Dr. Vicki Chandler is the chief program officer for the Foundation's Science Program, investing in the development of new technologies, supporting top research scientists and bringing together new, often groundbreaking, scientific partnerships. The program’s portfolio—designed to advance scientific innovation and discovery—includes the Marine Microbiology Initiative, a plant science collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a new Data-Driven Discovery Initiative and commitments to the California Institute of Technology and Thirty Meter Telescope.
Prior to coming to the Foundation, Vicki served as director of the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona, a prominent interdisciplinary research center that addresses leading edge research and translates that research to applications in medicine and agriculture. At UA, she was a Regents’ Professor in the departments of Plant Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology and held the Carl E. and Patricia Weiler Endowed Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her pioneering research investigated the regulation of gene expression in plants and animals.
Vicki serves as president-elect for the Genetics Society of America, and has been honored with the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers, the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, and was named a Searle Scholar. Vicki is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has served on national advisory boards and panels for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She served on the National Science Foundation Biological Directorate Advisory Committee from 2001-2004, the National Research Council Committee on Defining and Advancing the Conceptual Basis of Biological Science and was elected to the governing council of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. Vicki has chaired or co-chaired several national conferences, and has served in an editorial capacity for journals including Plant Physiology, Genetics, Science, and the Annual Review of Plant Biology. She is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Genetics Society of America, the International Society of Plant Molecular Biology, and the Rosalind Franklin Society. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Genetics Society and the International Society Plant Molecular Biology, and was President of the American Society of Plant Biologists.
Vicki has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco and a B. A . in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
Cynthia Atherton has been a program director for the Science Program since 2010. She leads the $300 million Caltech and the $250 million Thirty Meter Telescope commitments. She also serves as lead on a variety of Science “standalone” grants in areas as far-ranging as Astrophysics, Geology, Condensed Matter Physics, Remote Sensing, and Sustainable Energy Technology, and helps to define new areas of interest for Foundation science investments. Prior to this, she was the senior program officer for Science at the Moore Foundation from 2008-2010.
Before joining the Foundation, Cynthia worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Chemistry, Materials, and Life Sciences Directorate.She served as principal investigator for numerous projects, and developed, ran and analyzed global atmospheric computer simulations to understand the role of energy-based emissions on the troposphere and stratosphere. Cynthia has published numerous journal articles and invited book chapters on her work, and presented them in talks nationally and internationally. She also developed and co-chaired a biweekly atmospheric science seminar series. Cynthia served on the National Research Council Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry from 1999-2001.
Cynthia also has extensive community service and volunteer experience, leading wilderness adventures and serving as a counselor for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in Northern California, and teaching after-school science to elementary students.
Cynthia earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Davis, M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology.
Aanika is a program associate with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Science Program, with a focus on the physical sciences.
Prior to her current role, Aanika worked in the Grants Administration department at the Foundation. She was previously a teaching assistant in the anthropology department at the University of British Columbia and served as a research and administrative assistant for a civil liberties institute in Berkeley. She has also held an internship at the International Rescue Committee working with international refugees, and volunteered as a tutor for foster youth in Santa Rosa, California.
Aanika earned a M.A. in anthropology from the University of British Columbia. Her master’s thesis research was comprised of an ethnographic analysis of an organization that provides shelter and housing to women and children in the Bay Area. She received a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Janet Coffey is a program officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, with a focus on Science Learning.
Janet brings to the Foundation almost 20 years of experience in science education as researcher, teacher, and policy maker. Her research and teaching interests lie in science education at the intersection of assessment and student learning, primarily in the elementary and middle school years. She has also worked with physics and biology faculty to reform undergraduate science education. She has published and presented extensively in science education, received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and recognition for teaching and graduate student mentoring. She recently was on the faculty at the University of Maryland, College of Education. Janet also taught middle school science and worked as a staff member at the National Research Council during the development of the National Science Education Standards.
She received both her B.A., in human biology, and her Ph.D., in science education, from Stanford University.
Gary Greenburg is a program officer in the Foundation’s Science Program.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Gary was the vice president for research and a founding member at Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) where he was responsible for an $80M research grant portfolio. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, where he led a research effort in development and regeneration of the vertebrate pancreas, and an adjunct faculty member at Pima Community College where he taught courses ranging from introductory biology to anatomy and physiology.
He is internationally known for his pioneering work in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) for which he received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Developmental Biology. He has published extensively in cell and molecular biology and has 5 issued patents. Gary spent 12 years in biotechnology, most recently as vice president of research at Reconstructive Technologies, Inc., a San Francisco Bay Area startup company devoted to developing technologies to grow human skin for grafting to severe burns and skin deformities. Previously, as director of gene therapy at Cell Genesys Inc. (CEGE), he led pre-clinical efforts in cell and gene therapy and adoptive immunotherapy.
