Tom Skalak, Ph.D.

Executive Director | toms@alleninstitute.org

Tom Skalak is the founding Executive Director of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, launched in 2016. The Frontiers Group seeks to explore new frontiers, re-invent fields in ways that reflect major societal challenges and fundamental scientific curiosity, and bring new knowledge to light with a broad array of partners, making a positive impact on the world. A major interest of the Frontiers Group is the wide and growing landscape of quantitative bioscience. Previously, Tom was Vice President for Research at the University of Virginia, where he led research and innovation programs spanning biosciences, environmental sustainability, physical sciences, engineering and technology, arts, design, and humanities. Tom led the launch of the OpenGrounds collaboration initiative, bringing people together across fields for ideation; the statewide i6 Virginia Innovation Partnership; and the Global Water Games, a participatory computer game that improves the health of watersheds worldwide. As a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Tom’s personal research included biomechanics of the cardiovascular system, angiogenesis, computational modeling, systems biology, wound repair, and regenerative medicine. He is a past President of both the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Tom is a frequent speaker on innovation and creativity with Fortune 500, venture capital, major art museum, and government partners, including The White House. He is a Council Member of the GUIRR Research Roundtable, a convening body of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the U.S.  Tom was the founder of the UVA-Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership and other proof-of-concept funds with corporate partners such as Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. One outcome was that the National Venture Capital Association ranked the Charlottesville region the #1 fastest-growing venture capital ecosystem in the United States between 2010-2015. Tom was educated as a bioengineer at The Johns Hopkins University (B.E.S. 1979) and at the University of California, San Diego (Ph.D. 1984), is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and now enjoys exploring the deep waters of the Pacific Northwest with family and friends. 

Kathy Richmond, Ph.D.

Senior Program Officer | kathrynr@alleninstitute.org

Kathy Richmond is engaged with overall research portfolio strategy, listening tours, and all grant programs at The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group.  In addition, she frequently serves as a reviewer with partner organizations for multidisciplinary ‘frontier’ research programs, and as an invited panel member on topics ranging science philanthropy to global health.

Her position at the Frontiers Group follows her role as the Director of Enabling Technologies at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, one of three Department of Energy funded biofuels Centers. In that position, she oversaw a diverse portfolio of technologies ranging from ‘Omics to plant transformation which supported the research needs of its 300 members. Prior to that Kathy worked as a bench scientist, project lead and industry consultant, garnering two patents and multiple publications. Along with a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Richmond also holds a M.B.A. and attended Stanford University as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow.

Nicole Huber, Ph.D.

Program Manager | nicoleh@alleninstitute.org

Nicole Huber supports the implementation and management of the portfolio of grants in The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, and conducts special projects. Nicole oversaw the design and installation of a unique patient care facility for ten major West Coast medical imaging clinics, easing the stress of cancer therapy for over 10,000 patients annually. Prior to joining the Frontiers Group, Nicole was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Biology, with a focus on in vivo muscle mechanics paired with x-ray diffraction. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.