Opening Remarks

Ka Yee C. Lee

Ka Yee C. Lee

Professor in Chemistry, the James Franck Institute, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics and the College
Vice Provost for Research

Ka Yee C. Lee, Professor in Chemistry, the James Franck Institute, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics and the College, is the Vice Provost for Research. She currently serves as the Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong.

Ka Yee oversees University research administration, development, safety, and computing, as well as numerous endeavors in science that cut across divisions, schools and institutes. Her portfolio includes large-scale research structures, such as the University Research Administration, University of Chicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering (UChicago CASE), Office of Research Safety, Research Computing Center and Research Development Support. She further provides leadership for University efforts to help build awareness of the University’s distinctive science enterprise.

Ka Yee’s research interests lie in the area of membrane biophysics. Her laboratory carries out fundamental studies on the interactions between lipids and proteins to gain insights into the functions of lung surfactant, the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides, the membrane sealing effects of polymers, as well as lipid recognition in immune regulatory receptors.

She is an elected member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a fellow of the American Physical Society. She was a Searle Scholar, a David and Lucile Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering and a Sloan Research Fellow. She was the recipient of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the inaugural recipient of the Arthur L. Kelly Prize for Exceptional Faculty Service in the Physical Sciences Division.

Ka Yee obtained her Sc.B. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Harvard University, and did her postdoctoral training at Stanford and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly publications.

Juan de Pablo

Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago
Vice President for National Laboratories
Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory

As the Vice President for National Laboratories, Juan de Pablo provides leadership for the University’s stewardship of two U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories — Argonne and Fermilab— as institutions to advance science and technology in support of the nation’s interest. de Pablo collaborates with other leaders in research and innovation to build programs and links between and among the national laboratories and the University. Working with President Robert J. Zimmer, he plays an essential role in the University’s partnership with the Department of Energy.

de Pablo’s research focuses on polymers, biological macromolecules, and liquid crystals, a diverse class of materials widely used in many fields of engineering. He is also a leader in developing molecular models and computer simulations of complex processes over wide ranges of length and time scales.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, as well as a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. de Pablo was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 for “design of macromolecular products and processes via scientific computation.” He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and is a foreign correspondent member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences.

Juan de Pablo
H. Birali Runesha

H. Birali Runesha

Assistant Vice President for Research Computing, Director of the Research Computing Center (RCC)

As Director of Research Computing for the University of Chicago, Hakizumwami Birali Runesha provides leadership and vision for advancing all aspects of research computing strategies at the University. He is responsible for the design, configuration, and administration of centrally managed High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems and related services across the University. In addition, he provides access to advanced technical expertise, user support, advice and training, and access to the University’s HPC facility to the research community.

Runesha is a seasoned professional who brings to the University of Chicago HPC management leadership and more than 17 years of experience in high performance computing and scientific software development. In addition to overseeing strategic planning of HPC resources and leading annual procurement of supercomputing resources at MSI, Runesha created the MSI Application software development group and the MSI Scientific Data Management Laboratory to meet the evolving data management and database development needs of university researchers.