Dr. Carolina Barillas-Mury joined NIH in the Fall of 1993 and heads the Mosquito Immunity and Vector Competence Section. Her work provides new and deep insight into the basic biology and evolution of immune memory and the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity. Her discoveries of key factors in the mosquito/parasite interaction are landmark advances in the elucidation of mosquito immune defenses and Plasmodium parasite counter-measures that have a direct impact on malaria transmission. She is interested in understanding how these interactions affect malaria transmission, with the ultimate goal of identifying weak points to disrupt the life cycle of the parasite in the insect vector and prevent human disease. Learn more about her work here: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/r…/carolina-v-barillas-mury-md-phd.
In neuroscience, transfer of information between neurons through synaptic transmission underlies all brain function. These connections have the ability to strengthen or weaken over time through a process called synaptic plasticity, as a result of increase or decrease of synaptic activity. Synaptic plasticity is one of the important neurochemical foundations of learning and memory. Dysfunction of synaptic plasticity underlies various neuropsychiatric conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autistic spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. Pablo Castillo, professor of neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is one of our guest speakers at the 2017 IST Young Scientist Symposium. The main goal of his research is to understand the cellular and molecular basis of activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength at both excitatory and inhibitory connections, and how such changes are modified during pathological conditions. You can learn more about Prof. Castillo’s work here: http://www.einstein.yu.edu/faculty/8363/pablo-castillo/.
Michal Koucky is an Associate Professor for Computer Science at Charles University, Prague. His main interests are computational complexity, data structures and combinatorics, and he is the principal investigator for the LBCAD ERC project (Lower bounds for combinatorial algorithms and dynamic problems). In 2014, he introduced together with his co-authors the notion of so-called catalytic spaces. Catalytic computation describes a scenario where memory that is already used in a process or stores data, can be used for computation of another process: Take any process p running on a computer, with its own personal memory space, and now allow it access to additional memory m (the “catalyst”) used by another process, under the condition that p restores the original data in m before it finishes – the extra memory thereby acting similar to a catalyst in a chemical reaction. Under this framework, his work addresses the question of whether the process can compute more efficiently if we allow access to the extra memory. To learn more about his work, visit the LBCAD ERC homepage http://iuuk.mff.cuni.cz/~koucky/LBCAD/.
Prof. Julien Laurat received his PhD in 2004 at Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel (LKB), Paris, on the generation of continuous-variable entanglement. At Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, he’s now leading experimental and theoretical research to develop the scientific and technical abilities for the realization of quantum networks, with applications to the distribution and processing of quantum information. His work includes the development of light-matter interfaces for quantum data storage, the characterization and manipulation of various non-classical states of light, and the implementation of networking protocols using these resources. His major achievements include the world record for entanglement emitted by an OPO, first generation of optical Schrödinger cat state, demonstration of a segment of a quantum repeater, first demonstration of quantum memory for photonic entanglement and twisted light. Recently, his team demonstrated a first optical memory based on cold atoms trapped in the vicinity of an elongated nanofiber. You can learn more about his work at http://www.quantumnetworks.lkb.ens.fr/.
Olgica Milenkovic is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory. Her research addresses unique interdisciplinary research challenges spanning the areas of algorithm design and computing, bioinformatics, coding theory, machine learning and signal processing. One of her research projects, at the border of data processing and synthetic biology, is to design DNA-based data storage systems. With decreasing costs of DNA synthesis and sequencing, the potential to store information in macromolecules has become more and more attractive, as they do not require electrical supply to maintain data integrity. Prof. Milenkovic’s work provides the first step in the direction of re-writable DNA-based storage systems. To learn more about her work, visit http://publish.illinois.edu/milenkovic/.
Karl Sigmund was born 1945 in Lower Austria. He went to school and to university in Vienna, obtaining his PhD in mathematics in 1968. After some postdoc years in Manchester, Paris, Jerusalem and Vienna, he became associate professor in Göttingen and, from 1974 to 2013, full professor at the University of Vienna. Since 1984, he is also affiliated with IIASA (Laxenburg). Sigmund is a member of the Austrian, the German and the European Academy of Science. He worked on ergodic theory and dynamical systems, biomathematics, and evolutionary game theory. During the last years he increasingly turned to the history of science (with books, exhibitions and films on the Vienna Circle). To get more information about his journey, visit https://homepage.univie.ac.at/karl.sigmund/.