Building Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Workshop
Hawley Almstedt is an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Science at Loyola Marymount
University where she teaches nutrition and exercise physiology to undergraduate students preparing for a
future in the health sciences. She earned her PhD in Exercise Physiology from Oregon State University where
she worked in the Bone Research Laboratory studying exercise programs across the life span to promote bone
health and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. She also studies women’s health issues including
disordered eating, body image issues, and menstrual function in college-age women, especially athletic women.
Her MA in Kinesiology and BS in Nutritional Science are from San Jose State University. While at San Jose
State University, Dr. Almstedt held both a lecturer and part-time faculty position within the Department of
Human Performance. Dr. Almstedt is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the
National Strength and Conditioning Association, and is currently the President of Sigma Xi LMU Chapter.
Outside of academia, she also consults in the areas of sports nutrition and weight loss. She provides service to
those in need by serving as a board member for the non-profit organization, Global Nutrition Alliance, whose
main objective is addressing needs of impoverished communities suffering hunger and undernourishment. Dr.
Almstedt has authored five peer-reviewed publications in the area of bone health and nutrition, in addition to a
textbook chapter titled, “Nutrients for Bone Health” published in Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance.
Melissa Bates is a research fellow in pediatric critical care and the John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary
Medicine with Dr. Marlowe Eldridge at the University of Wisconsin. She received her PhD in 2008 in
physiology from the Pennsylvania State University where she investigated the effect of airborne pollutants on
pulmonary function in cigarette smokers during exercise. Her current research focuses on describing lung
blood flow and how it is altered with pathology.
While at Penn State, Dr. Bates served as a peer mentor for incoming graduate students in physiology and
worked with a local undergraduate women in science and engineering group. She is currently the
representative from the Respiration Section of the American Physiological Society to the Trainee Committee
and is a member of the Respiration Section Steering Committee. She is interested in the advancement of
women and minorities in science and specifically in the development of tools women can use to integrate
motherhood and career responsibilities.
Angela Bednarek is currently is a policy outreach officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC,
where she works on the Lenfest Ocean Program, a marine research program aimed at reversing the decline of
the global marine environment.
Prior to joining Pew in 2007, Angela was a foreign affairs officer and AAAS Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S.
Department of State in the Office of Environmental Policy. While at the State Department, she was responsible
for coordinating and negotiating U.S. positions on the Global Environmental Facility, OECD, the environmental
impacts of World Bank projects and a number of international chemicals agreements. In addition, she served
as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Dams and Development Project Government Advisory
Consultative Group. From 2002-2004, she was a Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New
York where she worked on sustainable development issues. She has also worked as a consultant for the
Tennessee Valley Authority.
Angela received her Ph.D. in biology in 2002 from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Masters of
Science in biology and aquatic ecology from the University of Louisville and her Bachelor of Science in biology
and studio art from the University of Notre Dame.
Joanne C. Bintz received a B.S. in Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1995, and a Ph.D
in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography in 2002.
She has been a Program Manager for the Coastal Research Program at the Southeastern Universities
Research Association (SURA) for the past five years. Prior to that she was a Program Officer and Study
Director at the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board (OSB), where she was responsible for the
following reports: Chemical Reference Materials: Setting the Standards for Ocean Science (NRC, 2002), A
Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study (NRC, 2002), Enabling Ocean Research in the 21st
Century: Implementation of a Network of Ocean Observatories (NRC, 2003), Improving the Use of the "Best
Scientific Information Available" Standard in Fisheries Management (NRC, 2004), Charting the Future of
Methane Hydrate Research in the United States (2004), and Drawing Louisiana's New Map: Addressing Land
Loss in Coastal Louisiana (2006).
She is a member of the Coastal Society, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and the
Oceanography Society. She is a member of the planning committee for the 22nd Annual Coastal Society
Meeting and an Expert Judge for the Washington Academy of Sciences STAR Program. She was a member of
the Joint Oceanographic Institution Source Selection Evaluation Sub-committee for NSF OOI Global and
Coastal Nodes (2007), a recipient of the National Academies Award of Professional Excellence (2004), and the
Henry S. Farmer Award in Biological Oceanography (2000).
Elisa Biondi is a third year postdoctoral fellow in the department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at
the University of Missouri – Columbia, in the laboratory of Dr. Donald Burke. She is involved in two different
projects there, both centred in RNA biochemistry. One is related to the origins of life and evolution of molecules
in prebiotic environments in the solar system, as well as to the discovery of new tools for gene therapies. With
in-vitro evolution techniques, we assay the feasibility of a prebiotic RNA World, creating catalytic RNA
molecules (ribozymes) with different metabolic capabilities, and characterizing them biochemically. At the same
time, once well characterized, these molecules are good potential candidates for delivery inside the organism
as therapeutic agents against various diseases. The other project regards the biochemical characterization
and features improvement of in-vitro selected RNA aptamers that are able to bind and inhibit the enzyme
Reverse-Transcriptase of HIV viruses, leading to the inactivation of viral replication inside infected cells. Along
with the research, Elisa is involved in the training of undergraduate and graduate students in the lab, as well as
grant writings, paper reviewing, etc.
The first project was founded by a NASA grant for five years, and is now being reviewed at NSF, while the
second project is NIH-funded. Elisa was personally awarded the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Fellowship
for the first two years of her postdoc. In the last two years, she presented my research at several international
and national conferences with talks and posters, such as the NASA Astrobiology Conference on the Origins of
Life, the ISSOL Conference (International Society for the Search of the Origins of Life), and the RNA Society
Elisa is currently writing the first two research papers concerning her research at the University of Missouri.
