Our Science Advisory Board met with our SUA faculty during 2017-18, and helped provide ideas and inputs to our planning for the Life Science curriculum and our hiring plan. Below is a description of the Advisory Board and some of the details of their work. We look forward to inviting many of them back to campus as we open our new building in 2020!

Advisory Board Members and Specialties

David Oxtoby, Chemist – Former President of Pomona College, and former President of Harvard’s Board of Overseers; now based at Harvard. David is an expert on undergraduate education and is also the author of one of the most widely used Chemistry textbooks.

Andrew Endy, Bioengineering, Stanford University – Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford,  Drew is the Founder of the BIOFAB and IGEM groups, and one of the world’s leading synthetic biologists.

Elizabeth Orwin, Biomechanics, Harvey Mudd College – Biomechanics expert, and Chair of Harvey Mudd Engineering, Liz is an expert on experiential learning and linkages between Life Science and Biotechnology.

Emily Wiley, Biology, Keck Science Department – Professor of Biology at Scripps/CMC/Pitzer Colleges Keck Science Department, Emily is one of the leaders of the Keck Science curriculum development effort that has produced accelerated introductory science sequences that merge the disciplines of Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

Bob Kamei, Medical Education/Learning Science, NUS – Associate Provost, National University of Singapore, and former Professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Bob is one of the founders of the educational program at Duke-NUS, and developed new forms of Team Based Learning and assessment within the Duke-NUS program that is being emulated worldwide.

Martha Cyert, Stanford University – Biology Professor at Stanford University, Martha is a leader in reshaping Stanford’s undergraduate Biology curriculum and a leader of BioX, one of the most innovative interdisciplinary biology programs at Stanford.

Brian Greene, Columbia University – Physics Professor at Columbia University. Brian is a well-known author and speaker, as well as a leading physicist in string theory. Brian’s skills as an interpreter of science and the intersections between science, philosophy, music and the arts will be very powerful in shaping our vision of the Soka University Life Science curriculum.

Timeline for Life Science Planning at Soka University 2017-18

Through a series of in-depth discussions with the Science Advisory board, which included public presentations for the Soka University community, key elements of the curriculum and a strategy for hiring new faculty emerged. Below is an outline of the key events in shaping the Soka University Life Science curriculum during 2017-18.

Life Science Symposium I: December 12, 2017: Liz Orwin, Emily Wiley, Martha Cyert.

Half of the Science Advisory Board attended our first event, and a public symposium enabled them to present their perspectives on biology education and curriculum.  The meetings featured discussions of leading biology programs at the Claremont Colleges and at Stanford University.

Life Science Symposium II: January 16, 2018: Drew Endy, David Oxtoby, Bob Kamei

During this event the other half of our Science Advisory Board attended Soka University, and also presented at a public symposium their perspectives on emerging frontiers of biology, medical education and science in liberal arts colleges.

Medical and Pre-Medical Education Symposium – April 18, 2018:  Bob Kamei, M.D., Linton Yee, M.D., and Dr. Richard Lewis

Medical education experts from leading medical schools has convened with the Task Force to discuss requirements for admissions into Medical School, and other aspects of Medical Education. These discussions included discussions with Bob Kamei, M.D., (NUS, formerly Duke-NUS Medical Center and UCSF Medical School), Linton Yee (Duke Medical School Professor and Admissions Chair), and Richard Lewis (Professor of Neuroscience and pre-medical advisor at Pomona College).

Brian Greene – Dialog on Science, Creativity and Reality – February 13, 2019

During the Dialog on Science, Creativity and Reality, we featured Brian Greene and Gabrielle Starr, President of Pomona College, in a series of discussions with faculty and students culminating in a large public event with Brian Greene in our Performing Arts Center. Within the discussions we explored how perspectives in science can inform deeper inquiries in humanities, the arts, and social sciences, and ways that our Life Science Concentration can complement our other Concentrations, Programs and Areas at Soka University.