Institute for the Science of Origins

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Origins Fellows

The Institute for the Science of Origins is led by more than 30 fellows working at the interface among the seven interdisciplinary sciences of evolution and origins. They range from faculty of Case Western Reserve University to curators at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to the COO of ideastream.


Origins Fellows


Cynthia Beall

Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Anatomy and Global Health

Cynthia Beall is a physical anthropologist whose research focuses on human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia, particularly the different patterns of adaptation exhibited by Andean, Tibetan and East African highlanders. Her current research deals with the genetics of adaptive traits and evidence for natural selection, with the role of nitric oxide in oxygen delivery at high altitude and with the human ecology of high-altitude Tibetan nomads. Professor Beall is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Contact: 216.368.2277



Corbin Covault

Professor of Physics

Corbin Covault leads the High Energy Astrophysics group within the physics department. His main research activity is the study of the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays using the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory. The origin and nature of cosmic rays remains a profound astrophysical scientific mystery, touching areas of particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Corbin Covault also studies the application of astrophysical detector techniques to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI), and is working to develop the Scanning Observatory For Optical SETI (SOPHOS), a dedicated array of telescopes to look for nanosecond laser flashes from extra-terrestrial sources.

Contact: 216.368.4006



Darin Croft

Assistant Professor of Anatomy

Darin Croft received his B.A. from The University of Iowa and his M.S. and Ph.D. from The University of Chicago. He spends most of his time investigating the fossil mammals of South America and teaching human anatomy to medical and graduate students at Case Western Reserve. He has active field programs in the Andes of Chile and Bolivia, and his research spans alpha taxonomy (describing new species), phylogenetics (how animals are related), paleoecology (how extinct animals lived and interacted with each other), and macroecology (large scale trends in species diversity and community evolution). Many of his investigations focus on a group of endemic (and now extinct) mammals called notoungulates.

Contact: 216.368.5268



James Edmonson

Chief Curator Dittrick Medical History Center and Adjunct Associate Professor of History

James Edmonson is Chief Curator of the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum, an interdisciplinary study center in the College of Arts and Sciences at CWRU. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in the history of technology in the Hagley Graduate Program of the University of Delaware. Edmonson spends most of his time working with the remarkably rich collection of rare medical books, archives, and medical objects at the Dittrick. He is the author of American Surgical Instruments (1997), and his most recent work is Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1920 (2009). Notable collections under his care at the Dittrick include the Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception and the Stecher Collection of Darwiniana, which includes 180 letters of Charles Darwin’s correspondence. Edmonson has served on the Council of the American Association for the History of Medicine (2006-10), UMAC (University Museums and Collections) of ICOM (International Council of Museums), and is the American liaison and secretary general of the European Association of Museums of the History of Medical Sciences. He has been consultant to medical museums and collections including the Warren Anatomical Museum of Harvard University and the New York Academy of Medicine, and has served on grant review panels of the National Library of Medicine and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Contact: 216-368-6391


Stan Gerson

Professor of Hematological Oncology; Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; Director, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Gerson’s research interests include stem cells and DNA repair. In his stem cell research, he developed mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic infusion for blood stem cell transplantation and for the correction of genetic disorders. He identified a gene therapy strategy method that creates drug-resistant stem cells capable of selectively repopulating the recipient without the need for high-dose toxic therapy. He has developed inhibitors of DNA repair to improve the efficacy of anti-cancer agents, and transgenic mouse models that examine the role of critical genes in the stability of stem cell populations over the lifetime of the animal. These studies may predict stem cell diseases of aging and cancer. His research has generated 12 patents in the area of gene therapy and cancer drug development that have been licensed to three companies.

His leadership of the Stem Cell Center and the Cancer Center involve coordinating research throughout the medical centers in Cleveland. He is also leading University Hospitals’ effort to bring cancer care under one roof in the New Cancer Hospital scheduled to open in 2010.

