x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Imagining Reality

This event occurred on
October 7, 2011
United States

In the spirit of Tedx, TedxPenn attempts to bring the ideas and research being done by Penn faculty, students and alumni to the rest of the local community, and the world.

University of Pennsylvania
Penn Campus
Philadelphia, 19104
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dr. Adam Grant

Dr. Grant received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Michigan in organizational psychology and his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa honors, and the John Harvard Scholarship for highest academic achievement. Dr. Grant's research focuses on altruism and prosocial motivation, meaningful work, job design, initiative and proactivity, leadership, and employee well-being and burnout.

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker is the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research centers on the design and control of haptic interfaces for applications such as robot-assisted surgery, medical simulation, stroke rehabilitation, and personal computing. She directs the Penn Haptics Group, which is part of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. She has won several awards for her research, including Popular Science Brilliant 10 in 2010, an NSF CAREER Award in 2009, and Best Hands-On Demonstration at the 2009 IEEE World Haptics Conference. Prior to becoming a professor, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, and she earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2006.

Andrew Tsourkas

Andrew Tsourkas completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1997. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University Joint Program in 2002. He then went on to conduct a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Center for Molecular Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School from 2002 to 2004. In 2004, Dr. Tsourkas joined the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Radiology and is a member of the Institute of Medicine and Engineering (IME), the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), and the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at Penn. He is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine within ITMAT. Dr. Tsourkas is the co-founder and scientific advisory board member of the start-up company Vivonetics. His research interests are focused on the development of novel molecular imaging probes for the non-invasive imaging of disease biomarkers. In particular, his expertise lies in the design and the development of molecular probes for optical and magnetic resonance imaging platforms. Applications range from studying complex intracellular dynamics of individual cells to the early detection of disease in a clinical setting.

Joe Kable

Joe Kable received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU's Center for Neuroeconomics with Paul Glimcher. He returned to Penn in 2008 as an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department. His research is concerned with how people make choices, particularly those that involve tradeoffs between the present and the future, and the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying decision-making. This work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, combines approaches from experimental economics, the psychology of judgment and decision-making, and social and cognitive neuroscience.

Brian Keith

Brian Keith received a BS from Brown University, and PhD from the Rockefeller University. Following postdoctoral work at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, Keith joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, and moved to Penn in 1999. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the Department of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences. In addition to conducting basic research on tumor hypoxia and angiogenesis (in collaboration with Dr. M. Celeste Simon), Keith has served since 1999 as Director of Education for the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He developed and teaches BIOL 407 (Cancer Cell Biology), an upper-level undergraduate course on the cellular basis and treatment of cancer, and also lectures in several other undergraduate, graduate, and medical school courses. Keith has received teaching awards from Penn’s Departments of Biology and Cancer Biology, as well as the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Doug Lynch

Trained as an economist, Doug is vice dean of the graduate school of education at Penn. He has two main areas of focus. The first is educational entrepreneurship. Doug founded "NEST", a business incubator dedicated to education entrepreneurs as well as the first education business plan competition. He also created a number of executive programs including one that supports TeachforAmerica corps members serving in Philadelphia. At ASU, he helped found one of the countries first charter schools. At NYU, he was an early adopted of e-leanring and testified before Congress and the UN in the mid-90's. Also at Penn he launched GSE Films and just won a Telly Award for best cable documentary. Doug also does work in corporate training. At Penn he created the first doctoral program for leaders in the space and at NYU he developed and implemented training for WorldCom aimed at dealing with SEC sanctions and recovering from bankruptcy, and worked with the New York City Fire Department after 9/11 to establish a corporate university. Doug currently serves as chair of the U. S. delegation to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for non-formal learning and is currently is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Central Intelligence Agency. Doug also received the President's "E" Award for Innovation (the first time a university rather than a business received the award).

David Farber

David Farber is the Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University with secondary appointments at the Heinz School of Policy and the Engineering Public Policy department. He recently was appointed as Distinguished Policy Fellow at the University of Delaware. In 2003, he retired from the University of Pennsylvania where he held the Alfred Fitler Moore Chair of Telecommunications with appointments in the Engineering School and the Wharton School. His background includes positions at the Bell Labs, the Rand Corporation, Xerox Data Systems, University of California at Irvine and the University of Delaware. From 2000 to 2001, he served as Chief Technologist for the Federal Communications Commission.He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Dr. Lewis Chodosh

After graduating with a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, Dr. Chodosh earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from M.I.T. in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Dr. Phillip Sharp. Dr. Chodosh received his clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Internal Medicine and in Endocrinology, followed by postdoctoral research in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School where he studied transgenic animal models of breast cancer with Dr. Philip Leder. Dr. Chodosh joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 where he currently serves as the J. Samuel Staub Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology, Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center, and Director of Cancer Genetics at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. The Chodosh laboratory uses genetically engineered mouse models to study the genes and mechanisms that cause breast cancer and that are responsible for breast cancer mortality. His research is particularly focused on the development of targeted therapies that can prevent breast cancer dormancy and recurrence. Dr. Chodosh serves as an advisor to the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, Editor-in-Chief of Breast Cancer Research, and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is a past Charles E. Culpeper Foundation Scholar in the Medical Sciences and the recipient of the Emerson Tuttle Cup for Distinguished Academic Achievement from Yale University. He is an avid baseball fan and hits to left field with power.

Organizing team


  • Tahem Verma