Helen H. Hobbs is a physician-scientist and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in Dallas Texas. After attending Stanford University and Case Western Reserve Medical School, she trained in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian and UTSW. She joined the faculty of UTSW in 1987 where she is Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics. Together with Jonathan C. Cohen, she identified new sequence variations/genes contributing to differences in plasma lipid levels, which led to the development of two new lipid-lowering therapies for the prevention of heart attacks. She also has identified the first and most important genetic difference contributing to susceptibility to fatty liver disease. Gene identification is just the starting point for her studies. She has performed functional studies to elucidate the pathways and processes that are altered by the defective genes she has identified. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is on the board of Pfizer Inc. and a Science Partner of the Column Group. Among the prizes she has received are the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Grand Prix Award from the Institute of France, and the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine.
Archives: Team Members
Josh co-founded Lux Capital to support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time in order to lead us into a brighter future. The more ambitious the project, the better—like, say, creating matter from light.
Josh is a Director at Shapeways, Strateos, Lux Research, Kallyope, CTRL-labs, Variant, and Varda, and helped lead the firm’s investments in Anduril, Planet, Echodyne, Clarifai, Authorea, Resilience and Hadrian. He is a founding investor and board member with Bill Gates in Kymeta, making cutting-edge antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications. Josh is a Westinghouse semi-finalist and published scientist. He previously worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and in capital markets at Merrill Lynch. In 2008 Josh co-founded and funded Kurion, a contrarian bet in the unlikely business of using advanced robotics and state-of-the-art engineering and chemistry to clean up nuclear waste. It was an unmet, inevitable need with no solution in sight. The company was among the first responders to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. In February 2016, Veolia acquired Kurion for nearly $400 million—34 times Lux’s total investment.
Josh is a columnist with Forbes and Editor for the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report. He has been invited to The White House and Capitol Hill to advise on nanotechnology and emerging technologies, and a lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and NYU. He is a term member at The Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of Coney Island Prep charter school, where he grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance.
THILO SCHROEDER, PhD
Thilo Schroeder is a Partner at Nextech Invest and has a passion for precision medicines in cancer with a focus on identifying first and best-in-class targeted therapies.
Thilo has been a leading investor in several precision medicine oncology companies and is a board member of Revolution Medicines (RVMD), PMV Pharma (PMVP), Circle Pharma, Atavistik Bio, MOMA Therapeutics, Silverback Therapeutics (SBTX), Exo Therapeutics and Alterome Therapeutics. Past board seats include Blueprint Medicines (BPMC), Peloton Therapeutics (acquired by Merck), Black Diamond Therapeutics (BDTX), IDEAYA Bioscience (IDYA) and ImaginAb.
Thilo began his biotech career at the pioneering cancer immunology company Micromet (acquired by Amgen) while studying at Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, conducted research at the University of Sydney and obtained his PhD from the University of Zurich, focused on protein engineering in the development of Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins (DARPins), a technology now commercialized by Molecular Partners (SWX:MOLN). He also holds a MS in biotechnology from the Ecole de Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg in France, and a BS in biology from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany.
RALPH DEBERARDINIS, MD, PhD
Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2008 and joined the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UTSW (CRI) shortly after its founding in 2012. He is Chief of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at UTSW and Director of the Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program at CRI. Dr. DeBerardinis is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and has received numerous awards including the William K. Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics, the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas’s Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine, and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians.
Dr. DeBerardinis’ laboratory studies the role of altered metabolic pathways in human diseases, including cancer and pediatric inborn errors of metabolism. The lab has pioneered the use of metabolomics and isotope tracing to characterize disease-associated metabolic states directly in patients, and to use disease-relevant model systems to explore how metabolic perturbations contributes to tissue dysfunction. Work from the DeBerardinis laboratory has produced new insights into disease mechanisms in numerous metabolic diseases, including by defining unexpected fuel preferences in human cancer and uncovering new metabolic vulnerabilities in cancer cells.
