Grad Slam Final Judges for 2019

These five judges chose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners from among the finalists at the live Grad Slam event on March 21, 2019. A separate panel of judges reviewed the video entries and selected the finalists. (Judges for 2020 are TBA.)

Sam Hawgood, MBBS, is the 10th chancellor of UCSF as well as a pediatrician and scientist. Hawgood has served UCSF in almost every capacity through the years, from fellow to professor to department chair. He became dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs in September 2009, after serving as interim dean since December 2007. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and was elected in 2010 to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. Chancellor Hawgood's lab at UCSF focused on an underlying cause of respiratory distress syndrome in newborns. A native of Australia, Hawgood's alma mater happens to be the University of Queensland, where the Three Minute Thesis competition – upon which Grad Slam is modeled – first began. 

Bill Banyai, PhD, is co-founder and chief operating officer of Twist Bioscience, headquartered at Mission Bay. A seasoned entrepreneur and silicon engineering expert, he has been a founder or first employee at four different start-ups and advises early stage startups. As VP of hardware engineering at Complete Genomics, he built their sequencing technology and delivered three generations of human genome chips and sequencers. Banyai has twice been awarded multi-million dollar DARPA grants for the development of innovative technologies based on silicon micro machining. His career spans research, product development, and semiconductor device processing. He holds a PhD in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, an MS in electrical science from University of Michigan, and served as staff physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, is vice chancellor for research, professor and chief of rheumatology in the School of Medicine, and professor of orofacial sciences in the School of Dentistry. In her role as vice chancellor for research, Criswell helps define UCSF’s overall research priorities and goals. She also oversees research infrastructure, with a view to ensuring seamless and superior service to our researchers across campus. Criswell received her medical degree from UCSF, MPH from UC Berkeley, and DSc degree in genetic epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences. She joined the faculty of the UCSF Division of Rheumatology in 1992. A renowned researcher in human autoimmune disease, her investigations focus on the genetics and epidemiology of human autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Sandra Waugh Ruggles, PhD, is a healthcare innovator and strategic marketer. She is president of Summit Rock Strategy Consulting, which focuses on consulting for small companies seeking to design and develop novel medical devices. She was formerly in strategic marketing at Acclarent, and was a Thomas Fogarty Fellow at the Stanford Biodesign program. She obtained her PhD in biophysics from UCSF. Her first company, Catalyst Biosciences, was formed in part from her thesis at UCSF, and is now a clinical stage, NASDAQ listed company. Read a brief interview with Sandra at UCSF Alumni.

Ron Vale, PhD, is a professor in UCSF's Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His lab studies spatial organization, movement, and signaling within cells. Vale is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was honored with the 2017 Shaw Prize and 2012 Lasker Award for his research. He is also founder, president, and chairman of the board of iBiology, which is dedicated to making modern biological research broadly accessible and to conveying the excitement of biology to a worldwide audience through free open-access videos. Vale co-founded ASAPbio, a scientist-driven non-profit focused on promoting the productive use of preprints in the life sciences. Other projects include, a website and community resource about the life sciences in India, and Micromanager, which is free, open source software for light microscopy. Watch Vale discuss molecular motor proteins.