Contact: 216.844.8565



Neil S. Greenspan, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology

Neil Greenspan is an immunologist and clinical pathologist. After studying biochemical sciences at Harvard, he received his M.D. and Ph.D. (in immunology) from the University of Pennsylvania and pursued post-graduate training in clinical pathology and molecular immunology at Barnes Hospital and Washington University. Since joining the Case Western Reserve faculty, Neil has studied immunity to bacterial pathogens and autoimmunity in a mouse model of lupus, pursued the conceptual implications of evolution for understanding immunology, and directed the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory of University Hospitals since 1986. He also teaches immunology and related fields to medical students, graduate students and pathology residents. In other activities, Neil chaired the planning committee for Case Western Reserve’s Celebration of Darwin and Evolution that extends throughout the 2008-2009 academic year and recently joined the Evolution and Medicine Review as a senior correspondent.

Contact:  216.368.1280


Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Curator of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Yohannes Haile-Selassie’s paleoanthropological work centers on the Afar region of Ethiopia. He and his team will scour large areas looking for fossil remains dating less than 10 million years old. Their goal is to find specimens of human ancestors, but they also reconstruct fossil material of other animals to determine the ecology of the region when our ancestors walked, and determine what species our ancestors consumed or competed with. Dr. Haile-Selassie has been head of the Department of Physical Anthropology since 2002, and received his Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley before joining the museum staff.

Contact: 216.231.4600 x3242


Ralph Harvey

Associate Professor, Geological Sciences

A graduate of Beloit College with a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Ralph Harvey has been the principal investigator and field team leader for the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites program since 1991. He is an author or co-author of more than 100 publications on diverse topics in the planetary sciences, ranging from micrometeorites to icesheet dynamics to the history of Mars. He is a principal investigator in NSF’s Office of Polar Programs as well as NASA’s Cosmochemistry and Mars Fundamental Research programs. He is a frequent contributor to science instrument and landing site definition panels for NASA’s

Mars Exploration Program. Recently, he was a member of the preliminary examination team for the STARDUST sample return mission, and both an asteroid and an Antarctic mountain now bear his name.

Contact: 216.368.0198



Kathryn P. (“Kit”) Jensen

Chief Operating Officer WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream



Andy Jones

Curator of Ornithology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Andy Jones conducts work on the biogeography and evolution of bird faunas using museum specimens and DNA sequences. A particular focus is his examination of the effects of Pleistocene climate change on birds in the Appalachians and the Philippines. Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and has been head of the Department of Ornithology since 2007.

Contact: 216.231.4600 x3332


Joe Keiper

Former Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Director of Science, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Joe Keiper focuses on insect biology and how this knowledge can help us use insects as 21st-Century tools. His work in wetlands documents the biodiversity that occurs there, but he strives to use insect morphology community composition as a means to determine ecosystem health. In Northeast Ohio, he utilizes fly maggots as forensic evidence during investigations into human death under mysterious or suspicious circumstances (forensic entomology). Dr. Keiper received his Ph.D. from Kent State University and had been head of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology since 2000.

Joe Koonce

Professor Biology

Contact: 216.368.3557



Bruce Latimer

Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy

CHO director Bruce Latimer is Professor of Anthropology, Anatomy, and Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University. Physical anthropologist Latimer is internationally recognized as an expert on the evolution of human locomotion. His research has helped shape our present understanding of the evolutionary processes that led to the ability of humans to walk upright on two feet. Latimer is among a group of scientists who analyzed the famous 3.2 million-year-old “Lucy” fossil skeleton. In the fall of 2009, Latimer and other members of an international scientific team announced the discovery and identification of a new species of early human ancestor, Ardipithecus ramidus. In June, 2010, Latimer and and an international team of scientists announced the discovery and analysis of the oldest-known Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, which has led to the biggest leap forward in understanding this species since the initial “Lucy” discovery. This new and much larger male specimen is nicknamed “Kadanuumuu,” meaning “big man” in the Afar language.

Contact: 216.531.8187


Jim Van Orman

Associate Professor of Geochemistry and Mineral Physics

An alumnus of Florida State University (BS) and MIT (PhD), Jim Van Orman did his postdoctoral work at the Carnegie Institution of Washington before coming to Case Western Reserve. His research extends from studies of Earth’s core and mantle, to atomic transport in solids and liquids at high pressures and temperatures, to unraveling the history of the early Solar System recorded in meteorites. In 2005 he was awarded the F.W. Clarke Medal by the Geochemical Society in recognition of his experimental and theoretical contributions to our understanding of diffusion in the deep Earth and its consequences for trace-element geochemistry and rheological behavior.

