Markus Covert, Ph.D.
Markus Covert is currently an Associate Professor at Stanford University. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University, followed by M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering and Bioinformatics from UCSD, and postdoctoral studies at Caltech. Leveraging his computational and experimental training, Covert's research focuses on integrating cutting-edge computational modeling methods together with experimental techniques to better understand complex cellular behaviors. He is best known for constructing the first "whole-cell" computational model, which explicitly represents all of the known gene functions and molecules in Mycoplasma genitalium. Reported in The New York Times, BBC World News, Scientific American and hundreds of other media outlets worldwide, this work was also recently cited by Cell as one of the most exciting developments reported during the 40-year history of that journal. In addition, Dr. Covert's lab has generated several new exciting experimental techniques to measure and analyze the behaviors of individual cells. Dr. Covert's work has received several awards, including an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (2007), NIH Director's Pioneer Award (2009), and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Distinguished Investigator Award (2013).
Mark Crady received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California in Berkeley. After working on Intel's Pentium II as a design engineer for two years, he obtained an M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford. Crady then founded a company a mobile mapping application with integrated traffic information called ZipDash, which sold to Google in 2004 and became Google Maps for mobile and the traffic layer on Google Maps. Crady then worked as an Engineering Manager at Google, where he received a prestigious EMG Award, and subsequently as a VP of Engineering at the pioneering online education company Udacity.
KC Huang, Ph.D.
KC Huang was an undergraduate Physics and Mathematics major at Caltech, and spent a year as a Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University working with Dr. Guna Rajagopal on Quantum Monte Carlo simulations of water cluster energetics. He received his PhD from MIT working with Prof. John Joannopoulos on electromagnetic flux localization in polaritonic photonic crystals and the control of melting at semiconductor surfaces using nanoscale coatings. During a short summer internship at NEC Research Labs, he became interested in self-organization in biological systems, and moved on to a postdoc with Prof. Ned Wingreen in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton working on the relationships among cell shape detection, determination, and maintenance in bacteria. His lab is currently situated in the departments of Bioengineering and Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford, and his current interests include cell division, membrane organization, cell wall biogenesis, collective motility, and the spatial organization of bacterial communities such as the gut microbiota.
Denise Monack, Ph.D.
Denise M. Monack is currently an Associate Professor at Stanford University. She received her B.S. in Genetics from the University of California at Davis, followed by Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford University, and postdoctoral studies at Stanford University with Dr. Stanley Falkow in the field of bacterial pathogenesis. Monack’s research focuses on understanding complex host-pathogen interactions at the genetic and molecular level, with a focus on understanding heterogeneity in infections at single cell and host levels. In particular, her discoveries that Salmonella kills macrophages formed the foundation for research on the inflammasome, a host pro-inflammatory response. In addition, Dr. Monack’s lab studies the heterogeneity in hosts that are chronically infected with Salmonella where some hosts readily transmit disease, termed superspreaders. Their finding that superspreaders possess a unique dampened immune state has been reported in the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets worldwide. Dr. Monack’s work has received several awards, including Baxter Faculty Scholar, Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation (2008), The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Recipient in Infectious Disease (2009), Society of Leukocyte Biology G.J. Thorbecke Award (2010), and she is an elected Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiology (2015).
Jerry Morrison received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After making numerous groundbreaking innovations throughout his career at innovative companies such as Xerox PARC, Atari Corporate Research, Electronic Arts, and Apple, Morrison joined Google and became a critical part of the team to release Google Maps for mobile devices in 2005 - an application with a current user base of 1 billion users.
Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D.
Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D. is Professor of Biomedical Engineering with secondary appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Virginia. She received Bachelors of Science degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2002. Dr. Peirce-Cottler develops and uses computational models, in conjunction with novel experimental assays, to study complex, dynamic, and multi-cell biological systems. Her research focuses on understanding how heterogeneous cell behaviors and their interactions enable tissues to adapt over time, during physiological growth and in response to disease. Her multi-scale computational models employ agent-based modeling to bridge protein-level mechanisms with tissue-level, functional outcomes. Her research spans basic science discovery to the design of therapies for regenerative medicine. Specific areas of interest include acute and chronic inflammation, arterio-venous patterning, and the role of stem cells in orchestrating tissue regeneration. Dr. Peirce-Cottler is a past recipient of MIT Technology Review’s “TR100 Young Innovator Award” and the National Biomedical Engineering Society’s “Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award”. She was recently elected into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows.