Women in STEM: Daphne Koller
In 1986, at just 18-years-old, Daphne Koller earned her Masters of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and she was on her way. . .
It’s that kind of drive and passion for the sciences that has taken her across the world to California, where she has studied, taught, and worked. Today, we’re super excited about how she’s converging AI and biotech to advance how we apply machine learning to human health so that people can lead longer and healthier lives.
A subset of artificial intelligence, machine learning is the scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a specific task without using explicit instructions, relying on patterns and inference instead.
This is what makes Daphne the perfect choice to be featured on our blog this month, as she believes that machine learning will be able to come up with “novel insights that can hopefully cure disease.”
To get to this point, Daphne got her PhD from Stanford, where she became a professor of Computer Science and Pathology (the latter of which is the study of the causes and effects of disease or injury).
Meanwhile, she began forging her own path on a more formal basis in 2012, co-founding Coursera, an online education platform that collaborated with universities and organizations to offer courses, specializations, and degrees.
In 2016, she started working at Calico Labs, a research and development company, where her role focused on aging and therapeutics. According to Daphne, the goal was “to develop and use advanced computational technologies and machine learning tools to better understand the biology of longevity and disease.”
Recently, she’s brought years of research and experience together to start her own drug development company, insitro, where she’s formed a team of scientists, engineers, and drug hunters who intend to “bring better medicines to patients.”
Daphne’s rewards and accolades are a testament to what she’s accomplished in her career. She’s a MacArthur Fellow, receiving a “genius grant” for her extraordinary originality and dedication to her creative pursuits. She’s also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. And she’s been recognized in Newsweek and Time magazine in their year-end lists of the world’s most influential people.
At Tynker, we think it’s incredible when people apply different STEM subjects to unearth technological miracles for our greater well-being, and Dr. Daphne Koller is definitely someone who is leading the charge. In light of recent global events, her research is more critical than ever, and we can’t wait to see what direction she goes in next.