Speaker Biographical Information
Bruce A. Beutler, M.D.
Director, Center for the Genetics of Host Defense
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Bruce A. Beutler, M.D., re-joined The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern) in September, relocating from Scripps Research Institute where he was professor and chairman of the Department of Genetics. He first joined UT Southwestern as an internal medicine intern and neurology resident (1981-1983). He then spent three years at Rockefeller University (1983-1986), where he isolated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and established its function as a mediator of inflammation. Returning to UT Southwestern in 1986 as a faculty member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Dr. Beutler developed TNF inhibitors that were eventually used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. Moreover, by positionally cloning the mammalian LPS receptor, he identified the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as sensors that alert the host immune system when infection is present. This discovery, made in 1998, opened many new doors in immunology and earned Beutler many accolades, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2011.
At the Scripps Research Institute between 2000 and 2011, Dr. Beutler developed one of the most robust gene discovery programs in the world, utilizing germline mutagenesis and phenotypic screening to dissect both innate and adaptive immunity, and other biological processes as well. Several “firsts” emerged from this program, including the development of numerous mouse disease models that predicted human diseases. A similar approach, empowered by new technologies, will be pursued at UT Southwestern, where Beutler and his colleagues will study many aspects of host defense, both as it is activated during infection and during neoplastic disease.
Dennis E. Bier, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Children’s Nutrition Research Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Dennis Bier is professor of pediatrics and Director of the USDA Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and Chairman of the Institute’s Food and Nutrition Board. Dr. Bier is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition, a member of the American Dietetic Association Foundation Board and chairman of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation Board.
Dr. Bier serves as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and associate editor of the Annual Review of Nutrition. He is a former editor-in-chief of Pediatric Research and a prior president of the American Society for Nutrition (with Dr. Naomi Fukagawa), the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) General Clinical Research Centers Program Directors Association. Additionally, he was a councilor of the American Pediatric Society, chairman of the NIH Nutrition Study Section, chairman of the NIH General Clinical Research Centers Committee, and a member of the FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee, the FDA Food Advisory Committee and the USDA/HHS 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee.
Dr. Bier has authored more than 260 publications and has received the Nutrition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the McCollum Award from the American Institute of Nutrition, the Grace A. Goldsmith Award from the American College of Nutrition and the General Clinical Research Centers Award for Excellence in Clinical Research from the NIH.
Luciano Castillo, Ph.D.
Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy and Executive Director/President of the National Wind Resource Center
Texas Tech University
Dr. Luciano Castillo is the Don-Kay-Clay Cash Distinguished Engineering Chair in Wind Energy and the executive director/president of the National Wind Resource Center (NWRC) at Texas Tech University. After spending 12 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he joined the mechanical engineering department at Texas Tech University in the summer of 2011. His research in turbulence using experimental techniques, direct numerical simulations and multi-scale asymptotic analysis has injected new ideas in turbulent boundary layers and our understanding of initial conditions on large scale turbulence, particularly on wind energy. Some of his awards include: the NASA Faculty Fellowship, the Martin Luther King Faculty Award and the Robert T. Knapp Award on complex flows from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has published over 100 articles including a seminal paper on turbulent boundary layers and scaling laws. He is currently leading various initiatives on wind energy in the United States and Europe.
Lawrence C.B. Chan, M.D., D.Sc.
Betty Rutherford Chair for Diabetes Research
Director of the Diabetes & Endocrinology Research Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Lawrence Chan holds the Betty Rutherford Chair in Diabetes Research at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and is a professor in the departments of Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). He is a physician-scientist who is engaged in patient care, graduate and medical education as well as biomedical research. Dr. Chan’s laboratory had worked on the molecular genetics of apolipoproteins and the vascular lipases for over two decades before he turned his attention to diabetes and obesity in the last dozen years. In an innovative approach to build new beta cells, his research team used a targeted reprogramming approach to induce ectopic pancreatic islet neogenesis in the liver as a way to restore beta cell mass in type 1 diabetes animal models. In the type 2 diabetes area, he has studied the role of hyperglycemia-activated hematopoietic cells in the molecular pathogenesis of chronic diabetic complications, including diabetic neuropathy. To understand the pathobiological basis of obesity, his laboratory has examined lipid homeostasis in adipose depots and the role of lipid droplet proteins and lipolysis in the control of body fat and fatty liver development. Under Dr. Chan’s leadership, BCM became a Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center supported by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases in 2008. The establishment of the center has spurred further growth in the biomedical research base in diabetes at BCM, a timely occurrence as the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic is raging out of control in Texas, the United States and around the world.
