Founders

Hao Wu, PhD

Hao Wu, PhD

Dr. Wu is Asa and Patricia Springer Professor of Structural Biology in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Harvard Medical School and Senior Investigator in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Boston Children’s Hospital. She is internationally recognized for elucidating several fundamental themes in signal transduction of the immune system using structural biology approaches.

Prior to her appointment at Harvard, Dr. Wu was Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. She completed postdoctoral training at Columbia University in the laboratory of Professor Wayne Hendrickson and her PhD in Biochemistry from Purdue University in 1992, working in the laboratory of Professor Michael Rossmann. Dr. Wu received her pre-medical training at Peking University and studied Medicine at Peking Union Medical College.

Dr. Wu has received a number of honors, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute pre-doctoral fellowship, the Aaron Diamond postdoctoral fellowship, the Pew Scholar award, the Rita Allen Scholar award, New York Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the Margaret Dayhoff Memorial Award from the Biophysical Society and most recently, the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award from the Protein Society and the 2019 Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cancer Research Institute and the Editorial Board of Cancer Cell.

Richard Flavell, PhD, FRS

Richard Flavell, PhD, FRS

Dr. Flavell is Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research is fundamental to our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of innate and adaptive immunity.

Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Flavell was President and Chief Scientific Officer of Biogen Research Corporation for six years. Before Biogen, he was Head of the Laboratory of Gene Structure and Expression at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London and before that Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Flavell performed postdoctoral work in Amsterdam with Piet Borst and in Zurich with Charles Weissmann. He received his B.Sc. (Honors) and PhD in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England.

Dr. Flavell is a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Academy of Medicine. He is the recipient of several honors including The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science and The William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology. He was recently honored as Distinguished Fellow by the American Association of Immunologists.

Judy Lieberman, MD, PhD

Judy Lieberman, MD, PhD

Dr. Lieberman is the Chair in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. In addition to being at the forefront of developing RNAi-based therapeutics and using RNAi for genome-wide screening, Dr. Lieberman led a team that discovered the molecular basis for inflammatory cell death (pyroptosis) triggered by invasive bacteria and other danger signals.

Prior to her appointments at Harvard, she was a postdoctoral fellow in immunology at MIT. Before that she earned an M.D. in the joint Harvard-MIT Program in Health, Science, and Technology and trained in internal medicine and hematology-oncology at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Lieberman received a PhD in physics from Rockefeller University and also served as a high-energy physicist at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Dr. Lieberman earned her AB at Radcliffe College.

She has been widely recognized by the scientific and medical communities including being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named Special Fellow of the Leukemia Society of America and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Thomas Tuschl, PhD

Thomas Tuschl, PhD

Dr. Tuschl is Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, Chemical Biology and Structural Biology at Rockefeller University in New York. Dr. Tuschl is world renown for his research into the regulation of RNA, and has discovered small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs) and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs).

Prior to Rockefeller, Dr. Tuschl was Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He earned his PhD from Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen and BS in Chemistry from Regensburg University.

Dr. Tuschl is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards including NIH Director’s Transformative Research Project Award, Ernst Jung Prize, Max Delbrück Medal, Molecular Bioanalytics Prize, Meyenburg Prize, the Wiley Prize and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Advisors

Douglas Green, PhD

Dr. Green is Peter C. Doherty Endowed Chair of Immunology and Co-Leader, Cancer Biology Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His seminal work has identified the fundamental molecular events directing the death of the cell.

Prior to his current role, he was Head of the Division of Cellular Immunology at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Green received his PhD in Immunology from Yale University, and following post-doctoral work in experimental surgery and marine biology, he joined the faculty at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Green earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Immunology from Yale.

Dr. Green has published over 600 papers and reviews. He has earned recognition for his work including Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal for Alumni Achievement from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Jurg Tschopp Prize for research on cell death. He is an honorary fellow of Trinity College in Dublin, an honorary Einstein Professor in China, a foreign fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an honorary PhD degree recipient from University Tor Vergata in Rome. His most recent book, “Apoptosis and Other Cell Death Mechanisms: Means to an End,” was published in 2018.

Dinshaw Patel, PhD

Dinshaw J. Patel is Member and Abby Rockefeller Mauze Chair in Experimental Therapeutics in the Structural Biology Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York city. He received his PhD from New York University in Chemistry in 1968, followed by postdoctoral training in Biochemistry at NYU Medical School and ATT Bell Laboratories. His independent career has included a permanent appointment as Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories (1970-1984), tenured Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University-Health Sciences (1984-1992) and his current appointment at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1992-current). His research has focused on the structural biology of macromolecular recognition and regulation with an emphasis on applying NMR, x-ray and cryo-EM techniques to characterize structural and functional features mediated by protein-nucleic acid complexes. His research interests span the areas of riboswitches and ribozymes, RNA silencing, epigenetic regulation, cytoplasmic metazoan nucleic acid sensors, and CRISPR-Cas surveillance pathways.

Dr. Patel’s research achievements have been recognized through receipt of the AT&T Bell Laboratories Distinguished Technical Staff Award (1983), the Distinguished Alumnus Award of New York University (1997), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research (2019) and the inaugural Tan Jiazhen International Collaboration Prize (2019). He has served in the past on the Scientific and Medical Advisory Boards of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1989-1996) and the National Cancer Institute (2000-2005). In recognition of his scientific contributions, Dr. Patel was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.

Russell Vance, PhD

Russell Vance, PhD

Dr. Vance is a Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. His lab is known for its work on innate immunity. Since establishing his lab at UC Berkeley in 2006, Dr. Vance has been interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying innate immune recognition of bacterial pathogens. His lab is particularly well known for work on inflammasomes and the discovery that cyclic-di-nucleotides are direct agonists of STING (Stimulator of interferon genes.) Since 2013, he has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Prior to his appointment at UC Berkeley, Dr. Vance’s postdoctoral work was with John Mekalanos and William Dietrich at Harvard Medical School. He obtained his PhD in Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley, under the mentorship of David Raulet. Dr. Vance grew up in Canada where he attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for his undergraduate (Biochemistry) and Master’s (Philosophy of Science) degrees.

Dr. Vance is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and is the recipient of a MERIT award from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award from the American Society for Microbiology.