Contact: 216.368.3765


Hunter Peckham

Executive Director, Cleveland FES Center; Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics



Patricia Princehouse

Director of the Program in Evolutionary Biology

Patricia Princehouse is an evolutionary biologist and historian of science. She earned her masters from Yale and a PhD from Harvard, where she worked with Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin. She has conducted fieldwork on primate evolution in Africa and North America, and also has research interests in what artificial life and digital organisms can tell us about patterns and processes of evolution. Princehouse grew up on a farm near Dayton, Ohio, and has always had a keen interest in the natural world, especially animals. Princehouse has received many teaching awards, and in 2003 was honored by the National Center for Science Education’s “Friend of Darwin” award for helping preserve the integrity of Ohio’s public school science curriculum. She is currently working on a book titled Darwin’s Mutant Phoenix.

Contact: 216.368.4257


John Ruhl

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Contact: 216.368.4049



Michael Ryan

Coordinator of Research and Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleeveland Museum of Natural History

Michael Ryan’s research interests are primarily in the description of new species of ceratopsian (horned) dinosaurs, and the documentation of their diversity and biology as seen in the fossil record. He works on the paleoecology and paleobiogeography of the Late Cretaceous dinosaur fauna of the western interior of North America, and also conducts expeditions to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Dr. Ryan has been head of the Vertebrate Paleontology department at CMNH since 2004, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary.

Contact:; 216-231-4600 x3246


Scott W. Simpson

Professor of Anatomy

Scott W. Simpson’s research focus is on better understanding the nature and context of human evolution. Since 1992, he has been conducting field research in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, first with the Middle Awash and Gona research teams and now as project leader of the Galili project. He has published on the paleobiology of a number of ancient hominins, including Ardipithecus kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Australopithecus afarensis, Au. garhi, Homo erectus, and modern humans. Professor Simpson teaches human anatomy to medical and graduate students. He received his BA from the University of New Hampshire and his MA and PhD from Kent State University.

Contact: 216.368.1946


Glenn Starkman

Professor Physics and Astronomy

Glenn Starkman is a professor of physics and astronomy, director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, and director of the Institute for the Sciences of Origins at Case Western Reserve University. His research extends from searching for habitable planets around other stars to understanding the shape of the universe, from looking for miniature black holes in particle accelerators to extending and testing Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.



Cyrus C. Taylor

Albert A. Michelson Professor of Physics and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Prof. Taylor is the author of more than 60 scientific papers and has given more than 70 invited talks in recent years. As a physicist, he has worked in both theoretical and experimental high energy physics, serving as co-spokesman of the MiniMax collaboration (FNAL T-864) at Fermilab (1993 – present) and as co-spokesman of the FELIX collaboration at CERN (1996-present). Prof. Taylor has also been a leader in creating new programs aimed at empowering scientists as entrepreneurs. He is Director of the Physics Entrepreneurship Program at Case Western Reserve University, Coordinator of Case’s Science Entrepreneurship Programs and Co-Director of InTICE, the Institute for Technology Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. Prof. Taylor was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for providing a new paradigm for graduate education in Physics through the creation of an innovative Physics Entrepreneurship Master’s Program, and was awarded the prestigous 2003 Price Institute Innovative Entrepreneurship Educators Award for pioneering the innovative Physics Entrepreneurship Program.

Contact: 216.368.4437


Mark Turner

Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science

Mark Turner is the founding director of the Cognitive Science Network. His most recent book publication is an edited volume, The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity, from Oxford University Press. His other books and articles include Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science: The Way We Think about Politics, Economics, Law, and Society (Oxford), The Literary Mind: The Origins of Thought and Language (Oxford), Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (Princeton), and Death is the Mother of Beauty (Chicago). He has been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Advanced Study of Durham University. He is external research professor at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in Cognitive Neuroscience and distinguished fellow at the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology. In 1996, the Académie française awarded him the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises.



