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An interview with the winners of the 2019 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists

This podcast is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

An interview with the winners of the 2019 Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists

Recorded 22 November 2019


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The Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists was established in 2013 as a collaboration between Science/AAAS and SciLifeLab. The prize rewards excellence amongst young researchers from around the world. It was created to recognize that global economic health is dependent upon a vibrant research community.

The 2019 prize winners are interviewed by Dr. Sean Sanders, Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing at Science.  He asks them about their research and what they like to do outside the lab. Find out what motivates these exceptional young scientists and how they see their research developing in the future.

More about the prize

The Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists prize is awarded annually to four young scientists for outstanding life science research for which he/she earned a doctoral degree in the previous two years. Each year, a grand prize winner is selected from the applicants to receive 30,000 USD in prize money. The three other category winners are awarded 10,000 USD each for their accomplishments. The grand prize-winning essay is published in Science and essays from the three category winners are published online.

In addition, all four winners are invited to Sweden in December to take part in a unique week of events in honor of science—with the opportunity to meet with leading researchers in their field. The annual award ceremony and banquet is held in the Grand Hôtel Hall of Mirrors in Stockholm, the original venue of the Nobel Prize banquet.

[Music: Chris Burns; Podcast editing and production: Sean Sanders]

Speaker bios

Longzhi Tan, Ph.D.

Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA

Longzhi Tan received his undergraduate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He started his postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in 2019. His research combines single-cell genomics and opto-genetics to study the 3D chromatin basis of neurodevelopment and behaviors and to develop new tools for chromatin biology.

Barbara Klump, Ph.D.

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Konstanz, Germany

Barbara Klump received her master’s degree from Heidelberg University, Germany, and a Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, UK. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of St. Andrews, she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Konstanz, Germany, where she is currently a postdoc in the Cognitive and Cultural Ecology Lab. Her research explores how a species’s ecology shapes its behavioral repertoire.

Humsa Venkatesh, Ph.D.

Stanford University,
Palo Alto, CA

Humsa Venkatesh received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Her research combines principles of neuroscience and cancer biology to understand the electrical components of cancer pathophysiology and harness these malignant dependencies for therapeutic intervention.

Zibo Chen, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

Zibo Chen received his undergraduate degree from the National University of Singapore and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Washington. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology, where he is programming mammalian cells using proteins designed from scratch.

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