Open Science Summit


Past Speakers: | 2011 | 2010 |

2012 Speakers

Juan Pablo Alperin Public Knowledge Project, Stanford University







Juan Pablo Alperin is a third year doctoral student in the Stanford School of Education as well as a researcher and systems developer with the Public Knowledge Project.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Geography from the University of Waterloo, Canada.  In the last five years, Juan has delivered workshops for journal editors all over Latin America with a focus on promoting Open Access to scholarship, has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on scholarly publishing, continues to work on the award-winning software Open Journal Systems (OJS), and was the lead developer on the recently released Open Monograph Press (OMP). While at Stanford, Juan is focused on understanding the effects of Open Access in Latin America, where over 90% of research is made freely available to the public. When not trying to revolutionize academic publishing, Juan gets busy traveling, baking cakes, or winning at bocce.

Madeleine Ball, Personal Genome Project





Madeleine Price Ball, PhD, is  Director of Biology with the Personal Genome Project. She also posts on the PGP blog. Her graduate work was in the Church Lab, developing high throughput DNA methylation profiling technology.  She is involved in developing the computational and literature review methods used to interpret PGP genomes and is a leading developer of GET-Evidence, the PGP’s system for genome interpretation. She also works on PGP issues related to participation, including communication, informed consent, and data and sample collection.


Elizabeth Bartmess, Reproducibility Project, Open Science Collaboration


Elizabeth Bartmess is the Project Coordinator for the Reproducibility Project, a large-scale open science collaboration to estimate the reproducibility of a large sample of studies from the scientific literature, currently focusing on three prominent psychology journals.  She develops and maintains policy, procedures, and documentation, connects researchers to information and volunteers, and coordinates volunteers.

Elizabeth also works as a programmer/data manager and usability consultant at the University of California, San Francisco.  She has a dual-MS in social psychology and information science (specialization in human-computer interaction) from the University of Michigan.  Her graduate research in psychology looked at social thought in children with autism. After graduating in 2008, she was awarded a fellowship from the Presidential Management Fellows program, a flagship federal government leadership development program for people with post-graduate degrees. After a year spent working a logistics innovation agency and six months spent doing educational planning for a national monument, she decided she was happiest in research and came back.




Allen Black, Fabrazyme March In Rights Lawsuit








Dr. Black has practiced patent law at some of the largest law firms in the U.S. He has handled patent prosecution matters for universities and companies
ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 100 firms.

Before practicing law, Dr. Black was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he developed vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer. Dr. Black received his postdoctoral training at the Magee Women’s Research Institute in Pittsburgh in the areas of mucosal immunology, molecular biology, and microbiology. Dr. Black has published original research in the Journal of Immunology and Infection & Immunity among other journals. He is a contributor to the recently released book, Gene Profiles in Drug Design, and holds patents for an RNA-based drug technology.

Dr. Black is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he teaches Biotechnology Law



Barry Bunin Collaborative Drug Discovery







Dr. Barry Bunin, CEO & President of Collaborative Drug Discovery Inc.
( helps scientists in secure collaborative groups more rapidly
develop drug candidates for commercial and humanitarian markets. Thousands of researchers
worldwide use CDD today. Dr. Bunin and CDD received funding in 2008 to support a
global community of leading TB researchers from the Gates Foundation (BMGF). He co-
authored “Chemoinformatics: Theory, Practice, and Products”, a text that overviews modern
chemoinformatics technologies and “The Combinatorial Index”, a widely used text on high-
throughput chemical synthesis. Dr. Bunin was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Eli Lilly and the
founding CEO, President, & CSO of Libraria. In the lab, Dr. Bunin did medicinal chemistry
developing patented new chemotypes for protease inhibition at Axys Pharmaceuticals and RGD
mimics to inhibit GP-IIbIIIa at Genentech. Dr. Bunin is on a patent for Carfilzomib – a selective
proteasome inhibitor now in phase 3 clinical trials for multiple myeloma. Dr. Bunin received his

Ph.D. at Berkeley, where he synthesized and tested the initial 1,4-benzodiazepine libraries with
Professor Jonathan Ellman.


