June 21-22, 2022
Mentoring and highlighting future leaders in the life & biomedical sciences

Program Schedule

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

9:30 am – 12:00 pmSymposium Session I
Carson Family Auditorium
9:30 – 9:45 amWelcoming Remarks
Sohail Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D.
Leon Hess Professor
Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology
The Rockefeller University
9:45 – 10:10 amFunctionalizing the Cancer Genome Through Copy Number Engineering
Francisco Barriga, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Cancer Biology and Genetics Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
10:10 – 10:35 amDefining New World Hantavirus Entry
María Eugenia Dieterle, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
10:35 – 10:45 amBreak
10:45 – 11:10 amDefining Microbial Metabolites Shaping Human Biology
Leah Guthrie, Ph.D.
HHMI Hanna H. Gray Fellow
Stanford University
11:10 – 11:35 amRescuing Aging-Associated Immune Dysfunction Through Mitochondrial Transplantation
Colwyn A. Headley, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Cardiovascular Institute
Stanford University School of Medicine
11:35 am – 12:00 pmHeart-brain Feedback Loops: Using Zebrafish to Study the Neural Circuit Mechanisms Underlying Cardiac Modulation of Brain Function and Brain Modulation of Cardio Function
Luis Hernandez-Nunez, Ph.D.
Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
Departments of Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology and of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Harvard University
12:00 – 1:15 pmLunch Break
1:15 – 5:00 pmSymposium Session II
Carson Family Auditorium
1:15 – 1:40 pmHardwired to Attack? Understanding the Developmental and Cellular Mechanisms for Innate Social Behaviors in the Medial Amygdala
Julieta Lischinsky, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
New York University School of Medicine
1:40 – 2:05 pmIs Racism in Your Genes? The Impact of Contemporary Redlining on the Tumor Epigenome
Jasmine Miller-Kleinhenz, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Emory University
2:05 – 2:30 pmDissecting the Structural Basis of Huntington Pathogenesis: One Molecule at a Time
Piere Rodriguez-Aliaga, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar
Stanford University
2:30 – 2:40 amBreak
2:40 – 3:05 pmNeuronal-Glia Interactions in Alzheimer's Disease
Matheus Victor, Ph.D.
HHMI Hanna H. Gray Postdoctoral Fellow
Picower Institute for Learning & Memory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3:05 – 3:30 pmEvaluating Lipid Dysregulation, Infection, and Social Determinants of Health on Brain Metabolism
Cory White, Ph.D.
NIH Blueprint D-SPAN Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
3:30 – 4:00 pmTea Reception for Symposium Guests
Greenberg Building, Lower Level B
4:00 – 5:00 pmFireside Chat
Carson Family Auditorium

Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
President and Carson Family Professor
Laboratory of Human Genetics and Genomics
The Rockefeller University

Kenneth C. Frazier
Executive Chairman of the Board and former President and Chief Executive Officer
Merck & Co., Inc.

Questions from the Audience with Mr. Frazier
Moderated by Dr. Lifton
5:00 – 6:00 pmReception for Symposium Guests
SNF-DR River Campus Roof Terrace

June 22, 2022

11:00 am - 12:00 pmPanel Discussion: Challenges in Academia and How to Overcome Them
Carson Family Auditorium
ModeratorAshton Murray, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Rockefeller University
PanelistsElizabeth Campbell, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics
The Rockefeller University
Jeanne Garbarino, Ph.D.
Director of RockEDU Science Outreach
The Rockefeller University
Erich D. Jarvis, Ph.D.
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Language
The Rockefeller University
Andrea R. Morris, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean and Director of Career and Professional Development
The Rockefeller University

Fireside Chat

Kenneth C. Frazier

Executive Chairman of the Board and former President and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.

Kenneth C. Frazier is the Executive Chairman of Merck’s board of directors, a role he began in July 2021, following his retirement from a decade-long tenure as Merck’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Under Ken's leadership, Merck delivered innovative life-saving medicines and vaccines as well as long-term and sustainable value to its multiple stakeholders. Ken substantially increased Merck’s investment in research, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products that provide far-reaching benefits to society. He also led the formation of philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives that build on Merck’s 130-year legacy.

Ken joined the company in 1992 and held positions of increasing responsibility, including General Counsel, before becoming President and CEO in 2011. Prior to joining Merck, Ken was a Partner with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Ken's contributions, especially in the legal, business, and humanitarian fields, have been widely recognized. He sits on the boards of Weill Cornell Medicine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Eikon Therapeutics, the National Constitution Center and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA. He is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of OneTen, a coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs. OneTen is committed to facilitating a meaningful, measurable, and lasting impact on racial and economic justice. Ken is also Chairman, Health Assurance Initiatives, at the venture capital firm, General Catalyst, where he advises on investments and partnerships and provides mentorship to founders building companies that are well positioned to transform the healthcare industry through collaborative and responsible innovation. He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Additionally, Ken is Co-Chair of the Legal Services Corporation's Leaders Council.

As a strong advocate for social justice and economic inclusion, Ken is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School, the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund National Equal Justice Award, and the National Minority Quality Forum's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, Ken received the Harvard Law School Association Award, the highest honor given by the prestigious association, in recognition of his extraordinary service to the legal profession, Harvard Law School, and the public. In that same year, Ken was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune magazine and was also named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People and again made that list in 2021. In 2019, he became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare. In 2021, Columbia Business School honored him with the Deming Cup for Operational Excellence, and his peers named Ken Chief Executive magazine’s CEO of the Year.

Ken received his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


The Rockefeller University gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following sponsors for both the inaugural Exceptional Scholars Workshop and the newly launched Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative.

Laureate ($100,000)

William E. Ford

Simons Foundation

Luminary ($50,000)

Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis

Merck & Co., Inc.

Benefactor ($25,000)

Global Blood Therapeutics

McKinsey & Company

David Sze and Kathleen Donohue

Patron ($15,000)

Sandra J. Horbach and Steven F. Skoler

Royalty Pharma

Sponsor ($10,000)


Friend ($5,000)

Equum Medical

Regina and Jeffrey Kessler

Andrew and Suzanne Plump