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Scientific Advisory Council
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Sue Biggins studies the mechanisms that ensure accurate chromosome segregation and regulation of the cell cycle. Her lab achieved the first isolation of kinetochores and has been applying structural, biophysical and biochemical techniques to elucidate the mechanisms of kinetochore-microtubule interactions and spindle checkpoint regulation. Her lab also works on the mechanisms that ensure chromatin composition and centromere identity. Sue obtained her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University and went on to do postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco in Dr. Andrew Murray’s lab. She joined the faculty in the Division of Basic Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2000 where she is currently a Full Member and Associate Director, as well as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Yung En Chee
University of Melbourne, Australia
Yung En Chee is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne. She is a quantitative applied ecologist. She works in a multidisciplinary group that studies the interactions of natural, rural and urban landscapes on freshwater ecosystems. She works on developing and applying spatial tools, ecological and decision-analytic theory, models and methods to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management problems. The need for systems thinking means her work also often involves collaborative and interdisciplinary research.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
Gregory P. Copenhaver shares joint appointments as a Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Biology and Professor in the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences (IBGS) at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is also a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. Greg’s research focuses on chromosome dynamics and the mechanisms of inheritance. He is an Associate Member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UNC Center for Bioethics and the Curriculum in Genetics. Greg obtained his BS (with high distinction) from University of California Riverside in 1990 and his PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences from the Washington University in St. Louis in 1996. He completed his postdoctoral studies in Genetics at The University of Chicago in 2001. He served as the Director of Graduate Studies (Biology – MCDB) at UNC for 10 years and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for PLOS Genetics. In 2019 he was elected as a Fellow of the Linnean Society and in 2021 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In addition, he co-founded the biotechnology company Chromatin Inc.
Abdoulaye A. Djimde
University of Bamako, Mali
Abdoulaye Djimdé received a PharmD degree from the National School of Medicine and Pharmacy of Bamako, Mali in 1988, a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 2001 and is currently CAMES Professor of Parasitology-Mycology. He leads the Malaria Research and Training Center – Parasitology group at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali. The primary goal of his research is to understand how the malaria parasite becomes resistant to antimalarial drugs and how that resistance spreads over time and space. With his team and collaborators he conducts field and laboratory based analyses to explore how genetic events in the malaria parasite, the human host and the mosquito vector’s genomes relate to treatment outcome and the spread of drug resistance.
In addition to his own research, he was instrumental in the formation of the Worldwide Antimalarial Drug Resistance Network and served on its Scientific Advisory Board for several years. He was appointed as Chair of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Task Force within WHO-TDR. In 2009, he was appointed as one of two International Fellows at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. He currently serves as coordinator of the West African Network for Clinical Trials of Antimalarial Drugs (WANECAM 2, www.wanecam.orf), Founding President of the African Association for research and control of AntiMicrobial Resistance (www.africaamr.org) and Founding President of Pathogens genomics Diversity Network-Africa (PDNA). He is a fellow of the African Academy of Science and a fellow of the Malian Academy of Science.
(Scientific Advisory Council Secretary, ex officio)
Véronique Kiermer is the Chief Scientific Officer at PLOS, having joined as Executive Editor in 2015. She oversees the editorial department and the development of services, products and policies to promote open science. Before joining PLOS, she was Executive Editor and Director of Author and Reviewer Services for Nature Publishing Group where she oversaw editorial and research integrity policies across the Nature journals. She started her career in publishing in 2004 as the founding Chief Editor of Nature Methods. Véronique has a PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institutes, University of California, San Francisco. She also worked on gene therapy projects in the biotechnology industry in the Bay Area before moving into publishing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Keystone Symposia and ORCID, and on the steering committee of PREreview.
The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK
Robin Lovell-Badge obtained his PhD in Embryology at University College London in 1978 and established his independent laboratory at the MRC Mammalian Development Unit, University College, London, in 1982. In 1988 he moved to the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) becoming Head of Division in 1993 where he is currently a developmental biologist, geneticist and stem cell biologist. He is also an honorary Professor at University College London and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Robin has long-standing interests in the biology of stem cells, in how genes work in the context of development and how decisions of cell fate are made. Major themes of current work include sex determination, development of the nervous system and the biology of stem cells within the early embryo, the CNS and the pituitary.
Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Direk Limmathurotsakul is the Head of Microbiology at Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Mahidol University (http://www.tropmedres.ac). He led a series of clinical and epidemiological studies on melioidosis (a tropical infectious disease caused by Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei) and antimicrobial resistance in low and middle-income countries. Direk chairs International Melioidosis Network (www.melioidosis.info and https://groups.google.com/g/melioidosis). Direk is a board member of Surveillance and Epidemiology of Drug-resistant Infections Consortium (SEDRIC). Direk advocates the concept of ‘antibiotic footprint’ as a tool to communicate to the public the magnitude of antibiotic use (www.antibioticfootprine.net). To support communication with lay people and solve a problem of jargon surrounding AMR in local languages, Direk also initiated the AMR Dictionary (www.amrdictionary.net).
University of Vermont, Burlington, USA
Meredith Niles received her PhD in Ecology at the University of California, Davis and completed postdoctoral research at Harvard University with a focus on climate change, food security and integrated crop and livestock systems. As a graduate student she received several fellowships and awards, including a Switzer Foundation Fellowship and the 2010 Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences. In 2013 Niles served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, where she advocated for national and state Open Access policies. She has consulted for environmental nonprofit organizations and private industry and has served on the boards of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute and the Russell Ranch Research Facility. Prior to her academic career Niles worked at the US State Department.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
Jason Papin is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. After his training in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, Jason joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 2005.
His lab works on problems in systems biology, metabolic network analysis, infectious disease, toxicology, and cancer, developing computational approaches for integrating high-throughput data into predictive computational models. He manages a lab with both experimental and computational activities and his research group has had continuous support with funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation (including as a CAREER award recipient), Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and several private foundations and companies. Jason is an elected fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.
Jason is Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Computational Biology. His service to the scientific community also includes effort as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society, as a standing member of the Biodata Management and Analysis (BDMA) NIH study section, and numerous other review panels of federal funding agencies and academic programs. His teaching and mentoring have been recognized with receipt of awards for undergraduate and graduate teaching. Jason’s work also involves translational activities with recognition as an inventor on several disclosures of intellectual property, in addition to consulting with multiple biotechnology companies.
(Scientific Advisory Council Chair)
University of Melbourne, Australia
Simine Vazire is a professor in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has two lines of research. One examines people’s self-knowledge of their personality and behaviour and another line of research examines the individual and institutional practices and norms in science, and the degree to which these norms encourage or impede self-correction and credibility. She is Editor-in-Chief of Collabra: Psychology and has served as an editor at several other journals. She is a board member of the Public Library Of Science and the Berkeley Institute for Transparency in the Social Sciences, was a member of the US National Academy of Science study committee on replicability and reproducibility, and co-founded the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS).
Berlin Institute of Health at Charité, Berlin, Germany
Tracey Weissgerber leads the Meta-research and Automated Screening Research Group in the QUEST Center for Responsible Research at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Her team’s meta-research on improving data visualization, transparency and reporting quality have led to policy changes in many journals. She also organizes ScreenIT, an international group of scientists and software developers who have created tools to screen preprints and papers for beneficial practices or common problems. These tools were used to screen and post public reports on almost 24,000 bioRxiv and medRxiv COVID-19 preprints during the pandemic. Dr. Weissgerber is also working on several projects to improve methodological reporting and encourage authors to share reusable step-by-step protocols.
University of California, San Francisco, USA
Keith Yamamoto received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University. At UCSF, he has served in several significant leadership roles including chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, vice dean for research in the School of Medicine, and vice chancellor for research. Keith has also chaired or served on numerous national committees focusing on a wide range of policy and education efforts for researchers and the public. He chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences and sits on both the National Academy of Medicine Executive Committee and the National Academy of Sciences Division of Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Academy of Microbiology, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.