Prior to that, in 2002 she received her bachelors degree (the Italian Laurea) in Biology, with a specialization in
Molecular Biology, at the University of Bologna (Italy), with a thesis on the characterization of isogenic
methyltransferases mutants of Helycobacter Pilori. This thesis required two years of research in the laboratory
of Prof. Vincenzo Scarlato. Elisa received a Ph.D. in genetics in March 2007 from the University of Florence
(Italy), with a thesis of title: “Origins, persistence, and biological activity of the genetic material in prebiotic
environments. Studies on RNA-mineral interactions”, where she analyzed the activity of catalytic RNA
molecules in reproduced prebiotic environments composed of different types of minerals relevant to ancestral
Kristy Bryan is a synthetic chemist at Dow AgroSciences (DAS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She works with
biologists, biochemists and modelers to design novel molecules to control agricultural and urban pests. She is
the library synthesis capability leader, overseeing the operation of the robotic liquid handler. She leads a group
examining the proper capture of intellectual capital and is a member of the talent team as the intern program
recruiter. Within Discovery at DAS, she leads an expertise/mentoring pairing between the chemistry and
biology departments, allowing for building of relationships, networking and preservation of DAS’ knowledge
In addition to her role as a chemist, Kristy has taken on an active role in DAS’ women’s network. She leads a
program designed to help women network outward and upward, coordinating informal sessions with members
and the head of HR. She is a co-founder of the network’s newsletter and authored articles on retaining women
and myths about agricultural chemicals.
Kristy earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Purdue University in 2000 and a bachelor’s degree in
business administration from the University of Evansville in 1997. She studied abroad at Harlaxton College,
Grantham, England in 1995 and Cemanahuac School, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico in 1996. Kristy enjoys
traveling with her husband and three small daughters and is always looking for her next vacation spot.
Healani K. Chang
Dr. Healani K. Chang earned her doctorate degree in Public Health, Indigenous Health Systems at the
University of Hawaii. She is an Associate Research Specialist Professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research
Center, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Ecology and Health, John A. Burns School of
Medicine at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Dr. Chang has previously served as the program director of
three independent minority student research-training grants sponsored by NIGMS and NIDDK, National
Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Chang, who is of Native Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry, recently completed two
consecutive terms on the Board of Directors of the national Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and
Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) organization, and continues to serve as the chair of the Native
American Affairs subcommittee. Since 1991, Dr. Chang has received research funding for her work in building
community-capacity, diabetes epidemiology and cardiovascular disease risk factors among Native Hawaiians,
and support to investigate the insulin-resistance syndrome among Hawaii’s Multi-Ethnic populations. This
extensive database enabled Dr. Chang to acquire funds from NCI, NIH to investigate the correlates of smoking
behavior and to identify culturally relevant strategies to help reduce rates of cigarette smoking among Native
Hawaiians. Dr. Chang has previously contributed, as a Peer Reviewer on the Editorial Board of the
international journal EcoHealth, was a Guest Editor of a Special Issue of EcoHealth, “Indigenous Perspectives
on Ecosystem Sustainability and Health, and currently serves on the EcoHealth Advisory Council. Dr. Chang is
the Recruitment Coordinator for the NSF/IGERT grant - Integrating Ecology, Conservation, and Pathogen
Biology Graduate Program. Dr. Chang’s current research focus is using health information technology that
includes a decision support system to improve patient-centered diabetes health care in rural Hawaii
Helen Cheung is a staff engineer in the Global Vaccine Technology and Engineering department, supporting
the manufacture of viral vaccines. Her duties and responsibilities over the last three years include supporting
the manufacture of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR(r)II) and Chicken Pox (VARIVAX(r)) vaccines through
process improvements, equipment validation and enhancements, licensure support for new processes, and
technical leadership and support of manufacturing processes.
Prior to joining Merck, she was an intern at Biogen Idec's Community Lab Program, targeted to take students
out of the classroom and into the biotechnological industry, where science is applied everyday. During her
internship, she was able to provide students an insight into what opportunities were available in the field of
biotechnology through teaching, experimentation and workshops.
Ms. Cheung earned her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University in 2006, with a
focus in Cell and Tissue Engineering. Her undergraduate research involved the development of a system for
real-time imaging of cellular apoptosis to aid in the better understanding cell death during early cancer
Patricia Cheung joined DuPont in 2007 as a Division Engineer in the Fluorochemicals business. She develops
and scales up chemical processes for the production of next-generation low global warming products. She also
works closely with chemists and engineers to troubleshoot problems in existing manufacturing facilities.
Patricia is a member of the core team that is creating the local Wilmington chapter of the DuPont Women’s
Network. She is also involved in the PhD recruiting effort for DuPont. Prior to joining DuPont, Patricia spent 1
year as a research engineer in Fluorochemicals at Arkema’s research and development facility in King of
Patricia received her doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of California – Berkeley in
2006. She conducted graduate studies in heterogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering under the
direction of Professor Enrique Iglesia. She is the author of 5 publications and 1 patent. She earned her
bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2000.
As an Educational Counselor for MIT, she interviews and guides high school seniors through the MIT
application process. Her interests include hiking, skiing, traveling, and more recently – triathlons.
Dr. Christian is a scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and serves as the Deputy for the
Community Missions Office. Her role is to broker partnerships between missions and projects initiated by
members of the scientific community and the technical support team from Hubble. The teams are built in order
to propose, manage, design, fabricate, and commission new research facilities in astronomy. She also is active
in the use of the use of emerging information technologies used to enhance research and education. Between
2003 and 2006, she also was on partial detail as a Science and Technology Policy Advisor at the Department
of State. At State, she examined methods for deploying simple interfaces to satellite imagery and geographic
information (map systems that depict information such as roads, terrain, vegetation, population density,
temperature, soil content, etc.) for diplomatic and foreign policy.
