Jon Russell, PhD

2012 Hertz Fellow
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Jonathan (Jon) Russell is developing biotechnological solutions for impact on problems in climate change, energy, environment, and agriculture.

Jon is a Scientist with Orca Sciences, in Seattle, WA. Prior to joining Orca, Jon was a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Disease Modeling, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There he was part of a team of scientists and engineers developing mathematical models of malaria transmission with the goal of guiding policy towards elimination and ultimately eradication of malaria. Jon built expertise in understanding how immunity impacted individual infection dynamics, as well as in modeling parasite genetics to support genetic surveillance by country program partners.

Prior to joining IDM, Jon completed his PhD in the lab of Rich Losick at Harvard University. During his PhD work, Jon investigated the role of noise in cellular decision-making in the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis. By joining new techniques in microscopy and microfluidics technology, he visualized the behaviors of single cell lineages and used genetic mutation as a tool to isolate where heterogeneity originates during signal transduction.

Throughout his research career and education, Jon has been a passionate Science Educator, teaching a range of courses in the physical and life sciences, in a diversity of formats. Jon thinks of the classroom as he does an agar plate: a medium that with the right conditions and careful attention can yield transformative growth!

Graduate Studies

Harvard University
Microbiology
The Origin of Cell Fate Herterogeneity in Bacillus subtilis