William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. William Dietz is director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity in the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to his appointment to the CDC, he was a Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University’s School of Medicine and director of Clinical Nutrition at the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1966 and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. After the completion of his residency at Upstate Medical Center, he received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a councilor and past president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and past president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. He served on the 1995 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. From 2001-2003, he served as a member of the Advisory Board to the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
In 1995, Dr. Dietz received the John Stalker Award from the American School Food Service Association for his efforts to improve the school lunch. In 1997, he received the Brock Medal of Excellence in Pediatrics from the New York Academy of Medicine. In 1998, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2000, he received the William G. Anderson Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and was recognized for excellence in his work and advocacy by the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors. In 2002, he was made an honorary member of the American Dietetic Association and received the Holroyd-Sherry Award for his outstanding contributions to the field of children, adolescents and the media. In 2005, he received the George Bray Founders Award from the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. In 2006, he received the Nutrition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding research related to nutrition of infants and children. In 2008, he received the Oded Bar-Or Award from the Obesity Society for excellence in pediatric obesity research. He is the author of over 200 publications in scientific literature and the editor of five books, including Clinical Obesity in Adults and Children, and A Guide to Your Child’s Nutrition.
Joel K. Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Division of Hypothalamic Research
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dr. Joel Elmquist is the Maclin Family Professor of Medical Science, in Honor of Dr. Roy A. Brinkley, and the Carl H. Westcott Distinguished Chair in Medical Research in the departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern). He is also director of the Center for Hypothalamic Research at UT Southwestern. His research focuses on identifying the pathways in the brain regulating food intake, body weight and glucose homeostasis. Towards these goals, Dr. Elmquist and colleagues have developed several unique mouse models that allow neuron-specific manipulation of key genes regulating neuronal function and responses to key metabolic signals such as leptin and ghrelin.
This combined research program has focused primarily, but not exclusively, on using Cre/lox technology to perturb specific genes in narrow subsets of neurons. Gene targeting methods were used to create the various “loxed” alleles. These unique mouse models are being used in the field and it is likely that interesting and unexpected findings will emerge over the next decade. This will hopefully aid the understanding of how the nervous system regulates feeding, body weight, insulin secretion by the pancreas and glucose homeostasis.
Dr. Elmquist was the 2008 recipient of the Ernst Oppenheimer Award of The Endocrine Society for his studies identifying sites in the brain that underlie the coordinated control of food intake, body weight and glucose homeostasis. Prior to his arrival at UT Southwestern in 2006, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is author of over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles, invited reviews and book chapters.
Dr. John Foreyt is a professor in the Department of Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). He is director of the DeBakey Heart Center's Behavioral Medicine Research Center in the Department of Medicine at BCM. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston. He received his B.S. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and his M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Florida State University. He served on the faculty at Florida State University until he moved to Baylor College of Medicine.
He has served as a member of the following: the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Insitute (NHLBI); The Committee to Develop Criteria for Evaluating the Outcomes of Approaches to Prevent and Treat Obesity, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; and The Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Institutes of Health, NHLBI. He is an honorary member of the American Dietetic Association.
Dr. Foreyt has published extensively in the areas of diet modification, cardiovascular risk reduction, eating disorders and obesity. He has published 17 books and more than 320 articles in these areas.
Deanna M. Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.
