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Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups present half- and one-day symposia throughout the year in a given area, seeking to reflect the dynamism of scientific fields of relevance to our global community. Steering Committees composed of multi-institutional scientists from the Academy’s network shape each Discussion Group’s portfolio of events and publications, providing thought leadership on key issues of interest. Our Discussion Groups focus on the following scientific disciplines:

Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group

Understanding drug action at the frontiers of modern drug design

The Biochemical Pharmacology Discussion Group advances our fundamental knowledge of the activity and metabolism of both small molecules and biologics at the biochemical and molecular levels. Research spans chemotherapy, neuropharmacology, antimicrobials, inflammation, and immunopharmacology, as well as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and endocrine pharmacology and toxicology. The group also serves as the Biochemical Topical Group for the American Chemical Society‘s New York Chapter.

Biochemical Pharmacology Steering Committee Members

Lynn M. Abell, PhD Kojin Therapeutics

Magdalena Alonso-Galicia, PhD Roivant Sciences

Joshua Apgar, PhD Applied BioMath

Mercedes Beyna, MS Biogen

Scott Brodeur, PhD Janssen Research and Development

Megan Dow, PhD Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Steven Gross, PhD Weill Cornell Medical College

John Hambor, PhD Boehringer Ingelheim

Julia Heinrich, PhD Bristol-Myers Squibb

Andres Hurtado-Lorenzo, PhD Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Katalin Kauser, MD, PhD, DSc Alucent

Christine Grimaldi, PhD Boehringer Ingelheim

Scott MacDonnell, PhD Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Marco Prunotto, PhD Galapagos

Claire M. Steppan, PhD Pfizer

George Zavoico, PhD Cue Biopharma

Brain and Behavior Discussion Group

Unlocking the secrets of the human brain

The Brain and Behavior Discussion Group advances fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system, providing the foundation for novel ways to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

Brain and Behavior Steering Committee Members

Howard Fillit, MD Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Kevin Lee, PhD The Lawrence Ellison Foundation; Grace Science Foundation

John Spiro, PhD Simons Foundation

Gregory Petsko, D.Phil Weill Cornell Medical College

Cancer Discussion Group

Advancing the world’s most promising research in cancer prevention, diagnosis, care, and cure

The Cancer Discussion Group advances fundamental knowledge of basic, translational, clinical, and diagnostic aspects in the field, with the goal of surfacing breakthroughs in cancer prevention, diagnosis, care and cure.

Cancer Steering Committee Members

Joan Massagué, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute

Michael A. White, PhD Pfizer

George Zavoico, PhD Cue Biopharma

Chemical Biology Discussion Group

Chemical tools providing insight into biological function

Our portfolio of events and publications in Chemical Biology encompasses chemistry-based technology— such as proteomics, lipidomics, metabolomics, and glycomics—as well as synthetic and systems biology work when inspired and supported by chemical tools or aimed at engineering biological systems to perform a new type of chemical transformation. The Chemical Biology Discussion Group also serves as the Organic Topical Group for the American Chemical Society’s New York Chapter.

Chemical Biology Steering Committee Members

Paramjit Arora, PhD New York University

Elizabeth Boon, PhD Stony Brook University

David M. Chenoweth, PhD University of Pennsylvania

Justin Cisar, PhD Janssen Research & Development

Pamela Chang, PhD Cornell University

Virginia Cornish, PhD Columbia University

Yael David, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Christopher am Ende, PhD Pfizer Inc.

Robert P. Fisher, MD, PhD Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Kevin Gardner, PhD CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

Catherine L. Grimes, PhD University of Delaware

Akira Kawamura, PhD CUNY – Hunter College

Jon Lai, PhD Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Thomas Leyh, PhD Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Tania Lupoli, PhD New York University

Jin Kim Montclare, PhD Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Allie Obermeyer, PhD Columbia University

E. James Petersson, PhD University of Pennsylvania

Scott Priestley, PhD Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D

Deborah Rothman, PhD Merck & Co Inc.