Tanmay Vachaspati

Professor of Physics


Michael Weiss

Professor of Biochemistry

Michael Weiss, born and raised in Cleveland, has been chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine since 1999. He is also a professor of medicine in the Endocrine Division. Dr. Weiss received his undergraduate degree at Harvard College and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the joint Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and began his faculty career in the Endocrine Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to relocating to Case Western Reserve, Dr. Weiss was a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Weiss’s research promises to enhance the clinical care of patients with diabetes mellitus through the development of novel ultra-stable and receptor-isoform-specific analogs of insulin. These analogs may make feasible an implantable closed-loop insulin pump as an artificial beta cell and may enable tight glycemic control without weight gain. Dr. Weiss also is investigating the genetics of neonatal diabetes in an effort to circumvent the need for lifelong insulin therapy in this subset of patients.

Contact: 216.368.5991



Idit Zehavi

Assistant Professor Physics and Astronomy

Idit Zehavi is an associate professor in Astronomy and Physics and a member of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University. She received a Ph.D. in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. She held research positions at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, before joining CWRU in 2006. Her research interests include cosmology and the large-scale structure of the universe, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmic flows. She is an astrophysicist working at the interface of theory and observations, performing studies using large surveys of galaxies as well as numerical simulations. In particular, she has been focused on measuring and interpreting galaxy clustering in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, an ambitious survey mapping a quarter of the sky.

Contact: idit.zehavi at 216.368.6832


Peter Zimmerman

Professor of Biology

Contact: 216.368.0508



Hillel J. Chiel

Professor of Biology, Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Hillel J. Chiel graduated with a B.A. in English from Yale University, and then received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from M.I.T. in Neural and Endocrine Regulation. He did postdoctoral work in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in the Molecular Biophysics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, before joining the faculty of Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a Professor of Biology, Neurosciences and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. His research focuses on the neural and biomechanical mechanisms of adaptive behavior in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, and has served as the basis for novel biologically-inspired robots and novel technology that may have clinical applications. He is the author of more than 100 peer reviewed publications, has four patents, is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and serves as an editor of the Journal of Neural Engineering, and the journal Soft Robotics. He has won the university-wide Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2004), the Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2009), and the Science (America Association for the Advancement of Science) Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (2012). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, London, England.

Contact: 216.368.3846



Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan

Associate Professor, Associate Director for Bioinformatics, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Director for Clinical Informatics, Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan’s research focuses on genetic/molecular epidemiology of complex diseases, with a particular focus on cancer. She is multi-disciplinary trained in biostatistics, population genetics, and human genetics, and has extensive experience in multi-center cancer studies. She joined the faculty at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) in 2007. Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan serves in many roles within the Case CCC; as an Associate Director, as a Principal Investigator, as a collaborative Team Scientist, and as a Core Director. As the Associate Director for Bioinformatics at the Case CCC and Associate Director for Clinical Informatics for the Institute of Computational Biology at CWRU she is responsible for implementing and maintaining a translational informatics solution for research. She is the Director of the Case CCC Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core Facility where she is responsible for directing the statistical analysis of high throughput “omics” data. She has extensive experience in hypothesis development, study design and analysis for studies of various phenotypes in humans. As the Principal Investigator of the Ohio Brain Tumor Study (OBTS), Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan leads a multi-center study in Ohio to study genetic and environmental factors and their association with brain tumor clinical outcomes. Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan is also funded by multiple grants of various cancer types and other diseases either as local site Principal Investigator, Biostatsitics Core Director or collaborating Biostatistician.

Contact: 216.368.4305



Daniel Solow

Professor in Department of Operations Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Daniel Solow has a B.S. in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University; an M.S. in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley; and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University. He has been a professor in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University since 1978. He is an applied mathematician who uses mathematical models, analysis, and computers to provide insights regarding the evolution of biological and human systems. For example, he has built mathematical models that shed light on why life has become so specialized in the tasks needed for growth and survival. He has also developed models for studying the emergence and value of leadership in human societies and for addressing such questions as how much central control is beneficial in complex systems.

Contact: 216.368.3837



Nita Sahai

Professor in Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron

Professor Nita Sahai has been in the Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron since August 2011. Prior to this, she obtained tenure and was a Full Professor in the Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison for 11 years. Prof. Sahai’s research focuses on the physical- chemical aspects of cellular and biomolecular interactions at composite biomaterials or mineral surfaces, in processes relevant to bone biomineralization, bone tissue engineering, and the origin and early evolution of life. Her current and former research is supported by NSF, NASA, ACS-PRF and the Simons Foundation, NY. Prof. Sahai is currently serving on the Editorial board of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, the flagship journal in geochemistry, and has served previously on the Editorial boards of the journals, American Mineralogist and Geochemical Transactions. She has edited Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry, volume 64 of the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry Series as well as the Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry thematic issue of Elements magazine. Prof. Sahai has been interviewed on the U.S. National Public Radio on the program, “To The Best of Our Knowledge,” and on Hungarian National Television News, and her research was reported on in the most widely circulated newspaper in Hungary. Prof. Sahai has received the NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the NSF CAREER award, the Romnes Faculty Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the Ohio Research Scholar in Biomaterials at University of Akron, a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and is the Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America for 2013-2014.