Atul Butte, Stanford







Atul Butte, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Medicine (Medical Informatics) and Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Butte’s laboratory focuses on solving problems relevant to genomic medicine by developing new biomedical-informatics methodologies in translational bioinformatics. Dr. Butte has authored more than 100 publications and delivered more than 120 invited presentations in personalized and systems medicine, biomedical informatics, and molecular diabetes, including 20 at the National Institutes of Health or NIH-related meetings. Dr. Butte received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Brown University. Dr. Butte received a Ph.D. in Health Sciences and Technology from the Medical Engineering / Medical Physics Program in the Division of Health Sciences and Technology, at Harvard Medical Schooland Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Michael Cohn, Reproducibility Project, Open Science Collaboration

Michael Cohn, PhD is a is a volunteer programmer and data manager for the Reproducibility Project. He assists in coordinating the efforts of over 70 researchers, statisticians, and volunteer coders who are producing the first rigorous, broad-based study of the replicability of findings published in top psychology journals. He’s determined to rescue the feared and misunderstood null result, and teach the psychology research community to love (and more importantly, publish) them.

Michael is a social and health psychologist and self-taught internet interventions researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. He is part of a group that studies the ways people use positive emotions and experiences to help them cope effectively, even when dealing with severe illness or loss. He designs free online courses and applications to help people learn and use empirically-tested skills for creating and enhancing positive emotions. He also works with the university’s employee wellness program to design, distribute, and rigorously test innovative health and stress-reduction programs.


Connor Dickie Synbiota






Connor Dickie is Co-Founder of Synbiota Collaborative Platform: A platform presently in private beta for scientific collaboration.

Synbiota is a rapidly growing platform of collaborative services built to accelerate your progress. Whether you need a streamlined service to design, store, post, organize, access, or share your information, Synbiota has you sorted.  Synbiota is opening up the possibility of scalable, crowd-sourcable collaboration in science – both for research and commercial endeavours.  Synbiota is all about  opening up science and collaboration, and using open-source for optimal transparency and scalability!  Visit Synbiota here:


GENtle2: Synbiota, in partnership with Magnus Manske (the inventor of what Wikimedia/Wikipedia platform is built on), have created a cutting edge browser-based open-source DNA design tool.  Snybiota’s team was a participant  in the Mozilla WebFWD program, which provided initial support for developing the software.   One of the neatest things about this open-source tool is that it is build with crowd-sourcing in mind. Users can build their own plugins for the software so that anyone else using GENtle2 can access them! totally open and scalable.  Try Gentle here:



Synbiota just launched the SPrize – an global incentive prize to encourage the creation of open-source plugins for GENtle2:

Todd Duncombe, Tekla Labs







Tekla Labs, a recently formed organization of UC Berkeley and UCSF graduate students, aims to lower
the barriers for doing science in low resource settings. We are developing a free online database of easy
to follow do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions for the construction of scientific laboratory equipment. Our
goal is to empower scientists at all levels all over the world (such as high school teachers, university
researchers, and independent laboratories) to build their own research infrastructure at a low cost from
locally available supplies.

Todd Duncombe received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2010. He
is currently a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley and UCSF Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering and a
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Todd joined the Tekla Labs team in September
2010, shortly after its inception.


Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH








Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH is a board-certified physician in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology now a physician entrepreneur previously at Nationwide Children’s Hospital affiliated with The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio where she recently earned her MPH degree in health behavior studies.

In April 2011, Dr. Dyer founded a consulting company EndoGoddess, LLC which specializes in health-related mobile app development, media, writing, speaking, and health IT consulting. She has also joined partnership with an Ohio health mobile app developer ( She is an active mHealth researcher/innovator focused on developing and using mobile innovations (such as a personalized, automated smartphone app for doctor/patient weekly texting triggers to teens with diabetes, mobile glucometer data capture with parental push notification of glucose checks in real-time, daily motivational dog/cat graphics rewarding glucose checking behavior, original diabetes content, timeline clinical goals for diabetes care between visits which show up daily) and ongoing study of diabetes-focused psychotherapy with complimentary telemedicine contacts to further engage patients in their healthcare thereby improving health outcomes.

Dr. Dyer also actively engages and speaks nationally about healthcare social media including at the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in March 2011. She is known to many on twitter as @EndoGoddess and has a youtube channel which she uses primarily for advocacy. Dr. Dyer feels that ‘good health is social’ and that social media provides opportunities for physicians to connect people with authentic improvements in their wellbeing and health which far outweigh the easily-managed perceived risks.

