School of Humanities and Sciences
Showing 1-10 of 129 Results
Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHuman genetic and cultural evolution, mathematical biology, demography of China
Russell D. Fernald
Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor of Human Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsIn the course of evolution,two of the strongest selective forces in nature,light and sex, have left their mark on living organisms. I am interested in how the development and function of the nervous system reflects these events. We use the reproductive system to understand how social behavior influences the main system of reproductive action controlled by a collection of cells in the brain containing gonodotropin releasing hormone(GnRH)
Donald Kennedy Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe long term goal of our research is to understand how proteins fold in living cells. My lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to address fundamental questions about molecular chaperones, protein folding and degradation. In addition to basic mechanistic principles, we aim to define how impairment of cellular folding and quality control are linked to disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases and examine whether reengineering chaperone networks can provide therapeutic strategies.
Wolf B. Frommer
Professor (by Courtesy), Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWatching cells at work
Focus: Transport / signaling across the plasma membrane (sugars, amino acids).
Tools: FRET-based nanosensors for metabolite imaging (with subcellular resolution) in living organisms using confocal fluorescence microscopy and HTS; Sensor optimization by computational design; RNAi to modify cellular functions.
Goals: Identify unknown sugar effluxers from liver/plant cells; study regulatory networks.
Model systems: liver, neuronal, plant cell cultures, Arabidopsis, yeast
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor of Earth System Science, of Biology and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My field is global ecology, and my research emphasizes ecological contributions across the range of Earth science disciplines. My colleagues and I develop diverse approaches to quantifying large-scale ecosystem processes, using satellites, atmospheric data, models, and census data, and explore global-scale patterns of vegetation-climate feedbacks, carbon cycle dynamics, primary production, forest management, and fire. At the ecosystem-scale, we conduct experiments on grassland responses to global change, which integrate approaches from molecular biology to remote sensing.
I am one of five professors who teach the Earth Systems field studies course for advanced undergrads and co-terms at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. I also teach an introductory seminar on climate change for freshmen.
Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution; Faculty Director, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve; Professor, Department of Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University; Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University; Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Stanford University
David Starr Jordan Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Biology and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEvolutionary dynamics and cellular biophysics theory
David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry
BioMy research group studies complex molecular systems by using ultrafast multi-dimensional infrared and non-linear UV/Vis methods. A basic theme is to understand the role of mesoscopic structure on the properties of molecular systems. Many systems have structure on length scales large compare to molecules but small compared to macroscopic dimensions. The mesoscopic structures occur on distance scales of a few nanometers to a few tens of nanometers. The properties of systems, such as water in nanoscopic environments, room temperature ionic liquids, functionalized surfaces, liquid crystals, metal organic frameworks, water and other liquids in nanoporous silica, polyelectrolyte fuel cell membranes, vesicles, and micelles depend on molecular level dynamics and intermolecular interactions. Our ultrafast measurements provide direct observables for understanding the relationships among dynamics, structure, and intermolecular interactions.
Bulk properties are frequently a very poor guide to understanding the molecular level details that determine the nature of a chemical process and its dynamics. Because molecules are small, molecular motions are inherently very fast. Recent advances in methodology developed in our labs make it possible for us to observe important processes as they occur. These measurements act like stop-action photography. To focus on a particular aspect of a time evolving system, we employ sequences of ultrashort pulses of light as the basis for non-linear methods such as ultrafast infrared two dimensional vibrational echoes, optical Kerr effect methods, and ultrafast IR transient absorption experiments.
We are using ultrafast 2D IR vibrational echo spectroscopy and other multi-dimensional IR methods, which we have pioneered, to study dynamics of molecular complexes, water confined on nm lengths scales with a variety of topographies, molecules bound to surfaces, ionic liquids, and materials such as metal organic frameworks and porous silica. We can probe the dynamic structures these systems. The methods are somewhat akin to multidimensional NMR, but they probe molecular structural evolution in real time on the relevant fast time scales, eight to ten orders of magnitude faster than NMR. We are obtaining direct information on how nanoscopic confinement of water changes its properties, a topic of great importance in chemistry, biology, geology, and materials. For the first time, we are observing the motions of molecular bound to surfaces. In biological membranes, we are using the vibrational echo methods to study dynamics and the relationship among dynamics, structure, and function. We are also developing and applying theory to these problems frequently in collaboration with top theoreticians.
We are studying dynamics in complex liquids, in particular room temperature ionic liquids, liquid crystals, supercooled liquids, as well as in influence of small quantities of water on liquid dynamics. Using ultrafast optical heterodyne detected optical Kerr effect methods, we can follow processes from tens of femtoseconds to ten microseconds. Our ability to look over such a wide range of time scales is unprecedented. The change in molecular dynamics when a system undergoes a phase change is of fundamental and practical importance. We are developing detailed theory as the companion to the experiments.
We are studying photo-induced proton transfer in nanoscopic water environments such as polyelectrolyte fuel cell membranes, using ultrafast UV/Vis fluorescence and multidimensional IR measurements to understand the proton transfer and other processes and how they are influenced by nanoscopic confinement. We want to understand the role of the solvent and the systems topology on proton transfer dynamics.
Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWorking with English- and Spanish-learning children from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, our research examines the importance of early language experience in supporting language development. We are deeply involved in community-based research in San Jose, designing an innovative parent-engagement program for low-resource Latino families with young children. We are also conducting field studies of beliefs about child development and caregiver-child interaction in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this translational research is to help parents understand their vital role in facilitating children’s language and cognitive growth.
Associate Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEcological and evolutionary community assembly, with emphasis on understanding historical contingency in community structure, ecosystem functioning, biological invasion and ecological restoration, using experimental, theoretical, and comparative methods involving bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals.