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Gladstone Institutes Alumni Symposium—Speakers


Bo Angelin, MD, PhD
Karolinska Institute
Years at Gladstone: 1981–1983

Bo Angelin is senior professor of clinical metabolic research at Karolinska Institute, and has served as head of the Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at Karolinska University Hospital and director of the KI/AZ Integrated Cardiometabolic Center (ICMC). He studies mechanisms of regulation of lipid and cholesterol metabolism with special emphasis on humans, and how this knowledge can be used for the development of new forms of diagnostics and treatments. In 1981, Angelin trained in Robert Mahley's lab as one of the first postdoctoral fellows to join the Gladstone Institutes, then known as the Gladstone Foundation Laboratories.
John A. Capra, PhD
Vanderbilt University
Years at Gladstone: 2009–2012

John A. “Tony” Capra is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University with secondary appointments in Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science. His research group focuses on three main areas: 1) modeling the genetics of recent human evolution and disease, 2) using machine learning to interpret gene regulatory “programs” encoded in genomes, and 3) integrating population genetics and structural biology. After receiving a PhD in computer science from Princeton University, Capra completed a postdoc in Katherine Pollard’s lab at the Gladstone Institutes studying non-coding regulatory elements and recent human evolution.
Robert V. Farese, Jr., MD
Harvard Chan School of Public Health
Years at Gladstone: 1993–2014

Robert Farese is professor and chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, and an associate member of the Broad Institute. He completed his postdoctoral research training in Steve Young's lab at UCSF and the Gladstone Institutes, where he was an investigator from 1994 to 2014. Since 2014, Farese has run a joint laboratory at the Harvard Chan School with Tobias Walther, PhD, working on cellular lipid metabolism, with particular focus on energy metabolism and lipid droplets, and lipid metabolism in the brain.
Sergio Fazio, MD, PhD
Oregon Health Sciences University
Years at Gladstone: 1988–1993

Sergio Fazio completed his MD and fellowship in metabolic diseases at the University of Rome, Italy, and his PhD at UCSF. In 1988, he joined the Gladstone Institutes as a postdoctoral fellow in Cappy Rall's lab and then later became an instructor in medicine at UCSF. In 1993, Fazio joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, and later became the inaugural William and Sonja Connor Chair of Preventive Cardiology at Oregon Health Sciences University, where he directs the Center for Preventive Cardiology. Fazio’s research focuses on genetic dyslipidemias, the early cellular events in atherogenesis, and gene therapy.
Li Gan, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine
Years at Gladstone: 2003–2019

Li Gan received her BS degree from Peking University and her PhD from Yale University School of Medicine. After postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and in Lennart Mucke's lab at the Gladstone Institutes, she became a professor-in-residence at UCSF and a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, before joining Weill Cornell Medicine in July 2018. Gan is currently the director of the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute and the Burton P. and Judith B. Resnick Distinguished Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research focuses on how neuroinflammation contributes to neuronal dysfunction and how pathogenic proteins accumulate in neurodegenerative dementias.
Romas Geleziunas, PhD
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Years at Gladstone: 1996–2000

Romas Geleziunas is an executive director in the Biology Department at Gilead Sciences. He received his PhD in microbiology and immunology from McGill University and conducted postdoctoral studies in Warner Greene's lab at the Gladstone Institutes. At Gilead, Geleziunas has led multidisciplinary HIV antiviral drug discovery and early drug development programs. He established and led Gilead’s HIV eradication program and is currently the head of the HIV clinical virology group. Prior to joining Gilead, Geleziunas worked on drug discovery programs at Dupont Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb) and Merck Research Laboratories.
Kathryn N. Ivey, PhD
Tenaya Therapeutics
Years at Gladstone: 2005–2016

Kathryn Ivey is the director of research operations at Tenaya Therapeutics, a company founded by Gladstone researchers in 2016 that is developing transformative treatments for heart disease. Prior to joining Tenaya, Ivey was a staff research scientist at the Gladstone Institutes, served as director of the Gladstone Stem Cell Core, and was the scientific program manager for a team science initiative called BioFulcrum. Ivey holds a BS from Texas A&M University and a PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She also trained as a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) postdoctoral scholar in Deepak Srivastava's lab at the Gladstone Institutes.
Anna G. Orr, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine
Years at Gladstone: 2009–2016

Anna Orr is an assistant professor of neuroscience at the Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. She completed postdoctoral training in 2016 under the guidance of Lennart Mucke, MD, at the Gladstone Institutes. At Gladstone, Orr led work showing that receptor signaling in astrocytes regulates long-term memory and can contribute to memory loss in disease. Her lab at Weill Cornell focuses on glial-neuronal interactions and mitochondrial signaling in normal and pathophysiological processes.
Li Qian, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Years at Gladstone: 2007–2012

