In this episode, your hosts Itai and Martin talk with Ellen Rothenberg, a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Caltech, who always wanted to be Beethoven when she grew up and who feels claustrophobic when doing something that other people are doing. Ellen is one of the leading scientists of our time, and her infectious energy and enthusiasm for science make her an amazing guest. Ellen loves to use metaphors and likes to imagine that she’s a transcription factor in a cell’s nucleus. She stresses how a detailed and explicit knowledge structure is crucial, so that you can recognise an interesting piece of data when it hits you.
Ellen researches the molecular mechanisms responsible for the decisions made by stem cells as they develop into a type of immune cells. This is a complex process that offers unique insights into the nature of "stem cell-ness". Ellen has won many awards, including the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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