University Celebration of Career Development Chairs
Monday, April 185-6:15 p.m. ETVirtual Program
To join us, register by Friday, April 15. You will receive a Zoom login link in a confirmation email.
If you have any questions, contact CMUevents@andrew.cmu.edu.
Yongxin (Leon) ZhaoEberly Family Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Yongxin (Leon) Zhao is a chemist by training and a biomedical engineer skilled in many fields of engineering and science, ranging from protein engineering to neuroscience to chemistry to optics. He is the critical inventor of genetically encoded calcium ion indicators, GECO family (Science 2011), and genetically encoded voltage indicators, QuasAr (Nature Methods 2014; Nature Communication 2014). Both tools have been distributed and used by thousands of research labs worldwide. Zhao is also the key inventor of various new imaging tools based on Expansion Microscopy (Nature Biotechnology 2017; Nature Protocol 2020), enabling nanoscale imaging of biological and clinical specimens. The mission of Zhao Biophotonics group is to develop and apply new tools to establish ultra-high-resolution biomolecule atlas of the brain and other complex biological systems and interrogate the biological mechanisms, fostering discovery, new diagnosis, and therapeutics in the long run. His multidisciplinary research program tackles intractable problems in biology, pathology, and medicine by collaborating with biologists, computer scientists, and clinicians in the globe.
Zhao is the recipient of Governor General Academic Gold Medal (the highest honor for Ph.D. graduates in Canada), Kaufman, DSF charitable foundation, and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Since he started his lab in 2017, he has won more than $3.5M in funds from federal and state governments and various foundations, and published 18 papers. In addition, he has been invited to speak at various conferences and top-research institutes around the globe. He has also filed 3 patent applications and co-founded a spin-off diagnostic startup.
Eric YttriEberly Family Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Eric Yttri seeks to understand how the motor and reinforcement areas of the brain work together to generate behavior (Hsu and Yttri, Nature Communications 2021; Yttri and Dudman, Nature 2016). He uses novel electrophysiological and computational (unsupervised machine learning, modeling) tools to understand the flow of information from thought to action. Ultimately, he aims to delineate a specific role for each individual cell type in the motor system and leverage these findings into new strategies for treating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and OCD.
Yttri is the outgoing chair of the Allen Institute Nexter Generation Leader Council, and he has won several awards, including the Whitehall, Brain Research Foundation, Kaufman, and the DSF Charitable Foundation New Innovator Award. In addition to earning two R01’s in his first 3 years and 7 publications since starting the lab, he has been an invited speaker at several conferences, and recently gave his first keynote presentation at a meeting in Germany. He also is pursuing multiple patents for new electrodes which will be able to record from thousands of sites across the brain and using machine learning to capture behavior from video.
Eberly Family Trust
The Eberly Family Trust established the Eberly Family Career Development Professorships of Biological Science in 1997 to support junior faculty members in structural biology in the Mellon College of Science. During World War II, Robert Eberly took a course in statistical analysis at the Carnegie Institute of Technology to aid him in his job as a chemist for the war effort. The Eberly Foundation is dedicated to cultural, educational and charitable organizations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Lining YaoCooper-Siegel Associate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction
Lining Yao directs the Morphing Matter Lab. Yao also holds courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences and Engineering at CMU. Morphing Matter lab develops processes, materials, tools, and applications of adaptive, dynamic, and intelligent morphing matter from nano to macro scales. Her research often combines material science, computational fabrication, and creative design practices. The mission is to advance both science and society with the design of morphing matter. Yao and her lab work anti-disciplinarily, publishing and exhibiting across science, engineering, design, and art. Lining gained her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. She is a Wired UK fellow, a UN instructor, a CMU Provost's Inclusive Teaching Fellow, and a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.
Eric Cooper and Naomi W. Siegel
Dr. Eric C. Cooper and his wife, Naomi W. Siegel, established the Cooper-Siegel Professorship in the School of Computer Science in 2005 to support a junior faculty member. Eric Cooper is a former faculty member in the School of Computer Science and is a Carnegie Mellon trustee. Naomi Weisberg Siegel is the daughter of two Carnegie Mellon University graduates: Rebecca Weisberg Siegel, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in music and music education from the College of Fine Arts in 1952; and Robert Ted Siegel, who earned a bachelor of science degree in 1948, a master of science degree in 1950, and a doctorate in 1952, all in physics, from the Mellon College of Science.
Keenan CraneMichael B. Donohue Associate Professor of Computer Science and Robotics
In addition to his professorship appointment, Keenan Crane is a member of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis and also mentors a team of incredible students in the Geometry Collective. Their work in the emerging field of Discrete Differential Geometry uses insights from differential geometry to build fundamental representations and algorithms for processing, designing, and analyzing geometric data. Keenan received his Bachelor of Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was a Google Ph.D. Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, and an National Science Foundation (NSF) Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. He is also a Packard Fellow and recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.
Michael B. Donohue
Michael Donohue established the Michael B. Donohue Career Development Professorship to support a junior faculty member with a primary appointment in the School of Computer Science. Michael earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science and political science in 2001 from Carnegie Mellon University. Michael previously worked at WhatsApp for 8 years, and is now one of the co-founders of HalloApp, building an encrypted social platform for close friends.
Andrew Li's research develops new methods in optimization, statistics, and machine learning for problems in retail and personalized medicine. His work is regularly published in top venues in the fields of operations research and machine learning, and has been recognized with multiple awards including the Nicholson and Pierskalla awards, and a NeurIPS oral presentation. He also teaches and consults frequently in both spaces, and leads ENAiBLE, CMU’s retail and services collaborative around AI and design.
BP America, Inc.
Standard Oil Company established the BP America Junior Faculty Research Professorship in 1985 to support a junior faculty member in the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, now the Tepper School of Business. Standard Oil was later sold to British Petroleum.
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