Marcel Salathé, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Adjunct Faculty, Computer Science and Engineering
Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellow
Marcel is a digital epidemiologist working at the interface of population biology, computational sciences / engineering, and the social sciences. He obtained his PhD at the ETH in Zuerich, Switzerland, and spent two years as a postdoc in Stanford before joining the faculty at Penn State in 2010. In 2014, he spent
half a year at Stanford as visiting assistant professor.
He's published papers in a variety of fields (Google Scholar Profile
) and recently wrote a book called "Nature, in Code"
. He led the development of the MOOC
Epidemics - The Dynamics of Infectious Disease
, a popular course ranked Nr. 1 by learner vote
He co-founded PlantVillage
with David Hughes, a platform that has attracted over 650,000 users in the past two years. He's also an associate editor of PLOS Computational Biology.
Marcel has spend a few years in the tech industry as a web app developer. In 2014, he was part of the Y Combinator
Winter class. Later that year, he founded Teeays
He also loves music and the visual arts. He's sold 800 paintings
and used to play in a band (keys) - the band was not spectacular, but they weren't bad either (at one point, they opened a show for Lenny Kravitz
, something he'll never forget). He's currently discovering classical music, an undeniable sign of
Finally, Marcel is passionate about good food. Frankly, he's a bit obsessed about making the perfect pizza. Right now the crust on his pizza is close to perfect (thanks to a proper wood-fired oven) but the sauce just ain't right yet.
Brian is a software developer who has had unusually good fortune in being able to work alongside a number of talented scientists. After years of developing software aimed primarily at academic users, participation in an industry-sponsored start-up challenge opened his eyes to the tremendous impact that mobile computing and the social graph are certain to have on the delivery of health care. He believes information technology will transform health care in countless ways, and he hopes to play his small part in shaping the technologies involved.
When not in front of a computer, Brian is patiently but diligently working towards becoming a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt. His related interest in the Filipino martial arts leads him to occasionally don a fencing mask, pick up a rattan stick, and spar with like-minded enthusiasts. However, he is never happier than when at home with his beloved wife and their unreasonably large herd of cats.
Lindsay McMenemy, PhD
Lindsay is a biologist with a particular interest in plant pathogens and the insects that transmit them. She studied Zoology at the University of Dundee before obtaining a PhD from the University of Sussex. She is fascinated by the mechanisms by which plant pathogens can manipulate the behavior of their vectors to maximize their propagation in the environment. She has spent an unnatural amount of time watching ladybugs eat aphids... and each other.
Lindsay pines for the hills of Scotland where she could once be found most weekends hiking, camping and falling in various bodies of water. She once hiked the 96 miles of the West Highland Way and incurred a very bad knee injury. She dreams of one day conquering Everest but recently began to accept that with her history of visits to the emergency department that this is not an entirely sensible undertaking. She has started planning a trek to Base Camp instead.
She also loves animals. Especially rats.
Zhuojie Huang, PhD
Zhuojie is a postdoctoral data scientist specialized on handling data from heterogeneous sources. He utilizes location-based social network analysis for disease transportation modeling and epidemic monitoring and prediction. He constructs population movement networks using world gazetteer, cellphone data, air travel data, census data, satellite imagery and disease map. Currently he is interested in the geospatial aspect of the Twitter data.
He is Cantonese but does not play Kung Fu. In his spare time, he likes to explore recipes for fusion cuisines combing Cantonese cooking styles with other styles all over the world. He also has a keen interest in tasting different kinds of tea.
Before coming to Penn State, he worked at the Emerging Pathogen Institute in University of Florida.
Isaac (Ike) Bromely
App developer / Graphic designer
Ike is an app developer and graphic designer who graduated with a fine arts degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He also has an associate's degree in computer science from Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT.
Creating visually pleasing pages and intuitive interactive design is challenging and satisfying work. Knowing that he is using his design skills to help get great information to the people who need it is a career dream. He is very fortunate to be working in the sciences with so many multi-talented people on some really fascinating projects.
Outside of work, Ike enjoys reading, biking, and is willing to run only if it is after a disc in a game of ultimate frisbee.
Todd Bodnar is a computational biologist who is interested in the spread and adoption of behavior within human populations and its effects on disease. To do this he leverages his strong background in mathematics and programming to develop models and run experiments. Currently he is using agent based modeling and online platforms such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk for the majority of his projects.
Ells is a computational biologist whose passions lie at the nexus of evolutionary theory, epidemiology, and public outreach. Why you ask? Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Zombies pose an existential threat to humanity. THE PUBLIC MUST BE WARNED!
He earned his BS & MS from UC San Diego, but in 2011, he ventured to the arctic (Pennsylvania) to start a PhD program in Biology. He’s an avid pc gamer, card shark, and pool hall junkie...who labors day and night to guard the future of civilization.
Grandiose questions that drive me:
1. Can evolutionary theory and population genetics be “tweaked” to account for the transmission of human behavior?
2. Can we improve public health by “gamifying” our health-behaviors?
3. Can we increase public participation in scientific research with crowdsourcing and MOOCs (massive open online courses)?
4. Why not share every last morsel of our research data?
5. Why do people live outside of Southern California?