Dr. Christian received a PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Boston University. She has been a staff scientist
involved at instrument, software and archive development at several observatories including Kitt Peak National
Observatory, Canada France Hawaii Telescope, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer mission at UC Berkely.
At the STSci she previously served as the Head of the Office of Public Outreach and also managed a division
devoted to innovation and emerging technology use. She serves on Board of the Astronomical Society of the
Pacific, was a councilor for American Astronomical Society, is a member of the NASA Earth Science archive
users group, and is on Rochester’s Center for Imaging Science Board of Directors. She is a flight instructor,
skydiver, scuba diver and enjoys rock climbing. Her home page is http://www.stsci.edu/~carolc.
Chantale Damas is the Deputy Executive Officer in the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity
Programs (OEODP) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). At the Graduate
Center, she also served as the NSF AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) Program
Manager. Dr. Damas is also a Research Associate and an adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics at
CUNY/Medgar Evers College. Prior to CUNY, Dr Damas served as a AAAS Science and Technology Fellow at
the National Science Foundation (NSF), and after her fellowship, lived in Brazil and Kenya for about two years.
She was also an assistant professor of Physics at the Long Island University and a NASA/IEEE Fellow at the
Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York City.
Dr. Damas has received numerous grants, including grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA Office
of Space Science, and the Space Science Institute. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she worked at the
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Dr. Damas earned her doctorate in Applied Physics
from the University of California, San Diego; master’s degree in physics from Montana State University; and
bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in astronomy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Sherrika received her BS in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from
University of Houston, and postdoctoral studies at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. She
realizes that numerous people have supported her on this career path and feels it is imperative that she
supports others in return. She contributed to the planning and implementation of The Dow Chemical
Company’s inaugural Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST) Symposium and now assumes the role
as 2009 BEST Symposium Chair.
Sherrika joined Dow in November 2006 and began her career on RAP (Research Assignments Program) in
New Products Core R&D. She has since completed assignments in Plastics TS&D, Chemistry and Catalysis,
and Elastomers R&D. She is currently a Sr. Chemist in Elastomers Technical Service & Devlopment business,
supporting NORDEL™, VERSIFY™, and ENGAGE™ polymers. She has been integral in the development of
new polymers in Dow’s Elastomer portfolio and has used that technology for the expansion of expertise at key
Dr. Meg Flanagan serves as a Senior Scientist in the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office (ASCO) of the
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). She supports the Life Sciences research portfolio, specifically
those projects involving emerging infectious diseases.
Prior to joining ASCO, Dr. Flanagan was awarded a National Defense and Global Security Fellowship by the
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She spent her fellowship year working as a
subject matter expert in the Pentagon Force Protection Agency’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
and Explosives (CBRNE) Directorate, where she conducted a feasibility study of environmental influenza virus
detection. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she investigated the basic biology of
New World arenaviruses classified as Category A Select Agents. Her graduate work focused on antibody
engineering, phage display technology and immunotherapy.
Dr. Flanagan earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Pathobiology from the
University of Southern California. She has authored and contributed to numerous peer-reviewed primary
research articles, including a chapter for the Methods in Molecular Biology series.
Dr. Cerrone Foster earned her PhD Biomedical Sciences with a concentration Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology from East Tennessee State University, College of Medicine in 2007. She received a Bachelor of
Science degree from The College of New Jersey in 2001. Dr. Foster currently is a postdoctoral research fellow
in the Department of Physiology at East Tennessee State University. Her research examines the molecular and
cellular basis of myocardial remodeling following heart failure. She has presented her work at several local and
national meetings, and co-authored work in the areas of cardiovascular physiology and heart failure, and
infectious diseases. In addition to her research, Dr. Foster served as an instructor in the Science Division at
Northeast State Technical Community College and the Ronald McNair Post Baccalaureate Summer Program at
East Tennessee State University. Dr. Foster is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ruth L.
Kirschstein Pre Doctoral Minority Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, the Appalachian Student
Research Forum, and the Minority Trainee Research Forum Travel Award. She continuously gives back to her
community. Dr. Foster serves as a community advisor for Northeast Tennessee Minority Resource Network,
working to develop strategies on health awareness and prevention in communities that have a disparate
burden of disease. In the past Dr. Foster has served as an Admission Committee Member for the Biomedical
Sciences Graduate Program at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City.
Since September 2009, Catherine has been a project manager for a National Science Foundation-funded
STEM education initiative titled “Mobilizing STEM Education for a Sustainable Future.” Prior to this, Catherine
spent two years as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Division of Undergraduate Education at
the National Science Foundation. She received her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the
University of Maryland, College Park in 2006. During her graduate studies, she was active both in the
classroom and in several outreach programs aimed at enriching undergraduate biology education for majors
and non-majors. Her experiences with teaching and mentoring deepened her commitment to strengthening
science education, prompting her to become more broadly involved in education efforts after completing her
doctoral studies. While a AAAS Fellow at NSF, she collected and analyzed data on the scope and impact of
projects supported by the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program, wrote and
designed a series of widely distributed publications to disseminate information about the division’s programs to
a variety of audiences, and was an active member of two working groups organizing national initiatives aimed
at advancing and improving undergraduate STEM education. Originally from Illinois, Catherine also holds a B.A.
in biology with a concentration in environmental science from Knox College in Galesburg, IL.
