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Board of Directors
Dr. Robert Dorit is an Associate Professor of Biology at Smith College. He received his B.A. in Human Biology at Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Dorit's lab is broadly concerned with experimental, retrospective and computational approaches to molecular evolution. His group addresses resistance in antimicrobial design, which employs in vitro engineering approaches and large-scale screening to engineer antimicrobial toxins for use against enteric pathogens. He also studies in vivo experimental evolution by "re-evolving" RNase P RNA. Finally, Dr. Dorit is investigating the genetic dynamics of the seed bank in a weed species, Stellaria media. Dr. Dorit is a founder and CEO of Origin Antimicrobials LLC, a biopharmacuetical start-up company focused on generating novel antimicrobials.
Dr. Jonathan King is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. at Yale University in Zoology and his Ph.D. at Cal Tech in Genetics. Dr. King's research interests include virus assembly, protein folding, and misfolding and he has over 200 research publications. Dr. King is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences and has served as the President of the Biophysical Society. Most recently he served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Darwin Bicentennial Committee and on the NEI Board of Scientific Counselors.
Dr. Sassanfar received her B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University. Dr. Sassanfar has extensive research experience in both academia and industry, where she spent four years working on the discovery of novel antimicrobial targets. Dr. Sassanfar's scientific interests are focused on two main areas: DNA repair and mutagenesis, and small RNAs. She is particularly interested in tRNAs that play a fundamental role in protein translation. Dr. Sassanfar's other interests are high school and college science outreach. She organizes and leads programs that focus on science teacher training, and curriculum development and oversees a summer research internship program in biology for undergraduates from other institutions at MIT.
Sprague Walters, Attorney at Law
Ms. Susan Walters received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and obtained her law degree from the New England School of Law in Boston. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and worked as a divorce mediator for several years. Since then she has been devoted to raising her two sons, Alex and Nick, with her husband Rick. One of Ms Walter's passions is music and she is currently pursuing a master's degree in music composition at Boston University. Ms. Walters is a generous philanthropist and provided pivotal start-up funds to help get the MAS of the ground!
Professor Watt is the President and Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences and Professor and Director of the Center for Evolutionary Studies, Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Zoology, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biology all at Yale University. Dr. Watt's research focuses on the development of evolutionary theory from mechanistic viewpoints. His studies employ techniques ranging from biochemistry and wind tunnel flight biophysics to field ecology and mathematical population genetics and address biochemical and physiological mechanisms of genetic variation, ecological niche structure as the source of natural-selective pressures, and the resulting patterns of evolution of metabolic organization.