Ruwanthi (Ru) Gunawardane is the director of stem cells and gene editing at the Allen Institute for Cell science, where a multi-disciplinary team science approach is used to study the fundamentals of cell behavior. Ru leads a group of researchers who are creating a collection of high quality, gene edited stem cell lines. Prior to this role, Ru spent 5 years at Amgen developing assays to screen for novel therapeutics in oncology, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases. Ru has also worked at Ambit Biosciences, where she was part of a small team of scientists that identified and characterized AC220, a potent FLT3 kinase inhibitor that is currently in phase 3 trials for AML. Ru obtained her PhD in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and conducted her postdoctoral work with Joan Brugge at the Harvard Medical School.
Jill Fuss is the Founder and CTO of CinderBio and a Research Scientist at Berkeley Lab. She began her PhD in 1995 in the MCB Department at UC Berkeley. After graduating from MCB, Jill Fuss worked as a post-doc and research scientist at LBNL before recently co-founding a biotech company: CinderBio. CinderBio uses extremophiles to generate a new class of ultra-stable formulations for large-scale industrial applications. She is also the founder of our seminar series, MCB295, which she started during her time as a graduate student in MCB.