Thomas C. Skalak, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2001
For distinguished achievement in deepening understanding of capillary rheology and microvascular angiogenesis and arcade arteriolar growth.

Microsoft Pioneer Invests Big, Again, in Bioscience

Via Science | March 23, 2016

The newly created Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group has selected four initial researchers—Jennifer Doudna of the University of California (UC), Berkeley, Ethan Bier of UC San Diego, James Collins of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and Bassem Hassan of the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris—to receive $1.5 million each to study topics ranging from novel techniques for gene editing, how shapes and forms arise over the course of evolution, and how synthetic biology can create microbes that trap and kill dangerous bacteria. Allen will also fund two new $30 million research centers at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and Tufts University in Boston; Stanford researchers will model how bacteria interact with immune cells, whereas the Tufts group will seek to crack the biological code that determines how tissues are created. To determine which investigators would receive the Frontier Group’s first grants, “we asked everyone the same question: What is the dark matter of bioscience?” says its executive director, biomedical engineer Tom Skalak in Seattle. That includes fundamental questions about organisms’ growth, development, and regeneration, such as how the epigenetic code works to control tissue function, he says.