Director, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Health Living
John P. McGovern Professorship in Health Promotion
The University of Texas School of Public Health in Austin
Dr. Deanna Hoelscher is director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and the John P. McGovern Professor in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the Austin Regional Campus of The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH) in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Hoelscher’s research interests include child and adolescent nutrition, school-based health promotion programs, dietary and physical activity assessment methodology, evaluation of child obesity policies and dissemination of school health programs. She has been principal investigator on many research projects with child and adolescent populations including: the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH), a study to decrease cardiovascular risk factors in children; the CATCH Travis County study, an intervention to decrease child obesity; the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study, an osteoporosis prevention program for adolescent girls; and the School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) study, a child and adolescent overweight prevalence study in Texas. Dr. Hoelscher is currently Principal Investigator (PI) of the Texas Child Obesity Research Demonstration (Texas CORD) grant together with Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center and in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Obesity, Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It! (MEND, Inc.) and Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Texas CORD is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with funds from the Affordable Care Act. She is also current PI of the Texas Child Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) project together with the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health and the Lunch is in the Bag study, a NIH-funded project to improve parent-packed lunches in daycare centers.
Dr. Hoelscher is president-elect of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) and is local coordinator for the 2012 annual ISBNPA conference to be held in Austin, Texas. Dr. Hoelscher was Chair of the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke from 2003-2005 and Chair of the Research Dietary Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association from 2004-2005. She has previously served as the Public Health Nutrition Division chair of the Society for Nutrition Education and was Program Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee for the American Dietetic Association.
Dr. Hoelscher received a B.S. in food science and technology from Texas A & M University, her M.A. in nutrition and Ph.D. in biological sciences, both from The University of Texas at Austin. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian.
Jay D. Horton, M.D.
Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Chair in Obesity and Diabetes Research
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dr. Jay Horton is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics and holds the Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Chair in Obesity and Diabetes Research at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern). He obtained his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Iowa and completed his internal medicine residency, gastroenterology fellowship and Howard Hughes post-doctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern. Dr. Horton is a former Pew scholar and member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians. He serves as a consulting editor for The Journal of Clinical Investigation and associate editor of The Journal of Lipid Research.
In clinical digestive diseases, Dr. Horton has an interest in conditions that lead to fatty liver disease and obesity. Currently, a major focus of the laboratory is to determine how regulators of fat metabolism contribute to the development of fatty liver in various disease processes such as diabetes, obesity and fatty acid oxidation defects.
In recent work, Dr. Horton has delineated the function of PCSK9, a protein secreted into the blood that determines plasma cholesterol levels through its action on LDL receptors in the liver.
Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute
Professor, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University
Dr. Michael Kastan is the executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute. He earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine and did his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins. He was a Professor of Oncology, Pediatrics and Molecular Biology at Johns Hopkins prior to becoming chair of the Hematology-Oncology Department and later Cancer Center Director at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, before moving to Duke earlier this year. He is a pediatric oncologist and a cancer biologist; his laboratory research concentrates on DNA damage and repair, tumor suppressor genes and causes of cancer related to genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. His discoveries have made a major impact on our understanding of both how cancers develop and how they respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. His publications reporting the role of p53 and ATM in DNA damage signaling are among the most highly cited publications in the biomedical literature of the past two decades.
Dr. Kastan has received numerous honors for his highly cited work, including election to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and receiving the 47th annual American Association for Cancer Research G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to basic cancer research. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Cancer Research and editor of the textbook Clinical Oncology.
After completing a Ph.D. in physics and mathematics from Moscow State University, Dr. Khachatryan worked as a researcher studying artificial intelligence methods in geophysics and petroleum engineering. He subsequently founded and ran a successful consulting firm, Russian Petroleum Consultants Corporation.
In 2000, Dr. Khachatryan co-founded (together with his wife, Julia, and son, George) Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit revolutionizing the current mathematics education paradigm. Under his leadership, the project has created an engaging interactive software, developed a nationally acclaimed professional development program and transformed the way that more than 75,000 students think about mathematics today. The Reasoning Mind movement has been endorsed by many of the nation’s top mathematics experts for its rigor and cohesiveness, and is the grateful recipient of recognition and support from education foundations and private supporters alike.
Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Dr. Mitchell Lazar is the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Genetics, the chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and the director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Lazar received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then received a Ph.D. in neurosciences and an M.D. from Stanford University. He trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and in endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1989.
Dr. Lazar's research focus is on the epigenomic regulation of gene expression and metabolism. He is particularly interested in nuclear receptors that relay hormonal, metabolic and environmental signals to the genome. He has made seminal findings related to the basic mechanisms of nuclear receptor action, as well as their role in obesity and diabetes, including the discovery of the hormone called resistin.