Contact: 330.972.5795



Major Jameson Voss MD

Teaching Fellow, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (School of Medicine), Associate Faculty, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (Preventive Medicine), Epidemiology Consultant, Epidemiology Consult Services, USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Community Health, Wright State University School of Medicine

Changes in function emerge with sufficient differences in selection and changes in selection emerge with sufficient differences in function. I expect the same interplay between selection and function to play out in the science of origins. When the science practice and culture is driven to answer real and current questions with important societal utility (i.e., when the science functions) it will be successful in competing for funding and public regard. Thus, my priority for origins science is applied and futuristic rather than primarily nostalgic. How can we develop better evolution experiments that account for synergy, horizontal evolution, and other complex phenomenon? I’ve been involved in proposing pawnobiome evolution and packet randomization to test complexity theories experimentally. Further, I believe recent and ongoing human phenotypic changes in body size and other traits offer opportunities to investigate questions currently impacting society that capture the public’s interest. In the future, manipulating emergence in synthetic biology and nanotechnology could hold tremendous utility or unintended consequences and will be important to understand. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this description are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Juscelino F. Colares

Schott-van den Eynden chair in Business Law and Associate Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Colares teaches courses in civil procedure, international business law and international environmental law. His scholarship explores interjurisdictional problems that emerge in litigation involving conflicts between domestic regulatory law and international trade, environmental and business norms. Colares’s research has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals and law reviews, including the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of International Economic Law, Journal of World Trade, Jurimetrics, Revista dos Tribunais (Brazil), Columbia Journal of European Law, Cornell International Law Journal, Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.

A former clerk for the Hon. Jean-Louis Debré, Chief Justice of the Conseil constitutionnel (the French Constitutional Court) (2008-09 term), Colares was also a visiting professor at Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. Prior to becoming a law professor, Colares, a Brazilian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, practiced at Dewey Ballantine, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he litigated trade cases before federal agencies, federal courts and NAFTA panels. A versatile scholar, lawyer and economist, Colares was recently reappointed by the Office of the United Trade Representative to serve on the United States Roster of NAFTA Chapter 19 (Trade) Panelists.

Contact: 216.368.6387



Roberto Fernández Galán

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Roberto Fernández Galán is an eclectic scientist with multiple backgrounds and interests. He holds a Master’s degree in physics, a PhD in computational neuroscience, and over the years has learned and applied electrophysiology, mathematical modeling, and signal processing to investigate brain function at the cellular, circuit, and systems level.

Contact: 216.368.0811


Peter Thomas

Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, the Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, with secondary appointments in Biology, in Cognitive Science, and in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Peter Thomas studies principles of communication and control in complex adaptive biological systems.  He studied philosophy and physics at Yale, taught physics and chemistry to high school students in the first years of the Teach for America program, moved to the University of Chicago to study in the Conceptual Foundations of Science program, and completed a PhD in mathematics (2000).  His thesis work, directed by Jack Cowan, explored spontaneous symmetry breaking in statistical mechanics models of the mammalian visual cortex.  As a postdoctoral student with Terrence Sejnowski at the Salk Institute, he became interested in information theory as a framework for understanding fundamental limits in cellular-level signaling networks.  After teaching in the mathematics and neuroscience programs at Oberlin College, Peter moved to Case Western Reserve University in 2006. His current projects include redefining the notion of “asymptotic phase” for stochastic oscillators, studying the effects of randomly gated ion channel “noise” on patterns of activity in nerve cells, understanding principles of control in evolved motor systems, and finding the Shannon capacities for communications channels arising in cell biology.  He teaches courses in probability, differential equations, computational neuroscience, and stochastic biological modeling.
Contact: 216.368.3623