Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

The GRC Board of Trustees is comprised of 15 distinguished scientists who govern the activities of the organization.  The board collaborates with the GRC Conference Evaluation Committee to evaluate the scientific quality of existing conferences and to approve proposals for new conferences.  Twelve members of the board are elected, two are appointed, and one is a standing member (currently vacant).  The President and CEO also serves as an ex officio member of the board.  New board members are identified by the Nominating Committee, and elected by the GRC Council to serve six-year terms.

Member List:

Kristi Anseth
University of Colorado at Boulder
Term: November 2017-2025
Kristi Anseth is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Associate Faculty Director of the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently holds the Tisone Professorship and is a Distinguished Professor. Dr. Anseth came to CU-Boulder after earning her B.S. degree from Purdue University, her Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, and completing post-doctoral research at MIT as an NIH fellow. Her research interests lie at the interface between biology and engineering where she designs new biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Dr. Anseth’s research group has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and she has trained more than 110 graduate students and postdoctoral associates. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2009), the National Academy of Medicine (2009), the National Academy of Sciences (2013), the National Academy of Inventors (2016) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019). Most recently, she received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award in the Life Sciences (2020). Dr. Anseth has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Materials Research Society, the Board of Governors for Acta Materialia, Inc, the NIH Advisory Council for NIBIB, and as Chair of the NAE US Frontiers of Engineering meetings. She has participated in numerous Gordon Research Conferences over the past 20 years.
Cynthia J. Burrows
Vice Chair
University of Utah
Term: November 2018-2026
Cynthia J. Burrows is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Utah where she also holds the Thatcher Presidential Endowed Chair of Biological Chemistry. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder (B.A. in Chemistry), and of Cornell University (Ph.D. in Chemistry), and was an NSF-CNRS postdoctoral fellow with Jean-Marie Lehn in Strasbourg, France, before starting her independent career at Stony Brook University. After rising through the ranks at Stony Brook, she moved to the University of Utah in 1995. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Her research has roots in physical organic chemistry and now focuses on nucleic acid chemistry, notably the impact of free radicals generated by oxidative stress on formation of modified bases in DNA and RNA, the biochemical effects of DNA lesions, and the impact of base modifications on gene expression. She first chaired a GRC in 1993 (Physical Organic) when her triplets were 10 months old; subsequently she has chaired the Nucleic Acids GRC (2007) and the Nucleosides, Nucleotides, and Oligonucleotides GRC (2017).
David J. Glass
Past Chair
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Term: November 2016-2024
David J. Glass is the Vice President of Research, Aging & Age-Related Disorders at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the Director of Regeneron’s Postdoctoral program there. He’s an MD, and did his postdoctoral training at Columbia University. In 1991, he joined Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he became Vice President of the Muscle Group. Prior to his return to Regeneron in 2019, he served as the Executive Director and Head of the Aging Group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research for 14 years. During his time at Novartis, David founded a Muscle Group that has brought three novel pharmaceuticals to clinical trials, one of which has been declared a "breakthrough therapy" by the FDA. In 2015 he started a new group to focus on Aging-related signaling pathways, to treat age related disease. In addition, David is interested in increasing education related to the correct design of experiments. He started a course at Harvard Medical School, "Experimental Design for Biologists" and wrote a book of that title. David has attended many Gordon Research Conferences. He recognizes the great importance of high-quality research meetings.
Albert Cheung Hoi Yu
Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University
Term: November 2019-2024
Albert Cheung-Hoi Yu is Professor and Vice Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, at Peking University. He received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He then moved to work at UCSF and Stanford University before returning to Hong Kong and Beijing to work in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Peking University. His research focus on the functional studies of astrocyte under both physiological and pathological conditions. He has published over 5 books in the field of astrocyte research and over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He is the recipient of the 2004 Hong Kong Award for Industry, 2008 Asian Knowledge Management Award – Leadership and 2009 Asia Pacific Frost & Sullivan Product Differentiation Excellence Award for In-Vitro Diagnostics. He is currently serving as Chairman of Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization, Director of Asia Fund for Cancer Research, Vice President of The Chinese Neuroscience Society, Member of HKSAR Commission on Strategic Development, Chairman of Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification and Director of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. He is honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences and has participated in numerous Gordon Research Conferences.