Additionally, Dr. Dyer is very excited about the positive food behavior-change analysis from her ongoing assessment of one of the most extensive, innovative local-foods nutrition literacy programs in the nation for young children called ‘Food Matters’ in collaboration with Head Start and Columbus non-profit organization Local Matters featured at a national Head Start Conference in April 2011.


Jose-Maria Fernandez MIT,Laboratory for Financial Engineering, MIT Sloan






Jose-Maria Fernandez  is a researcher at the MIT Sloan Laboratory for Financial
Engineering.  His recent work has focused on the creation of new models to finance
scientific research. More specifically, along with Professor Andrew Lo and Dr. Roger
Stein, he has applied the principles of structured finance and portfolio theory to design
a  new type of  biomedical investment vehicle  that  issues RBO (research based
obligations) to finance the development of new cures for cancer.

Prior to MIT he worked in debt capital markets for over ten years.  Between 2005 and
2008 he was a Managing Director for Credit Agricole CIB in London where he ran the
Debt Capital Markets Global Origination department for Sovereigns, Supranational and
Development Agencies.  Under his leadership, Credit Agricole´s IFR euro league table
ranking in this market segment successfully shifted to first in Mayof 2008, up from 14th
at the end of 2005.

Previously, since late 1997 Jose-Maria worked in the Spanish Ministry of Finance.  In
November 2002 he was appointed Head of the Public Debt department Treasury
Department, Ministry of Finance, Madrid.  In that position he was responsible for the
capital market operations of the Kingdom of Spain, funding annually over $100b
through the issuance and management of a multicurrency portfolio of debt securities.
In this position he was also in charge for the management of the Kingdom’s $400b
liability portfolio.

Jose-Maria holds an MBA degree from MIT Sloan’s Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation
and Global Leadership, a Masters in Finance degree from the London Business School
and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business from CUNEF in Madrid. He was
appointed State Economist and Trade Expert of the Spanish General Government  in


Lindy Fishburne, Executive Director, Breakout Labs








Lindy Fishburne is the Executive Director of Breakout Labs, the newest project of The Thiel Foundation. After years in the trenches with start-ups, non-profit management, and consulting for global technology companies she’s never been more inspired than by the scientific innovation happening right now. Follow on Twitter @breakout_labs


Breakout Labs is reshaping the way early-stage science is funded, so that independent researchers and early-stage companies can advance their most radical ideas. Venture capital firms want research that can be quickly brought to market, and federal funding offers little room for risky, unproven ideas. We are jumping into this funding gap to energize innovative research. Breakout Labs is not a typical foundation grant—we are a revolutionary, revolving funding model where successful projects fund the next generation of audacious scientific exploration.


Sarah Greene.  Cancer Commons





Sarah Greene is Executive Director of Cancer Commons, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance and report the latest precision therapies to patients through Rapid Learning Communities involving patients, researchers and physicians. Most recently she was editor-in-chief of The Scientist magazine and its parent, Faculty of 1000, a post-publication peer review service in London. She is a publishing and new media entrepreneur with three startups acquired by Wiley (Current Protocols), Elsevier (HMS Beagle web magazine and BioMedNet), and Thomson Reuters (Praxis.MD; Best Practice of Medicine). She was a co-founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine and launched the Journal of Participatory Medicine as managing editor. Greene also developed websites with original content and formats for the New York Academy of Sciences (eBriefingsScience & the Cityand The New York Times-Health, and was chief content officer at Keas, Inc. She trained as a soil microbiologist and puts this to good use at her family farm in Nebraska.




 Alex Cureton-Griffiths, UK Director of SpaceGAMBIT







SpaceGAMBIT is a new effort (funded by DARPA) to build an alliance of hackerspaces (and all variants) working to build grassroots collaboration by providing grants to encourage education and research projects promoting humanity’s survivability and expansion into space.  Alex will give a lightning talk on how SpaceGAMBIT plan to empower hackerspaces around the world, and how you can get involved in building mankind’s future in space.

Alex Cureton-Griffiths is a marketing consultant based in Shanghai, China and will be relocating to the UK soon. He regularly attends XinCheJian, Shanghai’s hackerspace. With an interest in space from a young age, he wants to spread the SpaceGAMBIT message and bring about “the tomorrow we were promised yesterday.” He has experience in entrepreneurship and marketing and put in extensive effort on the proposal to DARPA. He is currently focused on curating the SpaceGAMBIT website. He is interested in promoting the effort to Hackerspaces, academia, sponsors and the general public, building the organizations capabilities, and putting in place a focused, international effort to get hackerspaces into space.


