Anne A. Madden, Ph.D.
Scientist, Inventor, Science Communicator.
Anne A. Madden, Ph.D., (wikipedia page) is a microbiologist, inventor, entrepreneur, and science communicator. She creates possibilities by blending creative innovation with solution-oriented strategies. Dr. Madden is technology co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at the food & beverage technology company Lachancea LLC and is pursuing collaborations with a leading designer to engage the world with the science of microorganisms in innovative ways. She is founder of the Microbe Hat Project, an initiative to blend science and fashion to create new science communication tools. In addition to her academic research on microbial communities she is a public speaker (five time TED/TEDx speaker) and frequently consults as an innovation and engagement strategist for various industries.
Dr. Madden received her Ph.D. in biology from Tufts University, and her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and completed postdoctoral fellowships with Noah Fierer (University of Colorado) and Rob Dunn (North Carolina State University). She has held many prestigious fellowships including an Alfred P. Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment Postdoctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Tufts Institute of the Environment Fellowship, and an American Philosophical Society Lewis and Clark Fellowship. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi (the international research society), and a brain trust member of the Helena Group Foundation.
Dr. Madden’s research and communications focus on understanding microbial communities–in the diverse habitats of food, insects, and built environments–and deciphering the human applications of these microbes. She develops microbial pipelines that have delivered key understandings and global commercial products for biotechnology, agriculture technology and food and beverage technology industries. Her work has led to the discovery of a new fungal species, novel antibiotics, patented brewing technology, commercially produced beer, new DNA based methods for detecting arthropod communities, licensed technology for the manufacturing of improved breads, and a greater understanding of the microbial life around us.
Her research has been mentioned by various media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, National Geographic, PBS News Hour, Newsweek, and Scientific American.
Always straddling the public and private-sectors, Dr. Madden is the former Global Head of Scientific Communications for the ag tech company Indigo Ag, Inc., where she lead systems innovations efforts and additionally optimized microbial product pipelines. She is a former microbiologist at the pharmaceutical company Novobiotic Pharmaceuticals LLC. She has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed scientific papers. She was recently featured in the award-winning film “The Kingdom: How Fungi Made our World.” In her role as a scientific consultant she has helped companies develop scientific products that have been featured on TED.com and by National Geographic.
When not wrangling microorganisms, or communicating the utility of the microorganisms around us, she can be found motorcycling through the streets of Boston, traveling, or wearing inappropriately tall stilettos in labs. Arguably, she has some of the most famous hair in science. Her hair is currently in the collections of museums on two continents.
**(Photo Credits: Header: Smith&Nasht, Ad Madden, AAM, Ad Madden, AAM with assistance from the Center for Nanofabrication at CU Boulder. Images can only be used with explicit written permission.)**
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