Keynote Speakers



Corporate Social Responsibility & the Supply Chain 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Author Rachel Louise Snyder published a book that looked at the world's first sweatshop-free developing country: Cambodia. Could the country survive in the cutthroat world of global trade and bottom dollar profits? By most accounts, the sweatshop-free experiment was a huge success. After living in the country for six years, Snyder prepared to leave Cambodia. But in the weeks leading up to her departure, she learned about a very different experiment in the country. The Phnom Penh women's prison had hired its inmates to begin sewing for one of the largest factories in town for $2.50 a month. The women talked of their exploitation freely, but also begged outsiders not to publicize their plight—because without the work, they were never allowed out of their cells. And, as is the case with many developing country women's prisons, many had their children in jail with them. (more info)

Speaker: Cara Santa Maria
Senior Science Correspondent for the AOL Huffington Post Media Group

Beyond Academia:Communicating Research, Passion, and Poetry to Improve Science Literacy

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cara Santa Maria is the senior science correspondent for The Huffington Post, where she hosts and co-produces a weekly video series called "Talk Nerdy to Me." She also co-hosts the new Weather Channel series, "Hacking the Planet." A North Texas native, Cara currently lives in Los Angeles. Prior to moving to the west coast, she taught biology and psychology courses to university undergraduates and high school students in Texas and New York. Her published research has spanned various topics, including clinical psychological assessment, the neuropsychology of blindness, neuronal cell culture techniques, and computational neurophysiology (more info)

Speaker: James McLurkin, Ph.D.
Rice University, Department of Computer Science

Dances with Robots: The Story of One Engineer, 112 Little Robots, & the Toys, Insects, & Star Wars Movies that Made it all Possible

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

McLurkin's research focuses on developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, which is software that produces complex group behaviors from the interactions of many simple individuals.  These ideas are not new: ants, bees, wasps, and termites have be running this type of software for 120 million years.  His research group has one of the largest collections of robots in the world, with over 200 robots to use.  The SwarmBots were originally created during McLurkin's five-year tenure as Lead Research Scientist at iRobot and was the largest swarm in the world at the time (more info)

Click here for the Research Days 2012 presentation

Speaker: Dr. John E. Maco
Executive Director of Neuroscience Discovery Chemistry
Bristol-Myers Squibb

The Discovery of a Key Molecule for Testing the Beta-Amyloid Hypothesis for Treating Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The causes of Alzheimer ’s disease are not fully understood and there is currently no cure. Dr. Macor led the team that discovered BMS – 708163, which is a gamma-secretase inhibitor for Alzheimer’s disease that demonstrated beta-amyloid lowering in the cerebral spinal fluid of normal healthy volunteers in a Phase 1 clinical study. Dr. Macor is also the co-discoverer of Relpax®  an anti-migraine drug. He received the 2009 Robert M. Scarborough Memorial  Award from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. He is a former chair of the Gordon Research Conference for Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Macor has authored or co-authored more than 110 publications, is an inventor on 73 issued US patents, and has authored or co-authored over 120 meeting or invited presentations. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Macor earned his B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1982 and his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry at Princeton University.