The Board of Scientific Counselors is composed of eminent scientists in the fields of regeneration, aging and developmental biology, cellular and molecular physiology, systems biology, and neuroscience. The Board oversees the Institution’s scientific program, advises the President, and plays an advisory role in faculty career development and advancement.
Barbara Beltz, Ph.D.
Barbara Beltz, Ph.D., is the Susan M. Hallowell and Ruby Frances Howe Farwell Professor of Neuroscience at Wellesley College, where she also directs the Neuroscience Program. Her research focuses on the production of new neurons in the adult nervous system, using the crustacean brain as the model system. Her laboratory is particularly interested in the relationship between the nervous and hematopoietic systems, and how circulating cells may interact with neuronal precursors.
Prior to joining Wellesley’s faculty in 1987, Dr. Beltz was a postdoctoral fellow and instructor in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University.
Dennis Brown, Ph.D.
Dennis Brown, Ph.D., is the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Program in Membrane Biology and the Associate Director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology. He became Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Chief for Research in the MGH Nephrology Division in 2002. He serves as Chair of the MGH Research Council and is a member of the MGH Executive Committee on Research. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Physiological Reviews.
Dr. Brown’s major research interests are the structure, function, and polarity of epithelial cell membranes; principal and intercalated cell structure and function in the kidney; cell biology of vasopressin-induced water channel (aquaporin) recycling and proton pumping (V)ATPase recycling; and the role of GTP-binding proteins, accessory proteins, and the cytoskeleton in intracellular vesicle trafficking. He earned his Ph.D. in 1975 at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and has been at MGH since 1985.
Donal T. Manahan, Ph.D.
Donal T. Manahan, Ph.D., is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California. He studies the environmental physiology of development in marine invertebrates, especially of their larval stages. He has been chief scientist for more than 20 scientific expeditions in Antarctica and in the Pacific Ocean, where he investigates development in extreme environments. He has served as chair of the U.S. National Academies Polar Research Board and on the National Science Foundation Decadal Group-Planning Committee for Ocean Sciences.
In 2011, Dr. Manahan was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his research and teaching contributions in larval physiology and polar biology. A 6,000-foot mountain in Antarctica was named “Manahan Peak” in 2000 for his contributions to Antarctic research and education and his service to the scientific community. Born in Ireland, Manahan obtained his undergraduate degree in zoology from Trinity College Dublin and his doctorate from the University of Wales.
Andres Villu Maricq, M.D., Ph.D.
Andres Villu Maricq, M.D., Ph.D., is the founding director of the Center for Cell and Genome Science at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he holds the James E. Talmage Presidential Endowed Chair in Biology. Co-chair of the Gordon Research Conferences on Excitatory Synapses and Brain Function in 2009 and 2011, and member of the NIH Synapses, Cytoskeleton and Trafficking Study Section, he is internationally known for his work on neuronal circuits and synaptic function in C. elegans. His laboratory focuses on analyzing glutamate receptor function, neuromuscular development and function, and rhythmic behavior and calcium oscillations.
Dr. Maricq joined the Department of Biology at the University of Utah in 1996 after conducting postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco (USCF). He completed the combined MD/PhD Program at the School of Medicine at USCF and the Department of Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1990.
Eric N. Olson, Ph.D.
Eric N. Olson, Ph.D., holds the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research, and the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He also chairs the Center’s Department of Molecular Biology. Olson received the 2012 Passano Award for identifying major genetic pathways that control the development of the heart and other muscles. In 2009, he was awarded the Institut de France’s prestigious Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize for his work on gene regulation in the cardiovascular system. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2000, is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of miRagen Therapeutics, and was the scientific founder of Myogen.
Dr. Olson’s laboratory studies muscle cells as a model for understanding how embryonic cells adopt specific fates and how programs of cell differentiation and morphogenesis are controlled during development. Most recently, his lab has explored the role of microRNAs in the control of muscle development and disease. The long-term goal of his research is to delineate the complete genetic pathways for the formation and function of each muscle cell type and to use this information to devise pharmacologic and genetic therapies for inherited and acquired muscle diseases in humans.
Dr. Olson was a professor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas before joining the Southwestern Medical Center in 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in 1981.
Thomas Rando, M.D., Ph.D.
Thomas Rando, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and Director of the Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also Deputy Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity at Stanford University, and he is Chief of the Neurology Service and Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence (the Center for Tissue Regeneration, Repair, and Restoration (CTR3)) at the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System.
Dr. Rando’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of muscle stem cell activation, proliferation, and self-renewal. His laboratory explores the changes in stem cell function that accompany the process of aging and seeks to understand, and perhaps delay, the decline in tissue regenerative capacity that comes with age. Rando also has a long-standing interest in understanding the mechanisms of cell injury and cell death in muscular dystrophy and in developing new therapeutics for that disease. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University.
Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D.
Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne. She spent twelve years as head of the Mouse Biology Unit at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Rome, Italy, and holds a chair in cardiovascular science at Imperial College London within the National Heart and Lung Institute (UK). She has served as scientific head of EMBL Australia since 2009.
Dr. Rosenthal’s research focuses on embryonic heart development, aging mechanisms, and stem cell-driven regeneration of neuromuscular and cardiac tissue. She recently discovered an unexpected connection between regenerative processes and immune tolerance. Her work supports the feasibility of improving human regenerative capacity and provides new targets for clinical intervention. Rosenthal received her Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1981 and has served on the faculties of the Harvard and Boston University medical schools.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D., is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. He is the recipient of a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health and has been a Kavli Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Sánchez Alvarado’s lab has launched one of the first efforts to deconstruct the molecular and cellular components underpinning regeneration. He has established a powerful new model system to study these mechanics, the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1992 and was a post-doctoral fellow and staff associate in the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington before joining the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2002. He moved to the Stowers Institute in 2011.
E. Brad Thompson, M.D.
E. Brad Thompson, M.D., is Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was previously the I.H. Kempner Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics. He is also Visiting Professor at the Center for Nuclear Receptors and the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, and he serves as a member of the Gulf Coast Consortia of the W. M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology.
Dr. Thompson’s laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch has a record of leadership in the field of cellular and molecular actions of steroids, especially glucocorticoids and oxysterols. The lab is pursuing several aspects of this work, including glucocorticoid actions on leukemic cells, structural studies of the glucocorticoid receptor, and using a novel gene fragment to cause cell death in the absence of steroid in many cancer cells.
Dr. Thompson received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and began his career at NIH, where he was Chief of Biochemistry of Gene Expression in the Lab of Biochemistry at the National Cancer Institute, prior to joining the University of Texas faculty in 1984.