Paul Gu, Upstart



Paul is product manager and an early team member at Upstart. He is also an inaugural member of Peter Thiel’s 20under20 Fellowship. Previously, he worked briefly on the risk team at D.E. Shaw Group, built his own automated statistical trading strategies on Interactive Brokers API, and created several web apps. Paulwas a CS and Economics double major at Yale University prior to the Thiel Fellowship.


William Gunn, Mendeley







William currently serves as the Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, a research management tool for collaboration and discovery.

Most recently, he did assay development for Genalyte, a molecular diagnostics startup. His work involved developing protein, DNA, and small molecule assays on their novel high-throughput assay platform.

William received his PhD from the Tulane University, where he studied under Dr. Darwin Prockop at the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy. His dissertation is entitled “Investigating the Role of Human Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in the Repair of Bone”, in which he developed a model of multiple myeloma in mice and used it to test small molecule inhibitors of the interaction between multiple myeloma and bone precursor cells, promoting bone regeneration and repair of osteolytic lesions.

Specialties:  His work at Tulane involved self-guided experimental research on the relationship between Human Adult Stem Cells and cancer. His areas of expertise are bone biology, multiple myeloma, adult stem cells, and development of disease models.


Mark Hahnel Figshare/Digital Science







Mark joins Digital Science straight out of academia, having just completed his PhD in stem cell biology at Imperial College London, having previously studied genetics in both Newcastle and Leeds. He is genuinely passionate about open science and the potential it has to revolutionise the research community.

Outside of science and computers, he tries to spend the majority of his time watching football and occasionally attempting to play it.


Jonathan Hirsch, Founder and President, Syapse


Jonathan founded Syapse after observing first-hand the information management inefficiencies in biology-based research and product development. At Syapse, Jonathan works closely with our customers, helping translate their scientific and business needs into a suite of software solutions that enable data-driven R&D. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked in Neuroscience Commercial Development at Abbott Laboratories, where he developed strategies to fund drug development through partnerships and private equity financing. While at the University of Chicago, Jonathan served as the Business Development Manager for three startup biotechnology companies, securing successful partnerships with commercial and government entities.His research at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology at the University of Chicago helped establish the effect of exercise on promoting hippocampal neurogenesis and combating Alzheimer’s disease. Jonathan received an M.S. in Neuroscience from Stanford University, and an A.B. in Biology and Political Philosophy from the University of Chicago.




Mahboob Imtiyaz, Journal of Errology


Mahboob Imtiyaz started Journal of Errology with an altruistic motive just as he was about to begin pursuit for his PhD, after he became aware early on about the problems researchers and the industry faces.  He does not believe there is any other way to do science other than Open.  He holds an engineering degree in Biotechnology (yes there is such a thing) and calls himself a parallel entrepreneur, but is more of a scientist at heart.


He is also involved with Innovators4Hire, and open innovation driven talent screening and idea generation platform and Lab Critics, an weblog that covers developments in lab ware.


Elizabeth Iorns, CEO Science Exchange





Elizabeth conceived the idea for Science Exchange while an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth, and is passionate about creating a new way to foster collaboration that will democratize access to expertise and accelerate the speed of scientific discovery.

David Jay, Founder, Journal Lab








David builds information systems which create meaningful conversations, relationships and communities.  He specializes in building online social systems, with expertise in user research, experience design, and web development.

Journal Lab is a community of grad students, post-doc, PIs, and professors openly discussing published research.


Beth Kolko Shift Labs, low cost diy medical devices







Beth Kolko is a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. She is also a Founder and CEO of Shift Labs, an engineering and manufacturing company designing low cost health technologies for low resource communities.

As an academic, Beth began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and today runs the Design for Digital Inclusion (DDI) lab at UW.  DDI works on technology development for resource-constrained environments. The DDI group thinks about the other five billion potential users and how technologies can help address the challenges of everyday life globally. She also runs the Hackademia Lab which builds on the idea of “non-expert innovation” as the source of disruptive technologies. She started Hackademia in an attempt to bring the habits of mind of hackers and makers into the university setting. Beth is fascinated by creativity, innovation, and how a new perspective on an old problem can be a game changer. She co-founded Shift Labs because she and her colleagues decided the medical device industry was ready for some hacker disruption.


