuroscientist who contributed to the discovery of place cells in the hippocampus of the brain and elucidated their role in cognitive (spatial) mapping. O’Keefe’s investigations of impairments in the cognitive mapping abilities of rats had important implications for the understanding of Alzheimer disease and other human neurological conditions in which affected persons fail to recognise their surroundings. For his contributions to the understanding of neural processes involved in the mental representation of spatial environments, O’Keefe shared the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Norwegian neuroscientists May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser. O’Keefe studied aeronautical engineering at New York University before enrolling in 1960 at the City College of New York (CCNY) to study philosophy of the mind. After earning a bachelor’s degree from CCNY in 1963, he went to McGill University in Montreal, where he completed a doctorate degree in physiological psychology in 1967, that same year joining University College London (UCL) as a postdoctoral research fellow. He remained at UCL for the duration of his career, eventually serving as a professor of cognitive neuroscience. In addition to the Nobel Prize, O’Keefe was the recipient of other prestigious awards, including the 2013 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (shared with the Mosers) and the 2014 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience (shared with Canadian neuropsychologist Brenda Milner and American neurologist Marcus Raichle). O’Keefe was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1992 and of the U.K. Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. In 2016 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Svante Pääbo

Pääbo is a Swedish biologist specialising in evolutionary genetics. Since 1997, he has been director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Pääbo is known as one of the founders of paleogenetics, a discipline that uses the methods of genetics to study early humans and other ancient populations. In 1997, Pääbo and colleagues reported their successful sequencing of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), originating from a specimen found in Feldhofer grotto in the Neander valley. In May 2010, Pääbo and his colleagues published a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome in the journal Science. He and his team also concluded that there was probably interbreeding between Neanderthals and Eurasian (but not Sub-Saharan African) humans. In 2014, he published the book Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes where he, in the mixed form of a memoir and popular science, tells the story of the research effort to map the Neanderthal genome combined with thought on human evolution. In 1992, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research. Pääbo was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2000. In October 2009 the Foundation For the Future announced that Pääbo had been awarded the 2009 Kistler Prize for his work isolating and sequencing ancient DNA, beginning in 1984 with a 2,400-year-old mummy. In June 2010 the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) awarded him the Theodor Bücher Medal for outstanding achievements in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2013, he received Gruber Prize in Genetics for ground breaking research in evolutionary genetics. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2016, and in 2017 was awarded the Dan David Prize.

Linda Partridge

Partridge is a British geneticist, who studies the biology and genetics of ageing (biogerontology) and age-related diseases. Partridge graduated in biology at the University of Oxford. After three years of postdoctoral research at the University of York, she was Demonstrator, Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor at the University of Edinburgh. After many years in Scotland, in 1994 she became Professor of Biometry, University College London. She is both a founding director of the new Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and Director of the University College London Institute of Healthy Ageing. Linda Partridge’s research is directed to understanding both how the rate of ageing evolves in nature and the mechanisms by which healthy lifespan can be extended in laboratory model organisms. Her work has focussed in particular on the role of nutrient-sensing pathways, such as the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signalling pathway, and on dietary restriction. Her current work is directed to developing pharmacological treatments that ameliorate the human ageing process to produce a broad-spectrum improvement in health during ageing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Royal Society’s Croonian Prize Lecture, and was honoured with a DBE for Services to Science in 2009. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Michael Rosbash

Rosbash is an American geneticist and chronobiologist. Rosbash is a professor at Brandeis University and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Rosbash’s research group cloned the Drosophila period gene in 1984 and proposed the Transcription Translation Negative Feedback Loop for circadian clocks in 1990. In 1998, they discovered the cycle gene, clock gene, and cryptochrome photoreceptor in Drosophila through the use of forward genetics, by first identifying the phenotype of a mutant and then determining the genetics behind the mutation. Rosbash was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003. Along with Michael W. Young and Jeffrey C. Hall, he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm". The Rosbash laboratory is interested in RNA processing as well as the genes and mechanisms that underlie circadian rhythms. Their current work has several major goals: (1) to understand fly brain circadian circuitry and its relationship to behavior, phase shifting, and the molecular clock; (2) to understand the mechanism and importance of circadian neuronal plasticity; (3) to understand the why and how of sleep and its relationship to circadian rhythms; (4) to understand the contribution of posttranscriptional regulation to circadian biology, sleep, and neuronal function; and (5) to understand better circadian timing, circadian transcriptional regulation, and the enigmatic process of temperature compensation.

Murray Shanahan

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London and a Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind. He graduated from Imperial with a First in computer science in 1984, and obtained his PhD in computer science from Cambridge University (King’s College) in 1988. Since then he has carried out work in artificial intelligence, robotics, and cognitive science. He was a postdoc in the Department of Computing at Imperial College from 1987 to 1991, an EPSRC advanced research fellow in the same department from 1991 to 1995, and a senior research fellow in the Computer Science Department at Queen Mary & Westfield College (London) from 1995 to 1998. He went on to be Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, then Reader in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering back at Imperial, re-joining Imperial’s Dept. of Computing as Reader in 2005. He was awarded his professorship there in 2006. In 2017 he joined DeepMind, retaining his professorship at Imperial College on a part-time basis. His publications span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic, dynamical systems, computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. His work up to 2000 was in the tradition of classical, symbolic AI. He then turned his attention to the brain and its embodiment. His current interests include neurodynamics, consciousness, machine learning, and the impacts of artificial intelligence. His book ”Embodiment and the Inner Life” (Oxford University Press, 2010) was a significant influence on the film Ex Machina for which he was a scientific advisor. His book ”The Technological Singularity” was published by MIT Press in 2015.

