Introducing the Science Fellows Class of 2012

How can we better understand ocean ecosystems, encourage human cooperation, build resilience in the face of climate change, prevent malaria and make mental health care a global priority? The 2012 PopTech Science Fellows are bringing strong leadership to these challenges and many more, and we are proud to introduce them today.

The PopTech Science Fellows program is a unique leadership development opportunity designed to help high potential working scientists become more effective communicators, collaborators and leaders both within and beyond the traditional bounds of academia. Fellows learn key skills from a faculty of experts, form an extensive network of mutual support, and play a highly visible role within the PopTech global community of innovators.

Meet the Science Fellows Class of 2012:

  • Kelly Benoit-Bird, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, applies acoustics to the study of ecosystems in the open ocean.
  • Flaminia Catteruccia is a molecular entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in the reproductive biology of Anopheles mosquitoes, the only mosquitoes capable of transmitting human malaria.
  • Sriram Kosuri is a biological engineer at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, developing next-generation DNA synthesis technologies.
  • Thaddeus Pace is a biological psychologist at Emory University, exploring how compassion meditation and other complementary practices may improve the health and well-being of children and adults in challenging circumstances.
  • David Rand is a behavioral scientist at Yale University, using a deeply interdisciplinary approach to understand human cooperation, generosity and altruism.
  • Giuseppe “Bepi” Raviola is a psychiatrist with Partners In Health, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, working to integrate mental health services into global health care efforts.
  • John Rinn is a biologist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, researching how “junk genes” actually play key regulatory roles in human health and disease.
  • Leila Takayama is a research scientist with Willow Garage, focused on understanding how humans interact with robots.
  • Tiffani Williams is a computer scientist at Texas A&M University, creating algorithmic tools to reconstruct the Tree of Life, which depicts the evolutionary connections among the world's species.
  • Benjamin Zaitchik is a climate scientist at Johns Hopkins University, researching ways to understand, manage and cope with climatic and hydrologic variability.

The Fellows will join us in Maine in mid-October for a three-day intensive training session, and then go on to introduce their work on stage at PopTech 2012, giving their work greater visibility and finding new opportunities for collaboration and to engage the public in science.

The PopTech Science Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Geographic.

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