Mark A. Murcko
Relay Therapeutics, Inc.
Term: November 2016-2024
Mark Murcko is a chemist who has contributed to seven marketed drugs and several others currently in mid-stage clinical trials. Murcko was Chair of the 2013 Medicinal Chemistry GRC and co-organizer of the 2008 ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium. He is a co-inventor on 50 issued and pending patents, a co-author or 85 scientific articles (H-index = 50), and has delivered roughly 200 invited lectures. Murcko has attended roughly 30 GRCs and has been an invited speaker at GRCs covering six different disciplines. Murcko is the Chief Scientific Officer of Relay Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. He serves on numerous scientific advisory boards and corporate boards of directors for a diverse range of companies in the biomedical space. Murcko received his PhD from Yale and then worked at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, where he contributed to the discovery of multiple clinical candidates including inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase for the treatment of glaucoma. One of these candidates, dorzolamide, was commercialized in two medicines, Trusopt and Cosopt. Trusopt was the first marketed drug in pharmaceutical history to result from a structure-based drug design program. In 1990, Murcko was a founding scientist of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and rose to be Chief Technology Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Murcko is a co-inventor of the HCV drug Incivek (telaprevir), as well as the HIV drugs Agenerase (amprenavir)and Lexiva (fosamprenavir). He helped to guide the early efforts of Vertex’s cystic fibrosis program that later produced the marketed drugs Kalydeco (ivacaftor) and Orkambi (lumacaftor / ivacaftor). He is a co-inventor of 8 other clinical candidates in multiple disease areas and was responsible for starting many of Vertex's more recent programs that have led to active clinical candidates, notably Vertex’s influenza drug VX-787 currently in phase II, and Vertex’s cancer drug VX-970,currently in Phase I.
Elsa Reichmanis
Lehigh University
Term: November 2019-2024
Elsa Reichmanis is Professor and Carl Robert Anderson Chair in Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lehigh University. Prior to joining Lehigh, she was Professor and Pete Silas Chair in Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She started her independent career at Bell Labs where she was Bell Labs Fellow and Director of the Materials Research Department. She received her Ph.D. and BS in Chemistry from Syracuse University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received several awards for her work, including the American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science, the American Chemical Society Award in the Chemistry of Materials, the American Institute of Chemical Engineering Margaret H. Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer and the Society of Chemical Industry Perkin Medal. She has also been active in professional societies; she served as 2003 President of the ACS and has participated in many National Research Council activities. Her research, at the interface of chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, optics, and electronics, spans from fundamental concept to technology development and implementation. Her interests include the chemistry, properties and application of materials technologies for photonic and electronic applications, with particular focus on polymeric and nanostructured materials for advanced technologies. Currently, efforts aim to identify fundamental parameters that will enable sub-nanometer scale dimensional control of organic, polymer and/or hybrid active materials. Reichmanis has attended several Gordon Research Conferences and recognizes the impact these conferences have in abroad range of scientific disciplines. Importantly, they bring scientists from the academic, industrial and government sectors together to discuss the latest discoveries. They also play a significant role in promoting early career investigators.