Dr. Lazar has given named lectures throughout the world and is currently a member of the Board of Scientific Councilors of the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases. He has served as associate editor of Diabetes, and is on the editorial boards of Genes & Development, Cell Metabolism, Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Endocrine Reviews, The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), and Science.
Dr. Lazar has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and has received two National Institutes of Health’s Merit Awards, the Van Meter Award of the American Thyroid Association, the Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Freedom to Discover Award, the Richard Weitzman Award and the Edwin B. Astwood Award Lecture from The Endocrine Society, and the Stanley Korsmeyer Award of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.
Dr. Kishor Mehta obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. in structural engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, he worked for three years as a design engineer at the construction site of Glen Canyon Dam (Lake Powell) in Page, Arizona. He joined the Texas Tech University civil engineering faculty in 1964. He was one of the founding members of the wind engineering research program established at Texas Tech in 1970, serving as director of the program from 1986-2003. His research contributions include the development of tornado-resistant above-ground shelters, EF-scale for tornado intensity rating and the wind engineering field research laboratory (WERFL). He was chairman of the wind load committee for the national standard ASCE 7 from 1976-1995. With the faculty at Texas Tech, he established a Ph.D. degree in wind science and engineering, the only degree of its kind in the country. He is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004.
Mr. Marvin Odum is President of Shell Oil Company and Director Upstream of Royal Dutch Shell’s subsidiary companies in the Americas.
Mr. Odum holds positions of board leadership and participation in the Business Roundtable and the American Petroleum Institute. In addition, he is a member of the Dean’s Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Advisory Board of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He also serves on the University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and is involved with several other Houston-area charities.
Mr. Odum earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UT Austin and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston. He began his Shell career as an engineer in 1982 and has since served in a number of management positions of increasing responsibility in both technical and commercial aspects of energy.
Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H.
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, an internationally recognized researcher and spokesperson on Latino cancer health disparities, has made tremendous strides in research and innovative communication strategies to improve the health of Latinos in Texas and the nation.
Dr. Ramirez, currently the founding director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has led dozens of research programs focused on human and organizational communication to reduce disparities—differences in cancer rates and survival among Latinos compared to whites. She has launched two national research networks, one funded by the National Cancer Institute focused on Latino cancer (Redes En Acción) and one on funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on Latino child obesity (Salud America!). These networks and her several other research projects have spawned unique health communication models and interventions that have contributed to reducing Latino cancer rates and increasing Latino screening, clinical trial recruitment and retention, smoking cessation and healthy lifestyles. She also has helped pioneer the use of bilingual, bicultural patient navigators and promotoras to erase Latinas’ lag times between an abnormal cancer screening and confirmatory diagnosis and treatment initiation, while also increasing Latina survivors’ access to support services.
Dr. Ramirez also has directly inspired other Latinos to launch research careers by training or mentoring more than 200 Latino students and fellows. She has made countless contributions to the scientific literature and serves on several journal editorial boards. She has received many awards for her work to reduce cancer disparities, including election into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2007. She is a member of the following: Scientific Advisory Board, Susan G. Komen For the Cure; Scientific Advisory Board, Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade; and Board of Directors, Lance Armstrong Foundation. She is associate director of cancer health disparities at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, a National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center, in San Antonio, and also is the former chairperson of the CDC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. Dr. Ramirez received M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. degrees from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.
Read her blog at www.saludtoday.com/blog.
Mr. Dan Steward is currently a consulting geologist with Republic Energy Operating in Dallas, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the University of Houston in 1972 and has been involved in the oil and gas industry for 46 years. During his career, he has been employed by Ames Oil & Gas, Dresser Magcobar, Shell Oil Company and Mitchell Energy. From 1981-2001, he was at Mitchell Energy and a member of their Barnett Shale team. During this 20 year period, he held a number of management positions within the company and, in one capacity or another, was always involved with the Barnett Shale Play.
After the company's merger with Devon in 2002, Mr. Steward joined Republic Energy and continued his involvement with the Barnett Shale through their activities. This partnership has allowed him to apply the understanding of organic shales acquired from the Barnett to other shales across the North American continent.