Jimmy Lin Ph.D. Rare Genomics Institute







Geneticist and founder of the Rare Genomics Institute, an organization that allows patients to crowdsource funds and genomes to accelerate research of their rare genetic diseases. Jimmy is the lead computational biologist for the ground-breaking cancer genome sequencing efforts from the Vogelstein Lab at Johns Hopkins. Their sequencing of the first 100+ cancer exomes in 5 different tissue types has helped lay the foundation for a revolution in cancer genomics. After completing his MD/PhD at Johns Hopkins, along with colleagues at Harvard and Yale, Jimmy started Rare Genomics Institute: a non-profit biotech venture that microfunds and enables genome sequencing for children with rare and orphan diseases.


Pek Lum, PhD, Ayasdi








Pek Lum joined Ayasdi in September 2010 to start and lead the Life Sciences sector where she is developing the vision and business strategy. Prior to joining Ayasdi, she spent 10 years at Rosetta Inpharmatics/ Merck & Co. where her research in systems biology has contributed to the discoveries of new targets, biomarkers and the understanding of complex diseases. Her work has been widely published in leading scientific journals. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington.



Kevin D. Lustig PhD, CEO and President Assay Depot







Kevin has spent most of the past 28 years either managing research groups or running his own experiments at the bench. He is co-founder and CEO of Assay Depot, which owns and operates a network of online research exchanges that have the potential to dramatically improve how research outsourcing is done. In 2001, Kevin co-founded Kalypsys, a fully integrated drug discovery company that raised over $170 million in venture funding and put five drug candidates into human clinical trials.

Prior to Kalypsys, he directed lead discovery at Tularik, a highly successful biopharmaceutical company purchased by Amgen for more than $2 billion. He carried out postdoctoral work in Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School after receiving a PhD degree from Marc Kirschner’s laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Kevin has a M.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, in Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences. His research discoveries have been published in Science magazine and other leading scientific journals and he has been awarded eight technology patents.


Jordan Miller, U Penn,  RepRap Open Source 3D printing for Regenerative Medicine









Jordan is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, a founding member of Hive76 in Philadelphia, and a RepRap core developer. His research in the department of Bioengineering combines chemistry and rapid prototyping to direct cultured human cells to form more complex organizations of living vessels and tissues. Jordan has been in the 3D maker community since the beginning. He developed the MakerBot heated build platform at Hive76 and is delighted to use his RepRap 3D printer every day in the lab for biomedical research and regenerative medicine.


 Tyler Neylon, The Cost of Knowledge






Tyler Neylon created The Cost of Knowledge website, inspired by the open science advocations of Timothy Gowers. The Cost of Knowledge is a boycott of Elsevier’s business practices and their negative effects in the world of academic publishing. Mr. Neylon is currently building a mobile app development startup (AppGrok), and has previously worked as a software engineer at Google with a focus on machine learning algorithms.



Richard Price, CEO







Richard is Founder of, a platform for academics to share research papers. Our mission is to accelerate the world’s research.

You can read more about’s mission on their blog.

Prior to founding, Richard did a PhD at Oxford in philosophy, where he was a Prize Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.



 Joanne Kamens, PhD Executive Director, Addgene








Dr. Kamens is the Executive Director of Addgene, a mission driven, non-profit dedicated to helping scientists around the world collaborate. She received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School then spent 15 years at BASF/Abbott where she led discovery research projects on small molecule and antibody approaches to inflammatory diseases, ultimately serving as Group Leader in Molecular Biology.  In 2007 she joined RXi Pharmaceuticals as Director of Discovery and concluded there as Senior Director of Research Collaborations.  She has been raising awareness of women scientists since 1998 upon realizing that an entire week had gone by at work and not one other woman had been at any meeting she attended.  Dr. Kamens founded the Boston chapter of AWIS and served as the Director of Mentoring for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Boston Chapter.  Follow her on Twitter: @jkamens



 Carlo Quinonez, PhD, Aquinas, Open Source Hardware Kernel for Biology







Carlo Quinonez is an IRACDA Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at UCSD, where he is studying the regulatory network controlling classical activation in macrophages, which are a key component of the immune response. Carlo received an Entrepreneurial Fellowship at Caltech which lead to a seven-year foray into the business world where he gained expertise in product design, engineering and project management. While working at Equigene, Carlo began designing an instrument to collect heart rate, cardiac output, velocity, and position from free-running thoroughbreds on the racetrack. Dr. Quinonez also co-founded Visopia where he lead the development of a scalable hardware platform for high-power LED lighting.


