Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Roger Brent, a molecular biologist by training, uses computational tools and simple organisms like yeast and worms to understand the basis for differences in how cells respond to information from the outside environment. Cells use this information to make decisions, such as whether or not to divide or undergo programmed cell death. Variations in how they respond likely underlies the origin of some human diseases. By building tools to carefully study and manipulate individual decision circuits in cells that are seemingly wired the same way, Dr. Brent's team can tease apart why this variability exists and understand its consequences. In addition, Dr. Brent hopes to foster a better understanding of the impact of biological research progress on our lives. To this end, he created and led the Center for Biological Futures. The goal of this interdisciplinary think tank, conducted in collaboration with social scientists and humanities scholars, was to improve understanding of the global impact of biological research progress, including how advances in biology are shaping 21st century human affairs, and to inform the choices researchers make. His team is now also pursuing pilot efforts in deep neural networks and augmented reality to accelerate the pace of their work and of biological discovery worldwide.
B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics, 1973, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1982, Harvard University