Dr. DeBerardinis received a BS in Biology from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia before earning MD and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. He completed his post-graduate clinical training at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Pediatrics, Medical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. Before coming to UT Southwestern, he performed postdoctoral research at the Penn Cancer Center.
JARED RUTTER, PhD
Dr. Jared Rutter is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and holds the Dee Glen and Ida Smith Endowed Chair for Cancer Research at the University of Utah where he has been on the faculty since 2003. He has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2015. Dr. Rutter performed undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University and received his PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2001, working with Dr. Steve McKnight. After receiving his PhD, he spent 18 months as the Sara and Frank McKnight Independent Fellow of Biochemistry before joining the faculty at the University of Utah.
The Rutter laboratory has characterized the PAS kinase protein as an important factor in states of metabolic dysregulation—including obesity and diabetes. More recently, the Rutter laboratory and collaborators have identified the functions of several previously uncharacterized mitochondrial proteins, including the discovery of the long-sought mitochondrial pyruvate carrier. This knowledge has now enabled for the first time the demonstration that this critical metabolic step is impaired in a variety of human diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the Rutter lab is taking multiple approaches to understand how metabolic state influences cell fate and cell behavior decisions.
Dr. Rutter is actively involved in translating academic discoveries into therapies for patients. This has included founding and/or serving as a consultant or member of the advisory board of several companies. Dr. Rutter also serves as co-Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Center at the University of Utah and co-Leader of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation at Huntsman Cancer Institute.
KAREN ALLEN, PhD
Karen Allen, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of Chemistry at Boston University. For over 25 years, she has led research teams at Boston University, in the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics at the School of Medicine, and Chemistry. She is also a Professor of Material Science and Engineering and on the faculty of the Bioinformatics program at Boston University. The structure-aided design approach in the Allen lab encompasses the use of macromolecular X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering, bioinformatics, and kinetics.
Karen received her B.S. degree in Biology, from Tufts University and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University in the laboratory of the mechanistic enzymologist, Dr. Robert H. Abeles. Following her desire to see enzymes in action she pursued X-ray crystallography during postdoctoral studies as an American Cancer Society Fellow in the laboratory of Drs. Gregory A. Petsko and Dagmar Ringe.
KIVANC BIRSOY, PhD
Kivanc Birsoy, Ph.D. is a Chapman-Perelman Associate Professor at Rockefeller University. His research at Rockefeller focuses on how cancer cells rewire their metabolic pathways to adapt to the environmental stress conditions during tumorigenesis. He also used similar approaches to study how mitochondrial dysfunction influences cellular metabolism. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Special Fellow award, Margaret and Herman Sokol Award, NIH Career Transition Award, Irma Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Trusts Award, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Foundation Scholar Award, March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Scholar Award, AACR NextGen award for Transformative Cancer Research, Searle Scholar, Pew-Stewart Scholarship for Cancer Research and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.
Kivanc received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics from Bilkent University in Turkey in 2004 and his Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University in 2009, where he studied molecular genetics of obesity in the laboratory of Jeffrey Friedman. At the Whitehead Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he combined forward genetics and metabolomics approaches to understand how different cancer types rewire their metabolism to adapt nutrient deprived environments.
BENJAMIN CRAVATT, PhD
Benjamin Cravatt, PhD is the Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. His research group develops and applies chemical proteomic technologies for protein and drug discovery on a global scale and has particular interest in studying biochemical pathways in cancer and the nervous system. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the ASBMB Merck Award, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ben is a co-founder of several biotechnology companies, including Activx Biosciences (acquired by Kyorin Pharmaceuticals), Abide Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals), Vividion Therapeutics (Acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals), Boundless Bio, Kisbee Therapeutics, and Kojin Therapeutics.
Ben obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a BS in the Biological Sciences and a BA in History. He then received a PhD from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996, and joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997.