Alison Goss Eng
Alison Goss Eng is the lead for sustainability research and development programming for the Biomass and
Bioenergy Program at the U.S. Department of Energy. She received her PhD from Purdue University in Earth
and Atmospheric Sciences, and has a background in terrestrial ecology, hydrogeography, and human impacts
on water resources. She currently serves on the Interagency Sustainability Working Group under the Federal
Biomass Research and Development Board. The group is charged with identifying a set of sustainability
criteria and indicators for biofuel production that can be used across the U.S. government.
Alison is a member of the U.S. delegation on the Global Bioenergy Partnership's Greenhouse Gas Accounting
and Sustainability working groups, and represents the Department of Energy on the Council for Sustainable
Biomass Production, a multi-stakeholder group developing biomass to biofuel sustainability principles and
standards for the production of feedstocks for second-generation biorefineries. Alison is also representing the
U.S. as a lead author on the bioenergy chapter of a new International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report
on renewable energy and climate change mitigation.
Nikki Hastings currently serves as the Director of Scientific Studies of a small biotech start-up company,
HemoShear, LLC in Charlottesville, VA. She obtained my Ph.D. in August 2008 from the Department of
Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research focused on elucidating mechanisms of cross-
talk and phenotypic modulation of endothelial and smooth muscle cells during initiating stages of
atherosclerosis. While developing HemoShear's technology, she characterized and validated a novel in vitro-
based human endothelial and smooth muscle co-culture model whereby hemodynamic shear stress patterns
derived from atherosclerosis-prone or atherosclerosis-protective regions are applied to the endothelium. From
this model, she identified that the endothelial cell secreted factor Interleukin-8 is released at higher levels
during atheroprone flow, and examined its role in modulating the smooth muscle cell inflammatory phenotype,
a critical and unexplored feature of the disease. Nikki has two peer-reviewed manuscripts in publication and am
co-author on four additional high-impact publications in revision, and has presented at international meetings.
Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. at UVA, she obtained a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from North
Carolina State University.
Natasha D. Henry is an Environmental Scientist for NOAA’s National Ocean Service at the Center for Coastal
Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, SC, where she manages the operation of the
Marine Mammal Toxicology laboratory. There, she conducts research related emerging contaminants and their
effects on marine mammals, an on-going effort geared towards providing baselines for understanding marine
mammal health and their susceptibility to emerging contaminants. Dr. Henry’s research focuses on the
cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and estrogenicity of triclosan, an emerging environmental contaminant commonly
found in household soaps and other textiles, which has been detected in bottlenose dolphin blood samples and
recently surveyed water samples in Charleston, SC. This research is being accomplished through in vitro
investigations using bottlenose dolphin lymphocytes and skin cells and human breast cancer cells.
Dr. Henry received her master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental sciences, and her bachelor’s degree in
biology from Florida A&M University. Her dissertation explored the effectiveness of encapsulated
biosurfactants to increase the biodegradation of oil spill-related contaminants. She is a 2007 recipient of the
NOAA, Office of Education, Educational Partnership Program, Graduate Sciences Program fellowship through
which she received funding to complete her dissertation research and transitioned to full-time employment with
Mandë Holford is an Assistant Professor in Chemistry at The City University of New York with a scientific
appointment at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Holford’s research is at the forefront of Biological
and Chemical Diversity - pioneering an integrated approach to biodiversity science in order to address issues
involving evolutionary biology, gene expression and function. Specifically, her group is focused on
reconstructing the evolutionary history of venomous marine gastropods (cone snails, terebrids, and turrids),
and investigating their toxins as biochemical tools (ligands) for characterizing cellular communication in the
nervous system and as potential drug development targets. In the area of International Science Policy, Dr.
Holford was awarded an 2004-2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science
and Technology Policy Fellowship, where she applied her scientific expertise to the development and execution
of the National Science Foundation (NSF) granting programs in the Office of International Science and
Engineering. During her AAAS Fellowship year Dr. Holford developed, maintained and coordinated scientific
policy and relationships in the Nordic and Central America regions. Notably, she designed and implemented a
strategic regional workshop in Central America, “Cybertools for Biodiversity (Jan. 2006, Panama)” uniting
scientists, practitioners, policy-makers, and funding agency representatives from the U.S. and Central America
to examine the ways in which emerging cyberinfrastructure technologies could be applied to collaborative
international biodiversity research.
Dr. Holford received her PhD in Synthetic Protein Chemistry from The Rockefeller University, and was awarded
an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2006-2008. She is an inaugural member of the World Academy of
Young Scientist (WAYS), an organization sponsored by UNESCO and The Academy of Sciences for the
Developing World (TWAS). She is also on the Advisory Committee for Term Members of the Council on
Foreign Relations and the Junior Council at the American Museum of Natural History. In addition she is a
member of AAAS, the Protein Society, and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Since 2007, Dr. Jaglo has worked as an Agricultural Biotechnology Advisor for the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service in the New Technologies and Production Methods Division where she
is the plant biotechnology expert. She currently works on issues related to plant biotechnology and food
security, sustainable development and climate change. She also covers international organizations and
She received her Ph.D. in the lab of Dr. Mike Thomashow in Crop and Soil Science, Plant Breeding and
Genetics from Michigan State University in 2000. Her thesis focused on plant cold acclimation using
Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism. From 2000-2005 she was a Post-doctoral fellow at the Department
of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the laboratories of Dr. Ira Herskowitz
and Dr. Peter Walter. Her research focused on the meiotic cell cycle in yeast. From 2005-2007 she was an
AAAS Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Global Change. Among other issues,
her portfolio covered China, land-use change and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing
Olga Keeley is a Research Scientist for the Fluorochemicals Business at Arkema Inc. She works in process
development supervising micropilot laboratories, currently focused on new Low Global Warming products. In
her function, Olga also coordinates commercial trials and support the manufacturing plants. She works with
multidisciplinary teams leading projects using the "Stage Gate" project management process, including project
leadership of global teams composed of manufacturing, design, marketing, financial, and procurement
members in addition to R&D.
Dr. Keeley received her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in
2005. She worked with Fuel Cells technology, more especially SOFCs which run in hydrocarbon fuels. She
also has a master in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Sao Carlos in Brazil working with
petrochemical processes in the catalysis field. Currently, she is pursuing a post-graduate business certificate
program at the Wharton School of Business.
Drey Kharem is currently working as a research associate in the College of Engineering and an affiliate faculty
member in the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University. In 2008 she served as the interim
Associate Director of the Multicultural Engineering Programs. Prior to transitioning into the College of
Engineering, Dr. Kharem was the Director of the Student Support Services Program (SSS) at the Penn State,
University Park campus for fifteen years. In 2005 Dr. Kharem‘s grant proposal to continue federal funding of the
SSS Program was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for scoring in the top 10% of the 900
proposals that were funded. In 2002 Dr. Kharem represented Penn State University as a member of the
Tertiary Education Linkage Project (TELP) in South Africa. The goal of the project was to assist the faculty at
the University of Westville in Durban to develop a university wide plan to increase the retention and graduation
rates of their undergraduate students.
Dr. Kharem earned her doctorate in 1999 in education from The Pennsylvania State University, as well as a
masters degree in counseling and a bachelors degree in special education. Since 1998 in addition to her work
at Penn State, Dr. Kharem has also been a consultant on several training grants. She presents workshops on
issues related to student retention, stress management, compliance for federally funded education programs
and cultural diversity in education and industry. Her current research interest include utilizing international
sustainable engineering projects to increase recruitment and retention of students of color in the STEM fields.
Monika Kopacz is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Woodrow Wilson School of Policy and Public
Affairs at Princeton University. Dr. Kopacz's current research interests include the science and societal impacts
of atmospheric pollution, black carbon in particular. She studies the climate warming potential of black carbon
pollution and also its effects on human health and possible mitigation strategies. This work is carried out in
collaboration with dr. Denise Mauzerall and dr. Michael Oppenheimer in the Science, Technology and
Environmental Policy (STEP) Program, a program where research focuses on the interaction of science and
Shortly before joining Priceton University, Dr. Kopacz obtained her doctorate at Harvard University in the fields
of Applied Mathematics and Atmospheric Chemistry, having performed research on estimating global sources
of carbon monoxide pollution. This work, sponsored by a NASA graduate fellowship, involved advanced
mathematical and numerical tools, as well as the latest satellite data.
Dr. Kopacz also holds a masters degree in applied matematics from Harvard University and a baccalaureate
degree in applied mathematics from Columbia University.
Myriam Lafreniere-Roula is a postdoctoral scientist studying neuronal networks for the generation and control
of movement. She has done postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto studying the basal ganglia of
movement disorder patients undergoing surgery for deep brain stimulation. These therapeutic surgeries
present an opportunity to record from neurons in the human brain in regions known to be involved in the
pathology of movement disorders. In particular, Dr. Lafreniere-Roula studied the effects of high-frequency
stimulation on cellular activity in the basal ganglia. Her graduate training at the University of Manitoba was in
the area of spinal circuits for the control of locomotion. She examined failures in the normal pattern of neural
activity during locomotion in order to gain some insight into the organization of spinal networks generating
locomotion. Prior to graduate school, she completed Bachelor degrees in both Engineering and Biology at
Tené T. Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale
University School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis’ primary area of research is in the area of psychosocial epidemiology,
with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. She has a particular interest in understanding
how social and psychological factors contribute to the disproportionately high rates of CVD morbidity and
mortality observed in African-American women compared to women of other racial/ethnic groups. Her research
is funded by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National
Institutes of Health and has been featured in the Washington Post and USA Today.
Dr. Lewis received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her
bachelor’s degree in Honors Psychology with distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Brenda Lin is currently an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow working for the US Environmental
Protection Agency in the Office of Research and Development in Washington DC. She is working within a
multi-disciplinary team of researchers in the Global Change Research Program developing decision support
tools for local and regional climate change adaptation. Her work is focused on the effects of land use change,
especially changes in agricultural management, on water quality and water availability within vulnerable
watersheds. She is also developing an analysis of vulnerability indicators for the National Estuary Program in
order to better inform adaptation strategies for regional estuary management.
Prior to her work at the EPA, Brenda was at The Earth Institute at Columbia University working with an
interdisciplinary research group on agricultural development and climate change adaptation for small-holder
farmers in Brazil and India. Her work there examined climate change fluctuations in rural areas and explored
the effect that diversified crop farming had on increasing climate change resilience for farmers. Brenda has
also worked in coffee agroforestry systems in Southern Mexico researching the ability of diversified shade
coffee systems to protect coffee farmers from the effects of increasing temperature and precipitation variation.
Brenda received her doctorate in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan and holds a
bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.
Liza Lopez received her BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez.
She received her PhD also in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2007, in the field of
heterogeneous catalysis. She joined DuPont as an R&D Engineer working in process development and scale
up for the Chemical Solutions Enterprise business, and has been part of the Process Development Center for
almost 3 years. She served as Chair of the Wilmington (Delaware) American Institute of Chemical Engineers
(AIChE) professional chapter for 2008-2009, and she now holds the Past-Chair position. She is also actively
involved with DuPont’s Hispanic Network (HISNET), where she is responsible for organizing networking events.