In 2005, Mr. Steward was asked to write a history of the evolution of the Barnett Play by George P. Mitchell, which was published in 2007. In addition to this honor, he was selected by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for their 2007 Explorer of the Year Award for his role in establishing the Barnett as one of the largest producing gas fields in the country and the model for shale resource plays worldwide.
Mr. Steward has been assisted in his career by his wife, Gilda and their four children. Without their inspiration and backing, he would not have achieved the success and recognition he has today.
Samuel C.C. Ting, Ph.D.
Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Samuel Ting was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his B.S.E. degrees (in Physics and in Mathematics) and his Ph.D. (in Physics) all from the University of Michigan. He is the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ting has always proposed and led international collaborations in experimental physics using accelerators in the U.S and Europe, on board the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery and currently on the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.
His main contributions to physics include:
- Discovery of nuclear anti-matter (the anti-deuteron).
- Measuring the size of the electron family (the electron, the muon and the tau) and showing that the electron family has zero size (with a radius smaller than 10-17 cm).
- Precision study of light rays and massive light rays showing that light rays and massive light rays can transform into each other at high energies and providing a critical verification of the quark model.
- Precision measurement of the radius of the atomic nuclei.
- Discovery of a new kind of matter (the J particle) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Ting for this discovery.
- Discovery of the gluon (the particle responsible for transmitting the nuclear force).
- A precision measurement of muon charge asymmetry, demonstrating for the first time the validity of the Standard Electroweak Model (Weinberg, Glashow and Salam).
- Determination of the number of electron families and neutrino species in the Universe and the precision verification of the Electroweak Unification Theory.
- Development of the first large superconducting magnet for space application.
Ting’s major awards include the Nobel Prize for Physics, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award (U.S. government), Eringen Medal (from the Society of Engineering Science), DeGaspari Award in Science (from the Italian government) and World Federation of Scientists Erice Prize for Peace.
He is a member of many scientific academies including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Soviet Academy of Science, the Russian Academy of Science, Deutsche Academy Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany), Royal Spanish Academy of Science, Hungarian Academy of Science, Academia Sinica and the Chinese Academy of Science. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India).
Among his Doctor Honoris Causa degrees are those awarded by the University of Michigan, Columbia University, Moscow State University, Rheinische Westfalisch Technische Hochschule (Germany), University of Bologna (Italy), University of Bucharest (Romania) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Presently, he is leading a 16-nation, 500 physicist international collaboration using the U.S. ISS National Laboratory to probe some of the fundamental questions of modern physics including the antimatter universe and the origin of cosmic rays and dark matter.
Mr. Dick Williams joined Shell in 1980 after receiving his electrical engineering degree from Penn State. He worked in a variety of Shell Pipeline's regions as an engineer, returned to Houston for several positions in the business, including Base Chemicals, and then went to St. Louis as Mid Continent District Superintendent. Upon returning to Houston, he joined the Joint Ventures group, led the commercial development effort of a major restructuring, served as the Operations Support Manager for Shell's Pipelines and Distribution Terminals, and then served three years as the Commercial Manager for Shell Distribution North America. He was appointed President of Shell WindEnergy in 2008. Shell’s wind activities include operating 11 wind farms—eight in North America and three in Europe, with a capacity of 1100 MW—and developing new projects in North America.
Mr. Williams maintains Professional Engineering licenses in Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. He lives in Houston with his wife Sandi and two sons, Conrad and Colin. When not chasing windmills, he spends time with several charities, including his son’s school and Rebuilding Together Houston, which rebuilds homes for the less advantaged people of the Houston area. He is on the board for Breakthrough Houston, an educational collaborative which nurtures high potential students from at-risk areas, as well as on the board for the Houston Technology Center.
Dr. Mark Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. He conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics and reservoir geomechanics. He was one of the principal investigators of the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. He is the author of a textbook titled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press, the author/co-author of 300 technical papers and holder of five patents. In 1996, he co-founded GeoMechanics International, where he was chairman of the board until 2008. He currently serves as a Senior Executive Adviser to Baker Hughes. Dr. Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He recently served on the National Academy of Energy committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.
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