Frances H. Arnold
California Institute of Technology
Term: November 2017-2025
Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Arnold pioneered directed enzyme evolution, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018. Arnold co-chairs the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Among other awards, Arnold has received the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the US National Academy of Engineering (2011), the US National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011), and the Millennium Technology Prize (2016). She was the first woman elected to all three US National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering and was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2019. Co-inventor on more than 60 patents, Arnold was inducted into the US Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. She earned a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Viola Vogel
ETH Zurich
Term: November 2018-2026
Viola Vogel studied Physics and Biology in Frankfurt, at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and in Berkeley before starting her academic career in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington (1991). In Seattle, she was the Founding Director of the Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Washington (1997-2003). When moving to ETH Zurich in 2004, she initially joined the Department of Materials. She is now heading the Laboratory of Applied Mechanobiology was the Founding Director of the new Institute of Translational Medicine. She pioneered the rapidly growing field of Mechanobiology and its medical applications as she discovered many structural mechanisms how mechanical forces can turn proteins into mechano-chemical switches. Such mechanisms are exploited by bacteria, as well as by mammalian cells and tissues to sense and respond to mechanical forces, and if abnormal, can cause various diseases. Her research was recognized by major awards, including an ERC Advanced Grant (2008-13), the International Solvay Chair in Chemistry Brussels 2012, an Honorary Degree Doctor of Philosophy from Tampere University, Finland 2012 and an Einstein Fellowship at Charité, Berlin 2018-21. She also served on various international advisory boards in the fields of nanotechnology and bioengineering, including on the White House panel that finalized the US National Nanotechnology Initiative under the Clinton administration (1999), on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council in Nanotechnology (2014-2016), as well as for the Max-Planck Society, A*STAR Singapore and the Wyss Institute, Boston.
Monica Olvera de la Cruz
Northwestern University
Term: November 2019-2027
Monica Olvera de la Cruz is the Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, of Physics and Astonomy and of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director of the Center for Computation and Theory of Soft Materials at Northwestern University. She is a versatile scientist who has developed theoretical models to determine the thermodynamics, statistics and dynamics of soft materials including molecular electrolytes, hydrogels, membranes and multicomponent solutions of complex macromolecules such as functionalized nanoparticles, polymers and biomolecules. She obtained her BA in Physics from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), and her Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University, UK. From 1995-97 she was a Staff Scientist in the Service de Chimie Moleculaire, Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA), Saclay, France. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). She has been the recipient of multiple awards and prizes including the 2017 American Physical Society Polymer Physics Prize, a 2010 National Security Science and Engineering Fellowship (DoD) and the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize in Applied Sciences (NAS). She has advised and chaired various federal funding agencies and National Research Council committees, and is currently a member of the US Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee and Senior Editor of ACS Central Sciences. She has attended multiple GRCs and has published over 300 scientific papers.
David Weitz
Harvard University
Term: November 2019-2027
David Weitz received a PhD in physics from Harvard, and then worked at Exxon Research and Engineering for nearly 18 years. He became a professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to Harvard as professor of physics and applied physics at the end of the last millennium. He leads a group studying soft matter physics, biophysics, microfluidics, biotechnology and flow in porous media. Weitz has trained 75 graduate students and 170 post docs. He has published over 700 papers and has been granted over 40 patents with another 30 being processed. More than 20 companies have spun out from his lab and these have created over 500 new jobs for scientists and engineers. He has been director of Harvard’s NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center for nearly 20 years and is a core member of the Wyss Institute for Biomedical Engineering. He co-created ‘Science and Cooking: from Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science,’ which brings world-class chefs to the classroom to help teach a course on soft matter science themed on cooking. It has become one of the most popular classes at Harvard, and the YouTube videos have garnered more than 4M hits. The EdX online class has had over 300,000 students. Weitz is a member of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Weitz has attended about 45 GRCs and co-chaired the 2009 Soft Matter GRC.
Sam Gellman
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Term: November 2020-2028
Sam Gellman is the Ralph F. Hirschmann Professor of Chemistry and a Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  He earned his A.B. from Harvard University in 1981 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University, under Ronald Breslow, in 1986.  After an NIH post-doctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology with Peter Dervan, Gellman joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1987.  Major interests in Gellman's program involve polypeptide structure and function in diverse forms and settings.  Specific topics include fundamental studies of non-covalent interactions, elucidation of the origins of peptide and protein folding preferences, development and application of unnatural peptidic oligomers that display protein-like conformational behavior and activities ("foldamers"), creation of new amphiphiles for membrane protein manipulation, and development of biologically active polymers. Gellman has mentored 71 students to the Ph.D., along with many others who have earned an M.S. or conducted research at the undergraduate level.  He has enjoyed introducing thousands of UW-Madison undergraduates to the pleasures of organic chemistry in the classroom. Gellman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Science.  Gellman has attended Gordon Research Conferences in several areas; he was co-chair of the 2010 Peptides GRC.
