Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Jean Mayer Chair and Professor of Nutrition
A board-certified cardiologist and epidemiologist, Dr. Mozaffarian’s research focuses on how diet and lifestyle influence cardiometabolic health and how effective policies can reduce these burdens.
Sterling Professor of Immunobiology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Yale School of Medicine
Ruslan M. Medzhitov is a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, a member of Yale Cancer Center, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His research focuses on the analysis of the innate immune system, inflammatory response, innate control of the adaptive immunity, and host-pathogen interactions.
Director, Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University
Dr. Kari Nadeau is one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy and asthma. She is the Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, Section Chief of Allergy and Asthma at the Stanford School of Medicine, and an endowed professor under the Naddisy Family Foundation.
Professor of Nutrition at The Friedman School of Nutrition Science, Tufts University
Steindler conducts research on developmental neurobiology, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases. His most recent studies focus on developing patient-specific avatars for testing an emerging standard of care, diet and nutrition therapies and cures for a variety of debilitating diseases.
Friedman School of Nutrition Science, Tufts University, Associate Professor and Program Director, Agriculture Food and Environment Program
Timothy’s primary interests are the intersection of agriculture and the environment and the development and implementation of sustainable production systems. Griffin’s current research is focused on the environmental impacts of agriculture (nutrient flows, carbon retention and loss, and climate change), and impacts of policy on adoption of agricultural practices and systems.
Writer for The New York Times, covering health, fitness, and nutrition
Anahad O’Connor is a reporter for The New York Times, covering health, fitness, nutrition and epidemiology. He writes for the Science Times section as well as the paper’s Health and Wellness blog.
Anahad joined The Times in 2003 after graduating from Yale University with a degree in psychology and a focus on neuroscience and child studies. He has written four books, including the bestsellers “Never Shower in a Thunderstorm” and “Lose It! The Personalized Weight Loss Revolution.”
In addition to health, he has covered science, politics, metropolitan and breaking news. He was born and raised in New York City, and lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Emmy winner and science reporter at KQED
Lesley McClurg was Capital Public Radio’s Food and Sustainability reporter until January 2016. Before coming to Sacramento, Lesley was in the Rockies covering energy and the environment for Colorado Public Radio. Her first radio gig was as a freelance reporter and producer for KUOW in Seattle. Prior to that, Lesley spent more than three years working for the PBS affiliate in Seattle, reporting and producing long-form segments for KCTS 9 Television. Lesley is an Edward R. Murrow award winner for hard news reporting.
In addition to her work in daily news, Lesley also has extensive experience in documentary filmmaking and writing. A seven-time Emmy Award nominee, she won an Emmy Award in 2009 for the documentary, “Green Prison Reform.” Lesley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University.
General Partner at Khosla Ventures, Board member at Impossible Foods
Samir is a founding general partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on sustainability investing including food and agriculture. He has been a leading investor in Hampton Creek, Sand Hill Foods, OSCAR Health, Soraa and View, among many others. A number of Samir’s investments have achieved significant results including Ausra [acquired by AREVA] and NanoH20 [acquired by LG Chem].
Samir grew up in a family of engineers and doctors. Both his father and uncle were early engineers in a pioneering satellite communications company where Samir worked during summer breaks from high school and college. However, it became clear during high school that it was biology, rather than engineering, that was his true passion. This led him to attend the University of Michigan, where he majored in biology and taught undergraduate biochemistry. He then continued on to graduate school to study biochemistry at the University of Maryland.
While at Maryland, Samir heard Craig Venter speak about the genomics revolution. Venter’s Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had recently sequenced the first complete genome (a bacterium frequently associated with influenza infections) in record time using automated, state-of-the-art technology. What would have taken weeks in graduate school now took minutes at TIGR. Venter also signed a historic deal with SmithKline Beecham to identify the important genes responsible for human disease. Sensing a paradigm shift in the making, Samir joined TIGR to work on the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the mustard family, which was a model organism for understanding agricultural staples such as rice, corn and wheat. Thereafter, Samir was promoted to run the project both within TIGR and internationally as the chairperson of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI). Under his direction, the project was completed years before schedule and well under budget, culminating in a historic publication in the scientific journal Nature in December 2000.
