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Judge Profiles

Janet Conrad
Professor of Physics
Dr. Janet Conrad is a professor in the MIT Department of Physics. She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1985, a M.Sc. from Oxford University in 1987, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1993. Dr. Conrads research focuses on neutrinos, the lightest known matter particles. The fact that neutrinos have mass is the first discovered fissure in the surprisingly resilient theory of particle physics called the Standard Model. Dr. Conrad collaborates on several experiments (Double Chooz, MiniBooNE, MicroBooNE, NuSOnG) designed both to test whether neutrinos have additional unexpected properties and to help guide the development of a new model for particle physics that incorporates neutrino mass. In 2001, the American Physical Society awarded Dr. Conrad the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career. For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/conrad_janet.html

Phillip Sharp
Institute Professor
Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor and member of the Koch Institute at MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1974 after completing his postdoctoral training at Caltech and Cold Spring Harbor. Sharps research on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing provided one of the first indications of the startling phenomenon of discontinuous genes in mammalian cells. For this work, Sharp was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His work has earned him numerous cancer research awards and presidential and national scientific board appointments. He is elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also the recipient of the National Medal of Science. He served as director of the Center for Cancer Research, now the Koch Institute, was Head of the Department of Biology and more recently was Founding Director of the McGovern Institute. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois. He is co-founder of Biogen (now Biogen Idec) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/sharplab/home.html

Emery Brown
Professor, Brain & Cognitive Science and Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Dr. Emery Brown is a professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology at MIT and the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in 1978, an A.M. in Statistics from Harvard University in 1984, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1987 and a Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University in 1988. A primary focus of Dr. Browns research is the development of statistical methods and signal-processing algorithms for neuroscience data analysis. His laboratory is also using a systems neuroscience approach to study how anesthetic drugs act in the brain to create the state of general anesthesia. This research may lead to safer, site-specific anesthetic drugs and to the development of better methods for measuring depth of anesthesia. For more information, visit http://www.neurostat.mit.edu/

John Essigmann
Professor of Toxicology and Chemistry, Housemaster
Dr. John Essigmann is the William R. (1956) and Betsy P. Leitch Professor in Residence of Chemistry in the MIT Department of Chemistry and Professor of Toxicology and Biological Engineering in the MIT Department of Biological Engineering. He earned a B.S. from Northeastern University in 1970, an M.S. from MIT in 1992, and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1976. Dr. Essigmanns research centers on how cells respond to DNA damaging agents. More specifically, his lab is probing the molecular causes of human cancer, uncovering the mechanism of action of existing anti-tumor drugs, and designing new programmable anti-cancer agents. Dr. Essigmann has made important contributions to MIT student life at both the graduate and undergraduate levels: he played an instrumental roll in establishing the Chemistry REFS program and currently serves as housemaster of Simmons Hall. For more information, visit http://jessig.mit.edu/jmegroup/