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ncur_2015/plenary_speakers

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MassBay_BruceJacksonDr. Bruce A. Jackson was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Jackson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Houston; his Master of Science Degree in Genetics from the University of California, Davis; a Master of Science Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Brandeis University, and his Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He did his post-doctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine and was appointed to the Research Faculty there in 1993.
 
Also in 1993 Dr. Jackson also received an appointment as Head of the Biotechnology Programs at Massachusetts Bay Community College. In the ensuing eighteen years, the Biotechnology Program under Dr. Jackson has become one of the most celebrated undergraduate science programs in the nation and has produced more Goldwater Scholars, *19 as of 2013 (America’s highest undergraduate science Award) than all of the community colleges in the United States combined; and most four-year institutions. His Biotechnology Program also houses the only Forensic DNA Science degree program in the world.
 
Dr. Jackson is also a member of the Research Faculty in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. There Dr. Jackson’s research team traces the paternal and maternal lineages of African-Americans and American Jews using DNA. Dr. Jackson is also a world-renowned forensic DNA scientist and conducts criminal and missing-person cases for the FBI and police departments worldwide as well as serves as scientific consultant for defense attorneys in the United States. His DNA research has been featured widely in the world media including Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CNN, Washington Post, NPR, Fox Television, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, La Express (Paris, France), and PBS.
 
Dr. Jackson has won numerous awards for his achievements for his work as a scientist and science educator including a 1995 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 2008 Fulbright Award and 2009 The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering Mentoring that was awarded to him at the White House by President Obama in January 2011.
 
Dr. Jackson is a member of St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Roxbury, MA and has a number of social outreach programs he has created through his church. Dr. Jackson lives in Wayland, MA. He has two children, Corey Alexander Jackson and Leah Alexandra Jackson.

Carl_McNairCarl S. McNair is CEO and President of McNair Achievement Programs (MAP) in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an author, education consultant, and inspirational speaker.

Under Carl’s leadership, the McNair Achievement Programs have developed and implemented successful educational programs that promote academic excellence and personal achievement. These programs are also designed to inspire and empower individuals to pursue their goals and dreams. Annually, he conducts educational seminars and delivers keynote speeches to numerous organizations and Trio programs; this includes over 100 colleges and universities with McNair Scholars Programs, Upward Bound, Talent Search and/or other educational programs. He has made speaking appearances in 40 states including Hawaii as well as Puerto Rico.
 
Carl is also Founder and President Emeritus of the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Foundation. The foundation was established in honor of his brother, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who perished along with six of his astronaut colleagues aboard the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. Through the collaborative efforts of The McNair Foundation, family and friends on Capitol Hill, funding became a reality for the prestigious Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Programs).
 
After his brother's tragic death, Carl began speaking at youth programs and conferences where he shared his brother’s story. Through Dr. McNair’s story, many have found renewed hope and inspiration to follow their dreams. He is known for his inspirational keynote speeches, powerful seminars and exemplary leadership. Carl was also featured on the Tavis Smiley Show.
 
He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Technology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Babson College in Wellesley Massachusetts.  
 
 
Vanessa_Gonzalez-PerezVanessa González-Pérez earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and her doctoral degree in genetics and molecular biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). She completed her postdoctoral training at both; the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Carolina Central University in Durham and the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC-CH. At UNC-CH, she co-chaired the UNC-Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and co-founded the Minority Postdoc Alliance, a group dedicated to supporting diverse scholars within the institution by providing professional development resources and a platform for underrepresented postdoctoral fellows to network and maximize their experience at UNC-CH.
 
Dr. González-Pérez moved to WSU in 2013 to work in the research lab of Associate Professor Mary Paine, studying interactions between conventional medications and herbal products. González-Pérez has been focusing on the model herbal product milk thistle as an inhibitor of the cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of the ‘probe’ drugs dextromethorphan, phenacetin and S-mephenytoin. Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years as self-treatment for several common conditions including liver problems, high cholesterol and diabetes.
 
She is passionate about mentoring students to become leaders and she currently holds a number of leadership positions which include; City of Spokane, Mayor’s Council for Multicultural Affairs, Faculty Institutional Representative, Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Diversity Officer, National Postdoctoral Association, Faculty advisor, Spokane Postdoctoral Association at Washington State University, and Virtual Mentor, Carolina Latina/o Collaborative Mentoring Program