Grad Slam 2017 Live Event Judges

Final Judges
These judges will choose the winner and runner-up from among the finalists at the live Grad Slam event on March 16. See also the panel of screening judges that will review video entries and select finalists.


Sam HawgoodSam 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.


Bruce AlbertsBruce Alberts, PhD, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014. Alberts served as editor-in-chief of Science (2009-2013) and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys (2009-2011). He is now the chancellor’s leadership chair in biochemistry and biophysics for science and education at UCSF, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences. During his tenure there, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. Watch interviews and read about Alberts' current projects.


Daniel LowensteinDaniel Lowenstein, MD, is the executive vice chancellor and provost of UCSF and professor and vice chair in the Department of Neurology. A clinician-scientist who studies both basic science and clinical aspects of epilepsy, Lowenstein’s laboratory studies have focused not only on the neurobiology of epilepsy, but also on the broader issue of neurodevelopment and the capacity for regeneration in the adult nervous system after injury. Lowenstein is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his research, teaching, and public service. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship here at UCSF. Read more about his career, and watch his "Last Lecture" to the class of 2013.


Gabriella Quiros

Gabriela Quirós, MA, is a TV producer for KQED Science and Environment. She started her journalism career as a newspaper reporter in Costa Rica, where she won two national reporting awards. She moved to the Bay Area to study documentary filmmaking at UC Berkeley, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She joined KQED as a TV producer in 2006 and has covered everything from Alzheimer’s to bee die-offs to dark energy. Quirós has shared two regional Emmys and produced and directed the documentary Beautiful Sin for PBS, about how Costa Rica became the only country in the world to outlaw in-vitro fertilization.


Indre ViskontasIndre Viskontas, PhD, is a scientist and artist. An expert on the neural basis of memory and creativity, Viskontas is also an actively performing operatic soprano. At UCSF's Memory and Aging Center she explores creativity in patients with dementia, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music she teaches musicians how to apply neuroscience to their craft. Viskontas is the co-host of Inquiring Minds, a weekly podcast exploring the intersection of science, policy, and society created by Climate Desk, a media partnership that includes The Atlantic, Mother Jones, PBS, and Wired. She was also the scientific co-host of Miracle Detectives, a documentary series that aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her PhD is from UCLA.