Beth Shapiro

Beth Shapiro is an American evolutionary biologist who integrates molecular phylogenetics with advanced computational biostatistics to reconstruct the influences on population dynamics in a wide variety of organisms. One line of research she pursues focuses on tracing the population history of recently extinct or threatened species. Through statistical analysis of gene sequences, she has inferred the population of several species from a sample of individuals or, in the case of extinct species, from fossilised remains. Through her explorations ranging from prehistoric DNA to contemporary RNA viruses, Shapiro is developing important new approaches for inferring from gene sequences and from the geological record the facto lution, extinction, pandemic disease, climate change, and anthropogenic impact on the biosphere. Beth Shapiro received a B.S. (1999) and M.S. (1999) from the University of Georgia and a D.Phil. (2003) from the University of Oxford. She was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Oxford prior to her appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Her scientific articles have appeared in such journals as Science, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and PLoS Biology. Since 2012, Beth Shapiro has been affiliated with the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she is currently associate director of the Genomics Institute, co-director of the Paleogenomics Lab, and associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2010), a Packard Fellow (2010), and a Searle Scholar (2009).

Emma Teeling

Emma Teeling is a leader in the fields of mammalian phylogenetics and comparative genomics, with particular expertise in bat biology. She established her research group at University College Dublin (UCD) in 2005. Since then, she has been awarded a European Research Council Starting grant (2013), a Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (2006), and recently an Irish Research Council (IRC) Laureate Award (2018). A number of her publications have over-turned conventional paradigms in mammalian biology. She is a member Irish Research Council Board, 2015; a member of Royal Irish Academy, 2016; and was awarded Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, 2017 by the French Government. Teeling’s TED talk has been viewed half a million times, and she has appeared frequently in the media including BBC’s Science Club. Teeling received a BSc in Zoology from University College Dublin in 1995; an MSc in Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Cochrane Ecological Institute, Alberta, Canada in 1996; and a PhD in Molecular Phylogenetics, Queen’s University Belfast, N.Ireland and The University of California, Riverside, California, USA.

Susumu Tonegawa

Susumu Tonegawa received his PhD from University of California, San Diego. He then undertook postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute in San Diego, before working at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, where he performed his landmark immunology experiments. Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for “his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity.” He has since continued to make important contributions but in an entirely different field: neuroscience. Using advanced techniques of gene manipulation, Tonegawa is now unravelling the molecular, cellular and neural circuit mechanisms that underlie learning and memory. His studies have broad implications for psychiatric and neurologic diseases. Tonegawa is currently the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT, as well as the Director of RIKEN Brain Science Institute. He is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Kay Tye

Kay Tye received her bachelor’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT in 2003 and earned her Ph.D. in 2008 at UCSF with Patricia Janak. Her thesis work was supported by the National Science Foundation and recognised with the Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience as well as the Weintraub Award in Biosciences. She completed her postdoctoral training with Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University in 2011, with support from an NRSA from NIMH. She became an Assistant Professor at MIT in 2012, and has since been recognised with the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, Technology Review’s Top 35 Innovators under 35, and has been named a Whitehall, Klingenstein and Sloan Foundation Fellow

Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath , the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology, at Weizmann Institute, is an Israeli protein crystallographer who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, along with Indian-born American physicist and molecular biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and American biophysicist and biochemist Thomas Steitz, for her research into the atomic structure and function of cellular particles called ribosomes. Yonath received her BA in chemistry in 1962 and MSc in biochemistry in 1964 from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She then attended the Weizmann Institute of Science as a graduate student, studying X-ray crystallography and receiving a PhD in 1968. After a brief stint as a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., Yonath joined the department of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow. There she began investigating the structure of ribosomes using X-ray crystallography and pioneered the development of new approaches to the study of structural characteristics of large, complex molecules. Yonath has been working in the department of chemistry at the Weizmann Institute since 1970. She became director of the Mazer Center for Structural Biology and was later director of the Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly. She also served as head of the Max Planck Research Unit for Ribosomal Structure in Germany (1986–2004). In 1980 Yonath became the first person to determine the three-dimensional atomic arrangement of a large ribosomal subunit (ribosomes consist of two distinct subunits, one large and one small). She conducted these early studies using ribosomes from the bacterium Bacillus stearothermophilus. Her subsequent research revealed the complex architecture of ribosomes, and she identified structures resembling tunnels, through which newly synthesised polypeptide chains were passed during protein synthesis. Yonath was elected a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2000 and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2003. In addition to the 2009 Nobel Prize, she received numerous other honours and awards throughout her career, including the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry in 2005, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize in 2007, and the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2008.

Feng Zhang

Feng Zhang , is a McGovern Investigator and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and of Biological Engineering. He is also a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He joined MIT and the Broad Institute in 2011 and was awarded tenure in 2016. Feng Zhang grew up in Iowa after moving there with his parents from China at age 11. He received his A.B. in chemistry and physics from Harvard College and his PhD in chemistry from Stanford University. Zhang has received many awards for his work in genome editing and optogenetics, including the Perl/UNC Prize in Neuroscience (2012, shared with Karl Deisseroth and Ed Boyden), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2012), the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award (2014), the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine (2014, shared with Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier), the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award (2014), the Okazaki award, the Canada Gairdner International Award (shared with Doudna and Charpentier along with Philippe Horvath and Rodolphe Barrangou) and the 2016 Tang Prize (shared with Doudna and Charpentier). Zhang is a founder of Editas Medicine, a genome editing company founded by world leaders in the fields of genome editing, protein engineering, and molecular and structural biology.