Dr. Frederic BertleyCOSI, United States
Dr. Kate BiberdorfUniversity of Texas at Austin, United States
Dr. Michelle MachacekMerck Research Laboratories, United States
Liz NeeleyThe Story Collider, United States
Dr. Tien NguyenScience Journalist, United States
Dr. Miranda PaleyU.S. Department of Defense, United States
Dr. Dorea ReeserC&EN, United States
Dr. Mark VreekeChemical Angel Network, United States
Dr. Frederic Bertley
Dr. Bertley is a scientist, scholar, and evangelist for innovating thinking, ideation and challenge of the status quo. As President and CEO of COSI, he is shepherding the leading Central Ohio Science Center to its next great iteration in a legacy of successful science center history. Prior to being President and CEO of COSI, Dr. Bertley was the Senior Vice President for Science and Education at The Franklin Institute where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of initiatives supporting innovation in STEM learning, the partnership with Science Leadership Academy (SLA), The Color of Science, as well as departments and programs that capture the history and legacy of The Franklin Institute such as the Benjamin Franklin Awards Program. After graduating from McGill University where he studied Physiology, Mathematics and the History of Science, and earned a Ph.D. in Immunology, Dr. Bertley worked internationally in preventative medicine, and basic vaccines in Haiti, The Sudan, and the Canadian Arctic. Bertley continued this focus by joining a vaccine research group at Harvard Medical School focusing on the development of DNA vaccines for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Bertley’s international footprint also includes collaboration on educational and science projects in Egypt, Paraguay, Senegal and the Caribbean.
Dr. Kate Biberdorf
Dr. Biberdorf is currently employed as both a Professor and the Director of Demonstrations and Outreach for The University of Texas at Austin. She serves as a general chemistry instructor and is particularly known for developing explosive demonstrations that excite undergraduate chemistry students. Outside of the classroom, she is often found at with her outreach program “Fun with Chemistry” and her live, explosive, science spectacular, “The Puking Pumpkin Tour.”
Dr. Michelle Machacek
Dr. Machacek joined Merck Research Laboratories, Boston, MA in 2005. Over the past 14 years in the department of Discovery Chemistry, Michelle has made key contributions to a number of oncology, immunology and neuroscience projects, and has helped invent three compounds that have entered clinical development. She has been a project leader on both lead identification and lead optimization projects and has specific experience designing inhibitors of kinases, protein-protein interactions, GPCRs and classical enzymes for use in both oral and inhaled delivery platforms. Currently, Michelle is a Director of Chemistry and is additionally responsible for mentoring and managing M.S. and Ph.D. level chemists, as well as leading the recruiting efforts for Discovery Chemistry at Merck. Michelle graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 with degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering. While at MIT, she carried out research with Professor Timothy Swager. She received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 2004, where she worked with Professor Barry Trost, focusing on the development of novel palladium and ruthenium-catalyzed methodologies and their applications in total synthesis. Michelle has co-authored 11 publications and is a co-inventor on 28 issued patents and patent applications.
Liz Neeley is the Executive Director of The Story Collider. In live shows across the country, a weekly podcast, and intensive workshops, The Story Collider is dedicated to producing true, personal stories about science. She comes to the field of storytelling after a decade of work in ocean conservation and science communication. From 2008 to 2015, she worked as the Assistant Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS, and was affiliate staff at The University of Washington. Before that, she worked on locally-managed marine conservation in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and on international trade policies for deep-sea corals for SeaWeb. Her approach to communication is influenced by her graduate research at Boston University on the evolution of visual communication in tropical reef fishes. She was on the advisory board of the CommLab at MIT 2015-2017, and on the advisory council of Ensia magazine from 2016-2018. She currently holds a Lecturer appointment at Yale University through the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative. In 2018, she commissioned and edited the peer-reviewed "Stories from the Frontlines of Conservation" series at PLOS Biology. She co-organized the 2019 National Academies of Science's Sackler Colloquium on the science of science communication. She was a contributing author to Science Blogging: The Essential Guide (2016), Effective Risk Communication (2015), and Escape From the Ivory Tower (2010).
Dr. Tien Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is a freelance science reporter based in Washington, DC. She writes stories and video scripts about chemistry, materials, pharma, energy and the environment. Her writing has appeared in outlets such as Chemical & Engineering News, VICE News, Scientific American, New Scientist, TED-Ed and others.
Dr. Miranda Paley
Dr. Paley is a AAAS Science & Technology Fellow at the Department of Defense within the Chemical & Material Risk Management office. The focus of her fellowship is communication and strategy around issues related to PFAS, or per and polyfluoroalkyl substance releases from defense activities. Previously, she was with ACS Publications, helping launch their first two wholly open access journals: ACS Central Science and ACS Omega. Her career has blended science and risk communication, public affairs and project management. She believes we should stop calling non-R01 academic careers "alternative," as more Ph.D.s end up in other tracks than the "traditional" one, and that we can do more to help current students with this transition.
Dr. Dorea Reeser
Dr. Reeser is a science communicator and social media enthusiast. Her passion for science outreach kick started while doing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Toronto. In grad school, she started a chemistry blog, hosted the Collapsed Wavefunction, won the Scientific American Iron Egghead video contest, and lead science outreach activities. She and her dog, Ultraviolet, joined C&EN as the Audience Engagement Editor in 2017, where she manages their social media, newsletters, interactive content, and everything in between. Okay, Dorea manages these things. Ultraviolet handles all the attention.
Dr. Mark Vreeke
Dr. Vreeke is a cofounder of the Chemical Angel Network (CaN). CaN brings together entrepreneurs and investors to support companies with a strong chemistry component. CaN’s ideal investment is a seed stage deal where the company can benefit from both CaN’s financial and technical resources. Mark’s background is in the medical device and diagnostic space. He was employed by Pepex Biomedical, SpectRx, TheraSense, Bayer and Hospira where his roles ranged from Research Scientist to Senior VP of R&D. Of particular relevance to the topic of the ACS Entrepreneurial Initiative was TheraSense. Mark assisted with the transfer of Wired Enzymetm technology from the University of Texas to TheraSense. This technology formed the basis for a successful product launch and the eventual purchase of the company by Abbott for $1.2 billion. Mark earned a B.S. in chemistry from Calvin College and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. Academic honors include a Welch Fellow, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and the accreditation of Professor by the ACQ in Spain.