Surbhi is a research scientist at DuPont Central Research & Development, Experimental Station, Wilmington,
Delaware. At DuPont she has been part of the polymer composites program in the Chemical Science and
Engineering division, researching novel composites for DuPont’s performance materials platform. She has also
been involved in a Bio-Chemical Science and Engineering program focusing on the use of materials for
therapeutic embolic procedures. More recently, she is researching on Teflon® type polymers for wire cable
applications in collaboration with DuPont Fluoroproducts business. She is also part of a sugarcane propagation
program with DuPont Crop Protection business.
Surbhi received her Ph.D in the field of polymer science at Cornell University in 2005. Her research work at
Cornell focused on the synthesis of amphiphilic ABC triblock copolymers by a combination of anionic
polymerization and ATRP and to utilize their rich phase behavior to generate novel silica type organic-inorganic
hybrid nanostructured materials through a sol-gel process. She has authored and co-authored 13 peer-
reviewed papers and patent applications.
Beth Masimore is an Analyst at Discovery Logic, a Rockville, MD based IT-services company that specializes
in mining and analyzing data from large scientific databases to inform R&D investment decisions. As a member
of the Analytic Services team since 2008, she focuses on quantitative program evaluations for a variety of
government and academic clients. Prior to joining Discovery Logic, Beth was a Christine Mirzayan Science &
Technology Policy Fellow with the Board on Physics and Astronomy at the National Academies. She supported
committee work on multiple studies, including the recently released study on Frontiers in Crystalline Matter:
From Discovery to Technology.
Beth earned her PhD in Physics from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and received her bachelor's
degree in Physics from Juniata College.
Sunshine Menezes is the executive director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at
the University of Rhode Island. She also serves as associate director for communication in the URI Office of
Marine Programs. She was previously a Research Associate at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode
Island Sea Grant, where she developed an innovative urban coastal management policy for the northern
Narragansett Bay region of Rhode Island. In 2003, she was selected to be one of ten Legislative Dean John
Knauss/Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellows in Washington, DC, and worked as a Senior Legislative Assistant
responsible for environment and energy issues for Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Menezes' doctoral
research assessed biodiversity of single-celled organisms (nanoplankton) in a small southern Rhode Island
estuary. Menezes received a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University in 1995
and a PhD in biological oceanography from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography in 2005.
Claudia Mengelt is a Senior Program Officer with the Ocean Studies Board at the National Academy of
Sciences. She joined the full-time staff of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate in the fall of 2005
following a Christine Mirzayan fellowship with the Polar Research Board in the winter of 2005. Early 2008, she
transitioned into her new position with the Ocean Studies Board to lead the study on tsunami warning and
preparedness. She is currently also working on the National Academies' congressionally mandated study
entitled "America's Climate Choices" leading the panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. At the
same time she staffs the U.S. National Committee to SCOR [Scientific Committee on Ocean Research as part
of ICSU]. She assists other study directors on a range of topics including the review of NOAA's Education
Program. During her tenure at the National Academies, she has worked on studies addressing the design of
Arctic observing systems, providing strategic guidance to NSF's atmospheric sciences evaluating; and she has
lead studies on lessons learned from global change assessments and on highlighting the scientific
accomplishments from 50 years of satellite observations.
Prior to joining the National Academy of Science, Dr. Mengelt obtained her master's degree in biological
oceanography from the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Her M.S.
research explored how chemical and physical parameters in the surface ocean affect Antarctic phytoplankton
species composition and consequently impact biogeochemical cycles. She subsequently received her Ph.D. in
marine sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied the photophysiology of
harmful algal species.
Dorothy Miller completed her PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For
her graduate research, Dorothy investigated competition and cooperation between non-covalent interactions in
gas-phase cluster ions using vibrational spectroscopy and ab initio calculations with implications in
environmental, atmospheric, and biological systems. While in graduate school, Dorothy founded the Graduate
Student Symposium Planning Committee—a national program that facilitates programming by graduate
students at American Chemical Society National Meetings—and was appointed to the American Chemical
Society's Younger Chemists Committee.
Currently, Dorothy is a 2008 – 2010 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. During her fellowship, Dorothy has been actively involved with the OSTP’s
Science of Science Policy Interagency Task Group as well as investigating opportunities for integrating science
policy tools and methods across the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Before coming to the EPA,
Dorothy was a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Research Council where
she served in the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems of the Division on Engineering and Physical
Sciences. While there, she supported the National Academies America’s Energy Future Panels on Electricity
from Renewable Energy and on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels.
Dorothy is interested in understanding how science, business and financial risk assessment, and stakeholder
values meld together to formulate policy and communicate scientific priorities.
Shawn Noren Kramer
Dr. Shawn R. Noren is a Research Assistant and an Instructor at UCSC, where she is involved in research,
teaching, and outreach. Dr. Noren’s career as a comparative physiological ecologist started in Dr. Terrie
Williams’ laboratory at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 1995, where she completed a M.S. in
Marine Science (1997) and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2002). After completing her graduate
work, she held several prestigious postdoctoral appointments, including a fellowship at the Conservation and
Research Center at the Zoological Park Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., a National Research Council
Resident Research Associateship at National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Protected
Resource Division at Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA, and a Postdoctoral Research Leave
Fellowship through the American Association of University Women.
