Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Janet Napolitano is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She served as the twentieth president of the University of California, the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. Prior to joining the University of California, Professor Napolitano served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. She is a former two-term Governor of Arizona, a former Attorney General of Arizona, and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. In 2019, Napolitano published How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11. Professor Napolitano earned her B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science from Santa Clara University, and her J.D. from the University of Virginia. She is based in Berkeley, CA.
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
Harold Varmus, M.D., shared a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989 with J. Michael Bishop, M.D. for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him as the first Nobel laureate to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There, he recruited top researchers as directors, helped to initiate a doubling of the NIH budget, and established PubMed Central, a free archive of published papers. In 2000, Dr. Varmus became President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he enlarged its research and patient-care programs, constructed a major new research tower, initiated MSKCC’s first independent doctoral program (in cancer biology) and helped to establish the Starr Cancer Consortium with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Rockefeller University, Weill-Cornell Medical College, and the Broad Institute. From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Varmus was Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), after serving as co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is currently the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and a senior associate at the New York Genome Center.
Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, and founding Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University.
Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, is Director and Robert J. Margolis, M.D., Professor of Business, Medicine and Policy at the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. He is a physician-economist who focuses on quality and value in health care, including payment reform, real-world evidence and more effective drug and device innovation. Dr. McClellan is at the center of the nation’s efforts to combat the pandemic and the author of a roadmap that details the steps needed for a comprehensive COVID-19 response and safe reopening of our country. He is former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy. Dr. McClellan is an independent director on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, Cigna, Alignment Healthcare, and PrognomIQ; co-chairs the Guiding Committee for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network; and serves as an advisor for Arsenal Capital Group, Blackstone Life Sciences, and MITRE.
Professor of Public Health, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
A leading scientist in the areas of infectious diseases, vaccines, and global health and former consultant to the White House, Dr. Barry Bloom continues to pursue an active interest in bench science as the principal investigator of a laboratory researching the immune response to tuberculosis, a disease that claims more than two million lives each year. He has been extensively involved with the World Health Organization (WHO) for more than 40 years. He is currently Chair of the Technical and Research Advisory Committee to the Global Programme on Malaria at WHO and has been a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research and chaired the WHO Committees on Leprosy Research and Tuberculosis Research, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Dr. Bloom serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
Dr. Bloom currently serves on the Ellison Medical Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and the Wellcome Trust Pathogens, Immunology and Population Health Strategy Committee. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Advisory Council of the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research.
Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, UC Berkeley
Dan Nomura is a Professor of Chemical Biology in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. Since 2017, he has also been the Director of the Novartis-Berkeley Center for Proteomics and Chemistry Technologies focused on using chemoproteomic platforms to tackle the undruggable proteome. He is also Co-Founder and Head of the Scientific Advisory Board of Frontier Medicines. Since 2018, he has also been an Associate Editor for Cell Chemical Biology. He earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley with Professor John Casida and was a postdoctoral fellow at Scripps Research with Professor Ben Cravatt before returning to Berkeley as a faculty member in 2011. Among his honors are selection as a Searle Scholar, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, the Department of Defense Breakthroughs Award, Eicosanoid Research Foundation Young Investigator Award, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research ASPIRE award.
The Nomura Research Group is focused on reimagining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to develop transformative medicines.
Professor of Metabolic Biology, UC Berkeley
Anders M. Näär is a Professor of Metabolic Biology in the Department of Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a B.S. degree in biochemistry/biotechnology from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology with M. Geoff Rosenfeld at UC San Diego/HHMI in 1995, studying nuclear hormone receptor mechanisms of gene regulation. He was a postdoctoral research fellow with Robert Tjian at UC Berkeley/HHMI, where he discovered the human Mediator transcriptional co-activator complex. Dr. Näär was a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, from 2001-2018.
A major focus of his lab is to understand transcriptional and microRNA regulatory mechanisms controlling metabolic homeostasis.