David Sabatino, PhD Seton Hall University

Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost, PhD Princeton University

Neel H. Shah, PhD Columbia University

Sarah Slavoff, PhD Yale University

Derek S. Tan, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Ekaterina (Katya) Vinogradova, PhD Rockefeller University

Neal J. Zondlo, PhD University of Delaware

CRISPR Discussion Group

Revolutionizing gene editing

The CRISPR Discussion Group advances our understanding of the cellular, molecular, and biochemical pathways of CRISPR-associated proteins, DNA repair pathways, and their applications in diverse organisms, including for human health and disease biology.

CRISPR Steering Committee Members

Britt Adamson, PhD Princeton University

Maria Jasin, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Neville Sanjana, PhD New York University and New York Genome Center

Samuel Sternberg, PhD Columbia University

Genome Integrity Discussion Group

Protecting the code of life

Our portfolio of events and publications in Genome Integrity seek to successfully map the mechanisms by which these regulatory processes act or go awry, presenting an exciting avenue for identifying novel approaches for protecting against disease-causing errors and restoring function.

Genome Integrity Steering Committee Members

Scott Keeney, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Susan L. Smith, PhD NYU School of Medicine

Jean Gautier, PhD, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Agata Smogorzewska, MD, PhD The Rockefeller University

Machine Learning Discussion Group

Pattern recognition wizardry — from Siri to self-driving cars

The Machine Learning Discussion Group has held symposia for the better part of two decades to discuss advanced research related to such topics. Participants come from a variety of disciplines and from both academic and industry institutions, promoting the exchange of new insights between communities.

Machine Learning Steering Committee Members

Naoki Abe, PhD IBM Research

Corinna Cortes, PhD Google Research

Jennifer L. Costley, PhD The New York Academy of Sciences

Patrick Haffner, PhD Interactions Corporation

Elad Hazan, PhD Princeton University

Tony Jebara, PhD Columbia University

John Langford, PhD Microsoft Research

Mehryar Mohri, PhD Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Alexander Rakhlin, PhD University of Pennsylvania

Robert Schapire, PhD Microsoft Research

Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Discussion Group

Preparing to fight tomorrow’s disease outbreaks, today

Our portfolio of events and publications in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is designed to surface new discoveries and tackle current challenges in biomedical research and public health efforts to understand, treat, control, and prevent over 200 known infectious diseases. Beyond a better understanding of infectious disease etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and care, we also explore broader issues such as the roles that human demographics and behavior, international travel and commerce, technology and industry, economic development, microbial adaptation and change, and the breakdown of public health measures play in the complex coexistence of microbes and man.

Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Steering Committee Members

Annaliesa S. Anderson, PhD Pfizer

Doris Bucher, PhD New York Medical College

Nancy Connell, PhD Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Johanna P. Daily, MD Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Matthew Evans, PhD Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai

Vincent Fischetti, PhD The Rockefeller University

Allan Goldberg, PhD Avacyn Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Lorrence Green, PhD Westbury Diagnostics, Inc

Takushi Kaneko, PhD TB Alliance

Barry Kreiswirth, PhD Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

W. Ian Lipkin, MD Columbia University

Stephen Morse, PhD Columbia University

Paul Offit, MD Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

David Perlin, PhD Public Health Research Institute, New Jersey Medical School/ Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Shirley Raps, PhD Hunter College, City University of New York

Yegor Voronin, PhD Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise

Michael Watson, MD Moderna Therapeutics

Microbiome Science Discussion Group

Your body is mostly microbes

Our portfolio of events and publications in Microbiome Science are designed to surface new discoveries and tackle current challenges including the development of reference sets of microbial genome sequences, understanding the complexity of the microbial community at various body sites, determining the relationship between human health, disease, and changes in the microbiome, new tools and technologies for microbiome sample collection and computational analyses, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of studying and modifying the human microbiome.

Microbiome Science Steering Committee Members

David Artis, PhD Weill Cornell Medicine

Martin Blaser, MD New York University

John Hambor, PhD Boehringer Ingelheim

Dan Littman, MD, PhD New York University

Eric G. Pamer, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Paul Planet, MD, PhD Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Nilufer Seth, PhD Pfizer

Physical Sciences, Sustainability and Engineering Discussion Group

Advancing technology for sustainable solutions

The Physical Sciences, Sustainability and Engineering Discussion Group brings together international experts and partners from academia, industry, government and beyond, for programs that provide a neutral forum for exploring cutting-edge topics, exchanging information and forming collaborations on groundbreaking initiatives.