Anne Carpenter

Anne is the director of the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a non-profit biomedical research institute. She leads a team of computer scientists and biologists to develop advanced methods to quantify and mine the rich information present in cellular images. Her team works with biologists to apply these methods to significant questions in the biomedical sciences. These projects typically involve testing hundreds of thousands of samples by microscopy, helping to determine the functions of genes and to identify chemicals for use in research and as potential therapeutics.

Anne co-created the open-source software project, CellProfiler, which is used worldwide by the scientific community and was awarded the Bio-IT World Best Practices Award in 2009. In 2008, she was elected the youngest fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences in recognition of her work. She has been awarded research grants from the US National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation (CAREER award), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Life Sciences Research Foundation. Anne has been named a “Rising young investigator” by Genome Technology magazine and was featured in a public television special, “Bold Visions: Women in Science & Technology.” 

After earning her BS from Purdue University in 1997 and her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003, Anne completed postdoctoral work with David Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, co-mentored by Polina Golland at the Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

A short recent chat with Anne:

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
Most of my time outside work is spent with my newborn daughter and three stepchildren. I love the change of pace and focus I get by spending time playing.  In fact, prior to their appearance in my life, I thought I may have forgotten how! 

What are you most excited to do, learn, or see during your upcoming trip to France as part of the program? 
I am very enthusiastic to learn more about the work of the others in the program.  I find it fascinating to figure out the “cultural” differences across careers and disciplines. I expect to obtain a broader view of leadership at the top of various fields.

When you were 10 years old, what job did you imagine yourself having?
By the time I was 10, I had already come to the realization that my dream job – soccer player – was pretty unrealistic.  I switched my sights to being a librarian instead but had to give up that dream when I realized that librarians are not actually allowed to read all day.  Since I loved all of my subjects in school, I was left “undecided” for the rest of my childhood.  I chose science in college because even though I loved all of my subjects equally well, it became clear by then (watching my classmates struggle) that loving science was fairly unusual.