Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jan Huisken

Jan Huisken is a German physicist with a background in three-dimensional fluorescence microscopy, optical trapping and manipulation techniques, developmental biology and cardiac morphogenesis and function in zebrafish. He studied physics in Göttingen and Heidelberg and became a doctoral candidate in the International PhD Program of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. In the lab of Ernst Stelzer, he worked on optical tweezers and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy from 2000 until 2004. His work focused on multidimensional light sheet microscopy (also Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy, SPIM) and its applications in life sciences. For one of the first applications of light sheet microscopy, Huisken turned his attention towards Medaka embryos in the lab of Joachim Wittbrodt. Huisken moved to San Francisco and the lab of Didier Stainier at the University of California in 2005 as a cross-disciplinary HFSP postdoctoral fellow to study cardiovascular morphogenesis and function in zebrafish. From 2010 until 2016 Huisken was an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. He has been a principal investigator and director of Medical Engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research and a Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison since 2016.

View Dr. Jan Huisken's profile at the Morgrige Institute for Research >>

Dr. Marnie Halpern

A native of Canada, Marnie Halpern received her B.S. in biology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and her Master’s degree at the McMaster University Medical Center. She went on to Yale to obtain her Ph.D. in Biology, and carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Oregon. She joined Carnegie’s Department of Embryology in 1994 and was selected as a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences in 1995.
Halpern has organized many professional meetings and has served on numerous scientific advisory boards. Between 2001 and 2007 she was on the editorial board for Developmental Biology, from 2002 to 2006 a managing editor for Mechanisms of Development and Editor-in-Chief for Current Opinion in Genetics and Development from 2014 to 2017. She was chair of the Educating About Evolution subcommittee of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology from 2005 to 2008 and is currently on a subcommittee that oversees publications describing scientific breakthroughs for a general audience. She has been a panel member for the American Cancer Society, Damon Runyon Fellowship program, NIH, NSF and several international foundations. Halpern won the 2003 Mossman Developmental Biologist Award of the American Association of Anatomists. She is a member of the Genetics Society of America, the Society of Developmental Biology, the Society of Neuroscience, and in 2014 was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2017, she received a NIH MERIT award to support her research on left-right differences in the brain.

View Dr. Marnie Halpern's profile at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Embryology >>