Dr. Noren’s research focuses on biochemical, physiological, and morphological adaptations of the respiratory,
cardiovascular, and musculature systems that support the energetics of vertebrates that “make a living” in
“extreme environments”. She uses marine mammals as models to investigate physiology in “extreme
environments” because their daily activities put them at risk for asphyxiation and hypothermia. Their large
variation in body size and cosmopolitan distribution throughout various environmental regimes make marine
mammals an ideal system to explore physiological ecology. She pioneered research on immature marine
mammals (particularly dolphins) because there was a paucity of information on the immature individuals of
these populations. Ultimately her research addresses evolutionary and ecological questions as she investigates
the effects of body size and ontogeny on performance (diving, thermoregulatory, and swimming). This research
has medical and conservation applications. Highlights of her research career include receiving numerous
grants and government contracts, a press release on her research in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
(2008), Research Recognition Award from the American Physiological Society Comparative & Evolutionary
Section (2008), an article about her research in The Economist (Nov 24-30, 2007), an interview about her
research on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Quirks & Quarks Program (Dec 2007) and 14 first-author, 2
second-author, and 1 third-author paper(s) in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Noren has taught college undergraduates at Monterey Peninsula College, West Valley College in Saratoga,
and UCSC. In addition, she is an instructor for UCSC’s COSMOS program, an intensive summer science
program for ethnically diverse high school students. Furthermore, she is involved in many K-12 educational
outreach activities including judging science fairs, giving lectures to students in special education and AP
Biology, and participating in the “Yes I Can” web based learning program for K-12 and the John’s Hopkins
University Center for Talented Youth Family Academic Program. As a female scientist, she feels that it is
important to be active within the university and community to serve as a mentor to female students at all
Juliana Odetunde is a fellow in the National Institute on Aging’s intramural research training assistantship
program. She is currently working in the diabetes section of the laboratory of clinical investigations at the NIA,
NIH. Her research study involves pancreatic polypeptide, gut hormones, aging, and type 2 diabetes.
Ms. Odetunde received her Master’s degree in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Louisville,
School of Medicine; and Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from DePauw University.
While acquiring her education, Ms. Odetunde has had the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorp Volunteer;
project coordinator and executive assistant to various non-profit organizations including: Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska, Girl Scouts of
Kentuckiana, CareFocus Companion Services, Johnson Nichols Women and Children Clinic, and Away Home
Shelter. Ms. Odetunde has also had various clinical experiences as a patient aide in central psychiatric
hospital in Louisville, Kentucky and an EMT and a volunteer EMT nurse at the local hospital and emergency
services unit in rural Greencastle, Indiana.
Ms. Odetunde is a Holton Scholar, Bonner Scholar and Withney M. Young Scholar. She is also a proud
member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Amnesty International.
Camelia Owens is a Consumer Safety Officer on the Risk Management Staff in the Office of Regulatory Affairs
at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Risk Management Staff works with all of the FDA product
Centers to develop risk models and to provide risk management support.
Prior to this post, Dr. Owens was a AAAS fellow in the Immediate Office of the Director at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) where she worked on a variety of public policy initiatives related to health disparities,
women in biomedical careers and other issues. Camelia was also an Exxon Mobil Scholar-In-Residence at the
Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education (CASEE) at the National Academy of
Engineering where her research focused on k-12 engineering education.
Dr. Owens received her bachelors degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore
County (UMBC) and her doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.
Melissa Parker is a Quality Control Analyst for Wellstat Biologics, a small privately owned company in
Gaithersburg. She works as the principle analyst on assay transfer, development and validation within a GMP
environment. She works with many senior staff to complete projects and is responsible for all documentation,
reports and operating procedures related to her projects under the GMP environment.
Previously, Melissa has worked as a research associate at NIAID Vaccine Immunology T-Cell and Antibody
Laboratory, a division of the Henry Jackson Foundation to further many clinical trials. Melissa also interned for
a genomics/proteomics laboratory at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, a division of
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.
Ms. Parker received her Masters of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in 2008.
Dr. Rosemarie (Rose) Ramos is a public health scientist currently working as a Public Health Consultant for the
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, the health authority for the City of San Antonio and the surrounding
Bexar County. Rose holds a Doctorate and Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate
School of Public Health in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rose completed her postdoctoral training in December
2008 as a Health Disparities Postdoctoral Fellow National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the
National Institutes of Health. This fellowship was a pilot project envisioned by the Deputy Director of the NIH,
Dr. Raynard Kington, to encourage scientists to commit to interdisciplinary careers as health disparities
researchers at a time when evidenced-based public health program development has become critical. Dr.
Ramos has always aspired to transfer her public health research skills to the world of “applied public health.”
Thus, she sought an opportunity to do so with the City of San Antonio where she currently manages the data
analysis for the San Antonio Hemoglobin A1c (Diabetes) Registry. Rose’s career goal is to be a Director of a
Center for Public Health Practice that would offer the opportunity for herself and other similarly-trained
scientists facilitate the transfer and translation of biomedical research advances into evidence-based public
health practice and policy.
Miroslava Raspopovic attended University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she earned Bachelor of Science in
Electrical Engineering in 2001, Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and Doctor of
Philosophy in Electrical Engineering in 2008 as a graduate research assistant in the Center for Advanced
Computation and Telecommunications. She was awarded Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Electrical
Engineering, Chancellor’s Medal and Professor Carl A. Stevens Award for High Academic Achievements by the
University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is an elected member of Sigma Xi Scientists Research Society, Tau
Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society. Dr. Raspopovic’s
current research interests are in the areas of wireless communications, spectrum sharing, cognitive radio,
multi-carrier schemes, and physical layer modeling for wireless communication networks.