Justin Rebo, CEO Open Biotechnology, Inc



Dr. Rebo founded Open Biotechnology, Inc. initially because he wanted open source biotechnology tools to use personally.  After two years experience as cofounder of a regenerative medicine startup, he perceived the use restrictions and, for lack of a better word, obscene profit margins seen in contemporary research tools products as extremely frustrating and limiting to progress by himself and all other researchers.  So he founded Open Biotechnology with John Schloendorn, to make research tools without these restrictions and immense costs.  In doing so, they were able to free themselves from many types of use restrictions, remove most of the cost of doing their own research, and continue their work in regenerative medicine.  They also realized that they could not make regenerative medicine happen all by themselves.  They decided to make their tools fully open source, and offer them to the world, so that other groups can join in the same benefits.


Prior to Open Biotechnology Justin co-founded ImmunePath, Inc. which was able to successfully treat cytopenia in a preclinical model using blood progenitors made from embryonic stem cells.Justin has worked as a research scientist with the Methuselah Foundation where he developed enzyme therapy for atherosclerosis and Macular Degeneration, and the SENS foundation where he led a team in a preclinical project to reverse immune decline with aging by targeting senescent cells.  Justin received his undergraduate degree in Business from Miami University and his MD/MSc from St. George’s University School of medicine

Cesar Rodriguez Genome Compiler






Jacob Rosen, UCSC Raven Open Source Medical Robotics







Jacob Rosen is a professor at the Department of Computer Engineering, University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC). His research interests focus on medical robotics, biorobotics, human centered robotics, surgical robotics, wearable robotics, rehabilitation robotics, neural control, and human-machine interface. Dr. Rosen received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University in 1987, 1993 and 1997 respectively. From 1987 to 1992 he served as an officer in the IDF studying human-machine interfaces. From 1993 to 1997 he was a research associate developing and studying the EMG based powered Exoskeleton at the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel-Aviv University. During the same period of time he held a position in a startup company developing innovative orthopedic spine/pelvis implants. From 1997 to 2000 he was a Post-Doc at the departments of Electrical Engineering and Surgery, University of Washington while developing surgical robotic and medical simulation systems. From 2001- 2008 he served as a faculty member at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington in Seattle with adjunct appointments with the Departments of Surgery, and Mechanical Engineering. Since 2008 he has been directing the Bionics lab at University of California – Santa Cruz (UCSC). Dr. Rosen developed several key systems in the field of medical robotics such as the Blue and the Red Dragon for minimally invasive surgical skill evaluation that is commercialized by Simulab as the “Edge”, Raven – a surgical robotic system for telesurgery, several generations of upper and lower limb exoskeletons and most recently the Exo-UL7 – a two wearable robotic systems. He is a co-author of 70 manuscripts in the field of medical robotics and a co-author and co-editor of a book entitled “Surgical Robotics – Systems, Applications, and Visions” published by Springer.

Jeff Spies, Reproducibility Framework




Jeffrey is a graduate student in the Quantitative Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia working with Brian Nosek.  He is interested in understanding and reducing the gap between scientific values and scientific practices by using and developing open source tools to incentivize transparent and open workflows.  His dissertation project, the Open Science Framework (, is one such tool.

Andrew Torrence, Legal and Technical Standards in Synthetic Biology 








Andrew W. Torrance joined the KU Law faculty in 2005 and, in 2009, was named a Docking Faculty Scholar, a university-wide program established with a gift from the late Mrs. Meredith Docking to honor faculty members who have distinguished themselves in their early careers. He was also a 2009-10 Fellow in Law, Innovation and Growth at the Searle Center at Northwestern University Law School. In August of 2010, Torrance was invited by Google Inc., to give a Google TechTalk at Google’s main Mountain View campus in California; Google posted his entire presentation, “The Patent Game: Experiments in the Cathedral of Law,” on its YouTube Google TechTalk channel. He received his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University in 1997 and is a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University in Canada. In 2003, he was named the Hrdy Visiting Professor of Conservation Biology at Harvard University and taught Biodiversity: Science, Policy, and Law at Harvard University from 1999 until his arrival at KU.

