The Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of nationally prominent medical scientists eminent biomedical experts who monitor the progress of scientific matters funded by the institute and advise the Taubman Institute director about matters of strategy and policy.
Dr. George Poste, Chair
Dr. Poste is Chief Scientist, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI), Regents’ Professor and Del E. Webb Chair in Health Innovation at Arizona State University. He assumed this post in February 2009. This program links expertise across the university in research on synthetic biology, ubiquitous sensing and healthcare informatics for personalized medicine.
Dr. Poste founded the Biodesign Institute at ASU and served as Director for 2003 to 2009. In creating this Institute, He designed and built 400,000 sq. ft. of new facilities, achieved cumulative research funding of $300 million and recruited over 60 faculty, including three members of the National Academies of Science and Engineering.
He serves on the Board of Directors of Monsanto (since 2003), Exelixis (since 2004), Caris Life Sciences (since 2005), and the Scientific Advisory Board of Synthetic Genomics (since 2009). From 1992 to 1999 he was Chief Science and Technology Officer and President, R&D of SmithKline Beecham (SB). During his tenure at SB he was associated with the successful registration of 31 drug, vaccine and diagnostic products. In 2004 he was named as ‘R&D Scientist of the Year’ by R&D Magazine, in 2006 he received the Einstein award from the Global Business Leadership Council and in 2009 received the Scrip Lifetime Achievement award voted by the leadership of the global pharmaceutical industry.
He has published over 350 research papers and edited 14 books on pharmaceutical technologies and oncology. He has received honorary degrees in science, law and medicine for his research contributions and was honored in 1999 by HM Queen Elizabeth II as a Commander of the British Empire for his contributions to international healthcare and security.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal College of Pathologists and the UK Academy of Medicine, a Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a member of the Council for Foreign Relations. He served as a member of the Defense Science Board from 2003 to 2009 and Health Board of the US Department of Defense (DoD) and is currently a member of the US Institute of Medicine Board on Global Health. He has served as a member of Advisory Committees for multiple U.S. Government Agencies in areas of defense, national security and healthcare.
Atul Butte, MD, PhD is the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor and inaugural Director of the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute (bchsi.ucsf.edu) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Butte is also the Chief Data Scientist for the entire University of California Health System, with 17 health professional schools, 6 medical centers, and 10 hospitals. Dr. Butte has been continually funded by NIH for 20 years, is an inventor on 24 patents, and has authored over 200 publications, with research repeatedly featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired Magazine. Dr. Butte was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, and in 2013, he was recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change in Open Science for promoting science through publicly available data. Dr. Butte is also a founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies: Personalis, providing medical genome sequencing services, Carmenta (acquired by Progenity), discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications, and NuMedii, finding new uses for drugs through open molecular data. Dr. Butte trained in Computer Science at Brown University, worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft, received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT.
Richard DiMarchi, PhD
Dr. DiMarchi’s contribution in chemistry and related sciences consists of nearly four decades of work in academics, the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology. He is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Gill Chair in Biomolecular Sciences at Indiana University. He is a co-founder of Ambrx, Inc., Marcadia Biotech, Assembly Biosciences, Calibrium, MB2 and MBX biotechnology companies. He has served as a scientific advisor to multiple pharmaceutical companies and venture funds. He is currently Chairman of the Peptide Therapeutics Foundation and external board member at Assembly Biosciences. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 and the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.
Dr. DiMarchi is a former Vice President at Novo Nordisk Research Laboratories where he launched an Indianapolis research laboratory. He is also a retired Group Vice President at Eli Lilly and Company where for more than two decades he provided leadership in biotechnology, endocrine research, and product development. He is widely recognized for discovery and development of rDNA-derived Humalog® (LisPro-human insulin), rGlucagon®, and Forteo®. As scientist and executive, Dr. DiMarchi also significantly contributed to the commercial development of Humulin®, Humatrope®, and Evista®. His current research is focused on developing macromolecules with enhanced therapeutic properties through biochemical and chemical optimization, an approach he has termed chemical-biotechnology. His academic research has broadened the understanding of glucagon physiology while championing the discovery of single molecule mixed agonists for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. He is identified as a top-five translation researcher by Nature Biotechnology for the years 2014 and 2015.
