Plenary Session Speakers


Wendy Garrett, MD, PhD

Health versus disease: the facts in the case of the microbiota

Wendy Garrett is the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and a Professor of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. She is co-director and co-founder of the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center. Dr. Garrett's team explores interactions between the gut microbiome and the immune system, both in physiological and pathological conditions, with a focus on inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. Her team has identified microbial species, functions, and metabolites influencing host health and disease by using an interdisciplinary approach bridging meta'omics, microbiology, cellular immunology, biochemistry, cell biology, and cancer biology. The mission of Dr. Garrett's lab is to identify basic biologic mechanisms to be applied to precision medicine.


Stony Brook University | Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

Alda Science Communication Experience
Science is complex. It shouldn't be exclusive.

James Rea - Instructor
For more than 20 years, James has rooted around in dense thickets of scientific and public policy content, searching for the stories that shine. He found this calling in 1996 at the US Environmental Protection Agency, where he translated vital scientific research into language the public would understand and remember. James further honed his skills as an independent reporter for National Public Radio, crafting stories most often for WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington, DC. As the 21st century dawned, James founded the production firm Site Stories to help technical organizations share their stories through web videos. By 2011, James had interviewed countless experts. He knew how to find the gold in their stories and wanted to help them do the same. He now follows this passion through his own firm Experts/Clearly, and as an instructor with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.

The Alda Science Communication Experience is the Center's signature professional development program. Through a series of options, scientists will explore strategies to engage their audiences in ways that build trust and inspire.

Because all people understand the world through their individual experiences, this program will help researchers invite their audiences into their work. Through active listening and close attention to non-verbal communication, participants will learn to build connections between their research and other people's backgrounds and experiences.