Executive Director of the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, the Immunotherapy and Vaccine Research Institute, and the Drug Discovery Center, University of California Berkeley
Julia Schaletzky joined CEND in fall 2017 and is currently the center’s Executive Director. Originally from Germany, Julia trained as a Biochemist at Bayreuth University and completed her studies in the laboratory of Prof. Francis Barr at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. She then went abroad to obtain her PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Tom Rapoport at Harvard Medical School/HHMI. While the main focus was on translocation of proteins across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, she also volunteered as a mentor for the HHMI EXROP program, training and mentoring students from underrepresented communities over the summer. After completing her PhD, Julia joined Cytokinetics, a biotechnology company in South San Francisco. During her 11 years at Cytokinetics, Julia and her team focused on discovering and developing novel, first-in-class medicines against heart failure and neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS, which are currently in Phase III clinical trials. In addition, she took on several pro-bono projects stemming from academic collaborations, working after hours on successful screens against Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Malaria and Toxoplasmosis. Julia is passionate about treating neglected and emerging diseases, establishing effective collaboration between academia and industry and about translating basic science into new companies and ultimately cures.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF
Aashish was an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked in the lab of Jeff McKinney on Salmonella-host interactions. He moved to California in 2008 to join the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program. There, he worked with Brian Kobilka as a graduate student to elucidate different aspects of GPCR function, resulting in a number of important contributions to our current understanding of opioid and adrenergic receptors. After finishing his medical training in May 2016, Aashish began his independent research career as the first Stanford Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine within the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. He subsequently began as an assistant professor at UCSF in fall of 2017.
His research focuses on the largest group of drug targets in the human body, the G protein coupled receptors.
Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Founding Executive Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute.
Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD, is a Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Founding Executive Director of the UC Davis One Health Institute. Her work focuses on global health problem solving for emerging infectious diseases and conservation challenges. Currently, Dr. Mazet is the Co-Director of the US Agency for International Development’s One Health Workforce – Next Generation, an $85 million educational strengthening project to empower professionals in Central/East Africa and Southeast Asia to address complex and emerging health threats, including antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases. She is the Principal Investigator of and served as the Global Director of PREDICT Project for 10 years, a greater than $200 million viral emergence early warning project under USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Division. PREDICT served as an early-warning system-strengthening effort aimed at finding emerging viruses before they spread to humans. PREDICT provided the proof-of-concept for the Global Virome Project, for which Mazet serves on the board of directors. She was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2013 in recognition of her successful and innovative approach to emerging environmental and global health threats and serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats and chairs the Academies’ One Health Action Collaborative. She was appointed to the National Academies Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, which was created to assist the federal government with critical science and policy issues related to the COVID-19 crisis and other emerging health threats.
Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Center for Global Public Health in the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Dr. Eva Harris is a Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Center for Global Public Health in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. She has developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the molecular virology, pathogenesis, immunology, epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical aspects and control of dengue, Zika and chikungunya, the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral diseases in humans. Her work addresses immune correlates of protection and pathogenesis, viral and host factors that modulate disease severity, and virus replication and evolution, using in vitro approaches, animal models, and research involving human populations. Dr. Harris has published over 275 peer-reviewed articles, as well as a book on her international scientific work. In 1997, she received a MacArthur Award for work over the previous ten years developing programs to build scientific capacity in developing countries to address public health and infectious disease issues. This enabled her to found a non-profit organization in 1998, Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI; www.sustainablesciences.org), with offices in San Francisco and Nicaragua to continue and expand this work worldwide.
Professor of Epidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Computational Biology faculty and the Director of Undergraduate Public Health Major Program, UC Berkeley.
Lisa F. Barcellos is a Professor of Epidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Computational Biology faculty and the Director of Undergraduate Public Health Major Program. Lisa Barcellos received her PhD in Immunology (emphasis Immunogenetics) and MPH in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow in genetic epidemiology at UC San Francisco. She is a genetic epidemiologist specializing in diseases of the immune system and is working to identify genetic factors that predispose people to autoimmune diseases and that modulate disease expression and clinical progression. Most of her research to date has centered on multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to genetics, genomics, and epigenetic studies, Barcellos is also investigating environmental exposures, such as smoking and obesity and maternal-child immunogenetic relationships for involvement in disease risk. “I ’d say in the last ten years, it’s become even more apparent that the environment is playing a huge role in autoimmune diseases, as well as other common, complex disorders like diabetes, heart disease and mental illness,” she says. “Studies in genetic epidemiology need to incorporate that information.
Laboratory Director, National Public Health and Diagnostic Services, Kampala Uganda, Research scientist, Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration
Dr. Ssewanyana is an immunologist with over 15 years of experience in HIV vaccine clinical trials and basic science research in malaria and HIV and has vast experience in establishing and maintaining laboratory quality systems, translating advanced lab technology for clinical and research, and training. He is the PI of the WHO prequalification lab for molecular HIV and Hepatitis in vitro diagnostics. He serves on several technical committees of the ministry of health as a laboratory specialist, including HIV, malaria, and lately, the National COVID-19 response tusk force. He is currently a laboratory director at the Uganda National Health Laboratory Services and a member of the National COVID-19 task force.