Dr. DiMarchi is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 AAPS Career Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology; the 2006 ACS Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management; the 2006 ACS Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Service of Public Interest; the 2007 Carothers Award for Excellence in Polymer Sciences; the 2009 Watanabe Award for Life Sciences Research; the 2011 Merrifield Award for Career Contributions in Peptide Sciences; the 2014 German National Erwin Schrödinger-Preis, the 2015 Meienhofer Prize; 2015 Max Bergmann Medal and the 2016 ACS Alfred Burger Career Award in Medicinal Chemistry.
Kevin B. Johnson, MD, MS is Informatician-in-Chief, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor and Chair of Biomedical Informatics, and Professor Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his MD from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and his MS in Medical Informatics from Stanford University. In 1992 he returned to Johns Hopkins where he served as a Pediatric Chief Resident. He was a member of the faculty in both Pediatrics and Biomedical Information Sciences at Johns Hopkins until 2002, when he was recruited to Vanderbilt University. He also is a Board-Certified Pediatrician.
Dr. Johnson is an internationally respected developer and evaluator of clinical information technology. His research interests have been related to developing and encouraging the adoption of clinical information systems to improve patient safety and compliance with practice guidelines; the uses of advanced computer technologies, including the Worldwide Web, personal digital assistants, and pen-based computers in medicine; and the development of computer-based documentation systems for the point of care. In the early phases of his career, he directed the development and evaluation of evidence-based pediatric care guidelines for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has been principal investigator on numerous grants and has been an invited speaker at most major medical informatics and pediatrics conferences. He also was the Chief Informatics Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 2015-2019.
He is the author of over 130 publications and books or book chapters. He is a member of the VUMC Academy for Excellence in Education. Nationally, he directs the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Library of Medicine, is a member of the Council of Councils for the NIH, leads the American Board of Pediatrics Information Advisory Committee, and is member of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program. He has held numerous other leadership positions throughout his career.
He has received various prestigious awards. He was elected into the American College of Medical Informatics in 2004, The Academic Pediatric Society in 2010, the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine) in 2010, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Society of Scholars in 2014, and Vanderbilt University’s Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor award in 2017, and was inducted into the Nashville Technology Council Hall of Fame in 2018.
Theodora Ross, MD, PhD, holds the Jeanne Ann Plitt Professorship in Breast Cancer Research and the H. Ben and Isabelle T. Decherd Chair in Internal Medicine, in Honor of Henry M. Winans, Sr., MD at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in oncology and cancer genetics.
Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Ross served as a clinician and researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where for many years she cared for patients with breast cancer and investigated the basic cellular mechanisms of cancer cells and how those cells resist targeted cancer drugs.
Dr. Ross received her MD and PhD from the Washington University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in St. Louis. She completed her medical residency in Boston at Harvard’s the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Her laboratory has investigated the physiologic and neoplastic roles of HIP1 as well as HIP1/PDGFβR, AML1/ETO and BCR/ABL. The team discovered that HIP1 is an endocytic protein that can transform cells by inhibiting degradation of growth factor receptors. Dr. Ross’s laboratory at UT Southwestern continues to research HIP1 and also investigates BRCA1, a breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene. Her clinical team investigates how we determine if rare variations in cancer gene sequences are normal or pathogenic and when pathogenic, what to do about those faulty genes.
She has received numerous cancer research related honors including awards from the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Hematology, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
In her clinical practice, Dr. Ross now cares for individuals at a high genetic risk for any type of cancer. She also serves as the director of the UT Southwestern Cancer Genetics Program.
In addition to enjoying graduate students and postdoctoral trainees her educational focus can be seen in lay publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post and her book entitled A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of Your Genetic Inheritance.