Gary received his B.A. in biology from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. He was a post-doctoral researcher and Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow with Nobel Laureate Günter Blobel at Rockefeller University in New York.
Julia Metzner is the program manager for the Science Program, with a focus on aligning its strategic priorities with its operations. She reports directly to Dr. Vicki Chandler, the program’s chief program officer.
Previously, Julia was the program associate for the Science Program's Marine Microbiology Initiative. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked as a teaching assistant in both biology and chemistry at Oberlin College and held a biochemistry internship at U.C. Berkeley. She has also volunteered in HIV education, and served as a volunteer tutor in math and science in the Oberlin, Ohio community.
Julia received a B.A. with honors in biology and a minor in chemistry from Oberlin College.
Dusan Pejakovic is a program officer for physical science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Dusan is a physicist whose expertise spans condensed matter physics, optical and laser spectroscopy, laser-based studies of chemical kinetics, collisional energy transfer in the upper atmosphere, and various methods for physical characterization of materials. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a staff scientist at SRI International, a non-profit research institute in Menlo Park, CA. There he led and participated in a number of experimental and modeling investigations of collisional processes relevant to atmospheric modeling, surface-catalyzed atom recombination, electrical and thermal transport properties of ultrahigh-temperature ceramics, and novel materials for hypersonics.
Dusan holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Ohio State University and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. His dissertation work included investigations of polymer-based magnets and photoinduced magnetic effects.
Ann Saunders is the administrative assistant for the Foundation’s Science program.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Ann was an executive assistant at Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm. Ann has also held many volunteer administrative positions in Silicon Valley schools and Boy Scouts. Previously in her career, Ann worked in corporate finance, and within the financial services industry.
Ann holds a B.A. from Marietta College, and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jasan Zimmerman is a program associate for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Science Program.
Prior to coming to the Foundation, Jasan worked at Genencor, conductingresearch in molecular biology and helping with report writing and science project management. Since 2007, Jasan has been an active nonprofit volunteer in many different capacities and has also participated in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program as a peer reviewer regarding clinical trials and research grants.
Jasan received an M.S. in microbiology from Loma Linda University and a B.A. in biology from Whittier College. He is about to complete his Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Chris Mentzel is a program officer in the Science Program at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, focused currently on launching the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative, one of the Foundation's newest, which aims to enable scientists to turn the scientific data deluge into opportunities to address some of today's most important research questions. Chris identifies the people, advanced instrumentation and information technologies that help solve important data-rich science questions.
Prior to his current role at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Chris led the grants administration department and also worked as senior network engineer for the organization. Before that, he held positions as a systems engineer and integrator at the University of California, Berkeley, and at various internet consulting firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Chris received his bachelor of arts in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently pursuing a master's in management science and engineering at Stanford University. He is an active member of the broader eScience, Big Data and open science communities, serving on a number of advisory boards and program committees, and occasionally finds time to engage in more direct technology development, teaching/coaching, new venture strategy and non-profit management.
Ajit Subramaniam is the program director of the Marine Microbiology Initiative.
Ajit is a biological oceanographer with expertise in biogeochemical cycles, remote sensing, bio-optics, and phytoplankton physiology. He has worked on understanding the processes that can explain why particular species of phytoplankton grow where they do, the factors that cause such blooms, that lead to their demise, and the consequences of these blooms. Ajit has more than 20 years of research experience and has participated in over 50 research cruises. He comes to the foundation from the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University where he was a Lamont Associate Research Professor. He served as a program manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2008-2009.
Ajit earned his Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography and M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from SUNY, Stony Brook.
Samantha Forde is a program officer with the Marine Microbiology Initiative.
Samantha joined the Foundation with over 10 years of experience as a researcher and educator. She is a broadly trained biologist, with interdisciplinary expertise in evolutionary ecology (including phage), statistics, mathematics, molecular biology, and systems biology. Previously, Samantha was a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz and co-founded Women Evolving Biological Sciences, a professional development program for early-career women biologists, funded by the National Science Foundation. She was also involved with Cal Teach, a California-wide initiative to increase the number of qualified science and math teachers in public schools.
Samantha earned a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from UC Santa Cruz, and conducted her postdoctoral research in microbial ecology and evolution at Stanford University.
Jon Kaye is a program officer with the Marine Microbiology Initiative.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jon was a science policy fellow selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and hosted at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. There he developed research and policy strategies aimed at mitigating the risks and consequences of naturally occurring or intentionally introduced human, animal, and plant diseases.
By training Jon is a marine microbial ecologist. He spent seven months at sea investigating deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities in the North and South Pacific oceans. He has also helped the American Museum of Natural History and the PBS television program NOVA with projects related to hydrothermal vents.
Jon earned a B.S. in Geology–Biology at Brown University and a Ph.D. in Oceanography at the University of Washington. After graduate school, he was a post-doctoral researcher in the Microbiology Department at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.