Panelists - OA Week 2009

Michael L. Best, Ph.D.,

Assistant Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

Michael L. Best is assistant professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology where he is a researcher with their GVU Center. He is also a Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Professor Best is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Information Technologies and International Development. He is a frequent consultant to the World Bank, ITU, and USAID. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT and has served as Director of Media Lab Asia in India and head of the eDevelopment group at the MIT Media Lab.


Leo Mark, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology


John M. Nickerson, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University

Professor Nickerson’s interests are in retinal proteins and their expression in normal animals and in animal models exhibiting characteristics of human eye diseases

Whether as a treatment in human disease or as a laboratory tool, the delivery of nucleic acids into cells and expression of a gene are important. Many strategies have been proposed, and many, to some degree, function as promised.
Difficulties arise when migrating from a laboratory tool or proof-of-principle into a reasonable and effective therapeutic agent. Viruses and viral particles have been most effective so far, but they have drawbacks. Other approaches have not been as efficient.

The invasiveness of current gene delivery schemes has been secondary to their efficiency and their associated risks, such as immunogenicity. We are considering noninvasive technologies to circumvent many problems with present gene delivery approaches. We employ mouse models of human ocular genetic diseases in testing gene delivery.

Kathy Roper,

Associate Professor, Building Construction Program, Georgia Institute of Technology

Professor Roper teaches Professional Trends in Facility Management, Facility Planning, Project Management & Benchmarking, and co-developed and teaches the Integrated Facility & Property Management Capstone course. She was awarded the prestigious International Facility Management Association’s Educator Award of Excellence – 2005 and the Distinguished Author Award of Excellence – 2007.