Randy Schekman
University of California, Berkeley
Term: November 2020-2028
Randy Schekman is a Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He studied the enzymology of DNA replication as a graduate student with Arthur Kornberg at Stanford University.  His current interest in cellular membranes developed during a postdoctoral period with S. J. Singer at the University of California, San Diego.  Schekman’s laboratory investigates the mechanism of membrane protein traffic in the secretory pathway in eukaryotic cells. In recent years his lab has turned to aspects of vesicular traffic in human cells, most recently on the biogenesis and sorting of small RNAs into extracellular vesicles. Among his awards are the Gairdner International Award, the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with James Rothman and Thomas Südhof.  From 2006 - 2011 he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the NAS.  In 2011, he founded and until 2019 served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access journal, eLife, sponsored by the HHMI, Wellcome Trust and the Max Planck Society.  Beginning in 2018, Schekman assumed a leadership role in an effort to identify and support basic research on the mechanisms of Parkinson’s Disease initiation and progression. Schekman has participated in and organized GRC’s since 1979 and was a member of the group that initiated the enormously successful GRC on Molecular Membrane Biology, a meeting that he chaired in 1987 and has been invited to speak in ever since.
Meigan Aronson
University of British Columbia
Term: November 2021-2029
Meigan Aronson is the Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of British Columbia. She was previously the Dean of Science at Texas A&M University, a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University and a Group Leader in the Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She received her B.A. in Physics from Bryn Mawr College, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After postdoctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a Visiting Scientist position at the University of Amsterdam, she joined the faculty of the Physics Department at the University of Michigan. After receiving tenure in 1996, and being promoted to Professor of Physics in 2000, she served as Associate Dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and Arts from 2004-2006. Her research in experimental condensed matter physics focuses on the interplay of superconductivity and magnetism and the role of quantum phase transitions in systems with strong electronic correlations. She received the CIC Academic Leadership and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowships and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Neutron Scattering Society of America. She currently serves on the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences, the Strategic Advisory Board of the Helmholtz Association, and the Nominating Committee of the American Physical Society.
Marianne Bronner
California Institute of Technology
Term: November 2021-2029
Marianne Bronner is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering and the Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. She received her B.S. in Biophysics from Brown University and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University.  She assumed her first faculty position at the University of California, Irvine, before moving to the California Institute of Technology in 1996.  Her research focuses on the neural crest, an important stem cell population that generates the peripheral nervous system, craniofacial skeleton and important components of the cardiovascular system. In particular, her lab has been systematically studying the gene regulatory network responsible for neural crest formation and evolutionary origin in the vertebrate lineage. She has published over 350 papers and has trained more than 40 graduate students and post-docs, many of whom now have their own labs all over the world. Her honors include the Women in Cell Biology Senior Award from the American Society for Cell Biology (2012), Conklin Medal from Society for Developmental Biology (2013), Harrison Medal from the International Society of Developmental Biologists (2021) and several teaching awards. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.  Her editorial responsibilities include being Senior Editor for eLife, Monitoring Editor for Journal of Cell Biology and PLoS Biology, and Chief Editor, Biology, for Natural Sciences.  She was President of the Society for Developmental Biology in 2009, International Society for Differentiation in 2014, and is President-Elect of the International Society for Developmental Biologists. She has served on numerous boards (e.g., Sontag Foundation, Curci Foundation, NIDCR Board of Scientific Counselors, International Society for Stem Cell Research). Her favorite activities have been associated with the Gordon Research Conferences. She served as Chair of the Neural Development GRC in 1994 and Developmental Biology GRC in 2001.

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