Once again, it was time for a change as sequencing a genome was no longer a rare event, so Samir went to Harvard Business School to pursue an MBA. With a strong scientific background and experience running large project teams, this provided the business training he needed to enter industry. Upon graduating, he joined Flagship Ventures to start and invest in early-stage biotechnology companies. During his five years there, Samir was involved in starting and investing in a number of companies including Helicos BioSciences [NASDAQ: HLCS], Epitome [acquired by Millipore], Codon Devices, LS9 and Morphotek [acquired by Eisai]. Helicos, which was co-founded with Stan Lapidus and Steve Quake from Stanford, is developing single-molecule sequencing instruments to revolutionize personalized medicine. As CEO at Codon Devices, Samir raised the series A financing, built the technical and advisory teams and booked significant revenues in the company’s first year of operations.
Vinod Khosla was a seed investor in Codon, and it was there that their relationship began. Vinod had been researching ethanol and bio refineries since 2004 and was convinced that they would be the next revolution in technology. Samir was soon persuaded to leave Flagship Ventures, and in 2006, he became a founding general partner at Khosla Ventures focusing primarily on renewable energy, clean technologies and life science investing.
“What I am most proud of are the remarkable people with whom I have had the privilege of working in order to build these companies,” says Samir. “There is no greater joy in this business than to be surrounded by exceptional people working towards a common goal.”
Samir holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan. He also studied biochemistry, specifically gene regulation and expression, at the University of Maryland. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.
In his free time, Samir enjoys golf, running, tennis, reading and traveling. He is an avid sports fan with undying loyalty to the Michigan Wolverines, Washington Redskins and Boston Red Sox.
Partner RoundGlass, Founder Death over Dinner
Michael Hebb, founder of Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death, has been staging convivial gatherings and redefining hospitality/tablemaking since 1997; co-founding the City Repair project with Mark Lakeman; and co-founding family supper, ripe, clarklewis, and the Gotham Bldg Tavern in Portland OR with Naomi Pomeroy. His expansive multidisciplinary dinners have taken place on five continents, have been exhibited in several museums and featured in the NY Times, W, Art Forum, The New Yorker, GQ, The Guardian and dozens of international publications. Michael strongly believes that the table is one of the most effective (and overlooked) vehicles for changing the world.
He is also the founder of One Pot – a creative agency that specializes in the technology of the common table, and the ability to shift culture through the use of thoughtful food and discourse based engagements and happenings. One Pot has worked closely with thought/cultural leaders and many foundations/institutions including: The World Economic Forum, The Republic of Gabon, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, X Prize Foundation, FEED Foundation, Architecture For Humanity, and Summit Series. Michael is the founding Creative Director of The City Arts Festival, the founder of Night School @ The Sorrento Hotel, and is currently a Teaching Fellow at UW’s Master of Communication in Digital Media department. His writings have appeared in GQ, Food and Wine, Food Arts, ARCADE, Seattle Magazine and City Arts. Michael and Dr. Shauna Shapiro are currently writing a book focused on mindfulness, neuroscience, and table ritual.
President, Palo Alto Investors
Joon is managing partner and president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, an investment management firm founded in 1989 with $1 billion in assets invested in healthcare. Board certified in Radiology, he served on the clinical faculty at Stanford from 2000-2006. Joon Yun received his B.A. from Harvard, M.D. from Duke Medical School, and clinical training at Stanford. He has served on several corporate and non-profit boards, and has published dozens of patents, scientific articles, and business essays. He is a contributor to Forbes, and is the health editor for Evolution magazine. Joon Yun recently agreed to donate a $1 million Palo Alto Prize and $2M to the National Academy of Medicine to address longevity.