Li Qian received her undergraduate degree in biology from Fudan University in China and a PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She then pursued postdoctoral training in cardiovascular and stem cell biology at the Gladstone Institutes in Deepak Srivastava's lab. Currently an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Qian is exploring how to alter cardiac cell fate for the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat heart disease. In addition, her lab uses traditional mouse genetics, cell and molecular assays, biochemistry, and single cell omics technologies to investigate the fundamental events underlying cardiomyocyte differentiation and trans-differentiation.
Eric Verdin, MD
Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Years at Gladstone: 1997–2016

Eric Verdin is president and chief executive officer of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and professor of medicine at UCSF. He received his MD from the University of Liege, Belgium, and completed additional clinical and research training at Harvard. Verdin has held faculty positions at the University of Brussels, the National Institutes of Health, the Picower Institute for Medical Research, and the Gladstone Institutes. His laboratory focuses on epigenetic regulators of the aging process. Verdin studies how metabolism, diet, and small molecules regulate the activity of HDACs and sirtuins and thereby aging and associated diseases, including Alzheimer’s.



Emily Berry, PhD
California State Assembly
Years at Gladstone: 2009–2015

Emily Berry is a legislative aide for California State Assemblymember Ken Cooley. Berry began her career in the State Assembly as a California Council on Science and Technology Fellow in 2015. After her fellowship, she was hired on as a legislative aide, where she has helped guide multiple bills through the legislative process. She continues to advise on policy issues related to natural resources, energy, utilities, mental health, aging and long term care, and STEM education. Berry is also a special assistant to the Chair of the Senate and Assembly Joint Rules Committee on the Capitol Annex Project. Berry received a BS in molecular, cell, and developmental biology from UC Santa Cruz, and performed her graduate thesis research in Deepak Srivastava's lab at the Gladstone Institutes while completing her PhD in cell biology from UC San Francisco.
Mark A. Goldsmith, MD, PhD
Revolution Medicines
Years at Gladstone: 1993–2003

Mark Goldsmith is the president and chief executive officer of REVOLUTION Medicines. He received his MD/PhD from UC San Francisco (UCSF). After postgraduate training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and UCSF, Goldsmith joined the UCSF faculty, led a research group at the Gladstone Institutes, and was attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital. Goldsmith co-authored 85 scientific publications and is co-inventor on multiple issued patents and applications. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He also served as assistant director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and was consultant to a variety of small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Chris Haskell, PhD
West Coast Innovation Center at Bayer
Years at Gladstone: 1997–2000

Chris Haskell leads Bayer’s West Coast Innovation Center in Mission Bay, San Francisco. The center supports Bayer’s drug discovery by developing and managing partnerships with academic research institutions and life science companies. Haskell is also responsible for cultivating life science startups at the CoLaborator, a biotech incubator that fosters collaboration between Bayer and emerging innovators. Haskell is board chair emeritus and current board member of the California Life Sciences Institute, a Bay Area organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, science education, and workforce development. After his graduate work at the University of California, Davis, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Israel Charo's lab at the Gladstone Institutes, Haskell joined the Immunology group at Berlex Biosciences. Haskell joined Bayer in 2007. He assumed oversight for the West Coast Innovation Center in 2017.
Véronique Kiermer, PhD
Years at Gladstone: 1998-2001

Véronique Kiermer is the publisher and executive editor at the Public Library of Science (PLOS), where she works closely with the editorial teams of the seven PLOS journals to continually improve the communication of research and promote open science. Before joining PLOS, she was executive editor and director of author and reviewer services for Nature Publishing Group. She started her career in publishing in 2004 as the founding chief editor of Nature Methods. Kiermer has a PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. She did postdoctoral work on HIV transcription in the laboratory of Eric Verdin at the Gladstone Institutes. She currently serves as chair of the ORCID Board of Directors.
Karen Ring, PhD
Weber Shandwick
Years at Gladstone: 2009–2013

Karen Ring is a senior manager of Scientific Communications at Weber Shandwick. Ring earned her PhD in biomedical sciences from UC San Francisco (UCSF) in 2012, while working in Yadong Huang’s lab at the Gladstone Institutes. After a postdoc at the Buck Institute, she transitioned into science communications and joined the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to manage their website, social media, and stem cell blog. Ring joined Weber Shandwick’s Healthcare PR in April 2018. At Weber, she explains scientific research from biotech and pharma companies to healthcare and public audiences. She is also the chapter chair of the San Francisco chapter of Women in Bio, and the President of the Graduate Division Alumni Association Board at UCSF.