He practiced biotechnology patent law at Fish and Richardson PC, the world’s largest intellectual property law firm, after working as a summer associate at both Morrison & Foerster LLC and Fish & Richardson P.C. Next, he served as inhouse patent counsel at Inverness Medical Innovations, a global biotechnology company with headquarters in Boston, and helped start Stirling Medical Innovations, a cardiac diagnostics biotechnology company based in Scotland. He has presented his research across the United States, as well as in Canada, Finland, Scotland, England, France and Germany. His articles have been published in journals such as the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. Several of his articles have been listed on SSRN (Social Science Research Network) Top Ten Lists. In the spring of 2009, Torrance was invited to present his research to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) at OECD Headquarters in Paris.

Since 2007, Torrance has run Biolaw: Law at the Frontiers of Biology, an annual conference that gathers leading scholars at KU Law to present their insights on the latest developments in biolaw. His interests in biology have led to research expeditions to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Banks Island in the Canadian High Arctic, and the Caribbean islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John, Jost van Dyke and Tortola. He has served as chairman of the Scientific and Creative Board of the Darwin Project, a major biodiversity institution planned for downtown Boston, is a member of the board of East Wind Power, and has assisted the BioBricks Foundation (BBF).

Torrance’s research interests include intellectual property, patent law, innovation law, biotechnology, biolaw, food and drug law, biodiversity law, climate change law, and international environmental law. He teaches classes in intellectual property law, patent law, food and drug law, and biodiversity law. He served as marshall at the law school’s December 2008 hooding ceremony after being elected for the role by the graduating class.

Most recently, he was commissioned to write a report on the future of legal and technical standards for Synthetic Biology for the National Academy of Sciences.  Available here:



Eric Valor, ALS Patient Advocate





Eric Valor had just turned 36 when he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs disease). Before this time, he was an avid surfer, snowboarder and scuba diver as well as self-taught Information Technology professional with a career of nearly 20 years. The continued advance of ALS led to his early retirement by February 2008. In July of 2008, Eric suffered a pulmonary event that required a tracheotomy and the permanent use of a ventilator. By this time he had also lost his ability to eat and was fed through a tube to his stomach. You can learn more by reading his “My History With ALS”.

Since 2008, Eric has required 24/7 ventilation monitoring and care. He is completely quadriplegic and operates a computer solely with his right eye. Not content to merely exist, he keeps busy with multiple activities:

  • He maintains a blog where he analyzes research as a service to other Person(s) with ALS (PALS).
  • He provides Information Technology advice to PALS to help them transition.
  • He is part of a global “family” of PALS formed using social media.
  • He is an active and aggressive advocate for awareness, creating and distributing multiple PSAs.
  • He encourages and participates in coverage by regular media.
  • He consults for non-profit and privately-funded biotechs.
  • He is a designer and participant in patient-driven drug trials.



 Cindy Wu, Microryza








In a former life, Cindy used a videogame to re-engineer an enzyme treatment for anthrax bacteria and developed a two year love-hate relationship with dendritic cells. Cindy also likes playing in the wilderness and enjoys teaching science to little kids, both things she would like to try again in the future.

For now, Cindy builds Microryza’s collection of researchers.



Dan Whaley,




Dan Whaley is the founder of, a non-profit, open source platform for the collaborative annotation and peer-review of information.   His prime motivation is to see the amazing things humanity is capable of at its best.

In 1994 Dan launched the online travel industry, as the coder and entrepreneur who founded Internet Travel Network (ITN, later renamed GetThere).  The first airline reservation made over the web was booked via a server in his living room in 1995. GetThere pioneered a number of the key technical and business concepts in widespread use on the Internet today.  It went public in 1999 (NASDAQ: GTHR) and was purchased in 2000 by Sabre, Inc. (NYSE: TSG). GetThere still handles over 60% of the B2B market for online travel services and is one of the largest transaction processing systems in the world.

He has a degree in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He is a licensed private pilot, a ham radio operator and an avid inline skater.

Michael Weinberg Public Knowledge







Michael Weinberg is the Vice President, Institute for Emerging Innovation at Public Knowledge. He focuses primarily on emerging issues in technology, law, and policy such as data caps, digital copyright, and 3D printing