About The Synaptic Leap

Published by gtaylor on 30 January 2006 - 2:04am

Mission Statement

To provide a network of online research communities that connect and enable open source biomedical research.

Why We're Doing It

We believe that effective collaborative community tools that promote transparent research and connect resources will:

  1. generate ideas more quickly
  2. reduce redundant work

Thus, ultimately cures will be developed more quickly and more effectively.

Who's On Board and Agreed to Help

We're all part-time volunteers at this point - donating our time and a little money to move this effort forward. The list will be organized by function and then listed in alphabetical order. The order is not intended to represent value or volume of contributions.

Chairman and Executive Director

  • Dr. Matthew Todd: Mat is a lecturer in organic chemistry at the University of Sydney. Besides working on the chemical biology of schisto, Mat is interested in asymmetric catalysis, biosensors and the interactions of small molecules with DNA. Mat has served on the board of directors since 2008 and is now Chairman and Executive Director.


  • Ginger Taylor: Ginger was the internal entrepreneur and champion of the PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal. She ran the project in bootstrap mode and launched it to the field. Ginger was an early employee at Workday and built their collaborative online community for customers and partners. In her spare time, she is a volunteer for The Synaptic Leap serving as the executive director for the board of directors and also as the system administator for our web site. Ginger leads with passion and persistence.

Biomedical Research Advisors

  • Dr. Thomas Kepler: Tom is Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Chief of the Division of Computational Biology at Duke University Medical Center. His primary research interests are computational immunology and vaccine design. Tom is also a member of Tropical Disease Initiative and was a founding board member for The Synaptic Leap.
  • Dr. Marc A. Marti-Renom: Marc was recently appointed as head of the Structural Genomics Unit at the Prince Felipe Research Center in Valencia (Spain). His interests focus on comparative protein structure prediction. Marc has published more than 30 manuscripts in international scientific journals and was an assistant adjunct professor at UCSF and a member of the Andrej Sali Lab. Marc is also a founding member of the Tropical Disease Initiative.

Intellectual Property and Policy Advisors

  • Stephen Maurer: Steve is the director of Information Technology and Homeland Security and adjunct professor of public policy at UC Berkeley. Steve has a JD in law from Harvard and practiced high technology and intellectual property litigation at leading law firms in Arizona and California. Steve is a founding member of the Tropical Disease Initiative and co-authored the article Finding Cures for Tropical Diseases is Open Source the Answer.
  • Arti Rai: Arti is a professor of law at Duke University and is an expert in patent law, law and the biopharmaceutical industry, and health care regulation. She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in biochemistry, attended one year of medical school at Harvard and then proceeded to get her law degree from Harvard. Arti is also a founding member of the Tropical Disease Initiative, advisor for Science Commons and authored Open and Collaborative Research: A New Model for Biomedicine. Arti was founding board member for The Synaptic Leap and served for two years. Arti continues to advise TSL and give moral support.

Historical volunteers