Marie-Elena Reyes is Coordinator for the Instituto de Agua y Cultura: Water Institute for the Northern Rio
Grande at the University of New Mexico -Taos. Marie-Elena is also the President and Founder of the Frida
Kahlo Institute for Women at the Borderlands (FKI) a non-profit dedicated to research, programs, and advocacy
for the education of women of the Borderlands. Marie-Elena serves as an expert for the Engineering Equity
Extension Service (EEES) an NSF grant to the National Academy of Engineering, providing consulting on
gender research, faculty and staff development with respect to best practices in gender equitable engineering
education. Marie-Elena has been selected to serve on the Math and Science Advisory Council for New Mexico
as an alternate.
Marie-Elena served as a Assistant Research Scientist with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women
(SIROW) for five years at the University of Arizona developing programs to increase the participation of women
from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) while researching
methods for infusing science education with gender and multicultural perspectives. Additional projects included
Frontera Grrls@ Clubs project (funded by American Association of University Women), which created computer
clubs for middle-school girls in Latino, American Indian, and African American communities, the National
Science Foundation Futurebound Program (website: http://web.arizona.edu/~wiseresr/futurebound) a
recruitment and retention program for women of color in science and engineering fields, transferring from Pima
Community College to the University of Arizona, and Girls in the SYSTEM (Sustaining Youth in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) an NSF-funded project that brought science, technology,
engineering, and math activities to girls in grades 3 8, especially underserved and economically
underprivileged in Tucson, Arizona, in collaboration with the Sahuaro Council of Girl Scouts.
Marie-Elena’s areas of expertise include recruitment and retention of girls and women of color in STEM
throughout the educational pathway K-20, transition for women from community college to university in STEM,
community-based engineering design for retention of women in engineering, mentoring and leadership
programs for women of color in STEM, and outreach STEM programs.
Alicia Rivera is a Research Associate at Children’s Hospital Boston and holds the rank of Instructor in
Pathology from the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. She has dedicated her career to
investigate cellular mechanisms that mediate the patho-physiology of Sickle Cell Disease with the goal of
developing novel therapeutics approaches to treat this debilitating disease. During her tenure as an Instructor
in Pathology, she has published numerous articles that have significantly contributed to the characterization of
cellular signaling pathways that are of critical importance in the pathogenesis of Sickle Cell Disease. These
findings have facilitated the success of her various national and local grant awards with well-over eleven years
of continuous support from the National Institutes of Health and, more recently, an R01 grant award from
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute/NIH to further explore novel therapeutic strategies in Sickle Cell
Dr. Rivera received her baccalaureate degree in Biology with high honors from the University of Puerto Rico
and her Master of Science degree in Physiology with high honors from the School of Medicine of the University
of Puerto Rico. In 1997, she completed her PhD degree in Pathology from the Boston University School of
Medicine. Dr. Rivera then did her postdoctoral research training at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard
Medical School in the area of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Rivera has received various national awards in recognition
of her scientific contribution to the field of Red Cell Membrane Biology in cardiovascular diseases. She has
been the recipient of the Merck Young Investigator Award from the American Heart Association and the Bristol-
Myers Squibb Recognition Award for Young Investigators-in-Training from the American Society of
Hypertension. In 2004, she was honored by Harvard Medical School when she was named a Faculty Fellow of
the Center of Excellence in Minority Health & Health Disparities at Harvard Medical School. Most recently,
Children’s Hospital Boston recognized Dr. Rivera’s potential as a leader and role model by nominating her as a
Partnership Fellow for Faculty at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Courtney Robinson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in the departments of Internal
Medicine and Medical Microbiology & Immunology. She has worked in Vincent Young’s laboratory since 2008
and studies the role of microbial community structure in inflammatory bowel disease. During her time at the
University of Michigan she presented her work at a national meeting, and several departmental functions. She
has also taught in the Medical School on several occasions. Courtney earned her doctorate from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 under the tutelage of Dr. Jo Handelsman, and became a Ford Foundation
Diversity Fellowship recipient in 2006. Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University
Johanna S. Schneider, Ph.D. is a technology development associate at the National Institute of Allergies and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an institute within the National Institutes of Health. Prior to this position Johanna
was a licensing associate intern at the University of Virginia Patent Foundation while simultaneously completing
a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the university. Her graduate work was performed in the Department of
Neurobiology and Physiology at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Johanna has also performed
microbiology and parasitology research at the Chicago Medical School.
In her current position Johanna is able to blend her scientific expertise and experience with her training in
intellectual property and law to facilitate NIAID research. She does this by negotiating technology transfer
agreements for NIAID scientists. Johanna’s duties also include providing advice, guidance, and assistance to
NIAID scientists on highly complex issues relating to collaborative and other agreements, inventions, patents,
licensing, royalties, and other intellectual property matters.
Fatima H. Sert-Kuniyoshi is a post-doctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic Rochester. She joined Dr. Somers’ Human
Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory in August of 2005, when she first initiated an ongoing program in
sleep/cardiovascular research, for the purpose of submitting for a PhD degree. Her work at Mayo has been
conducted under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Virend K. Somers. While at Mayo, she also applied for
and was awarded several grants including a Perkins Award from the American Physiological Society as well as
a two-year Predoctoral Training Grant from the American Heart Association (this grant was scored at the 4.39
percentile and funded on the first submission). She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree on May 30,
2008, at Federal University of Espirito Santo Brazil while being co-mentored by supervisors in Brazil and at the
Mayo Clinic. Her PhD thesis related to studies of the interaction between obstructive sleep apnea and the
timing of myocardial infarction. In January of 2009, she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the
American Heart Association.
Prior to that, Dr. Sert-Kuniyoshi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, and had specialization in
respiratory therapy and cardiac rehabilitation in Brazil. As part of her clinical duties, she worked for seven
years in an intensive care unit and has extensive experience with management of invasive and noninvasive
mechanical ventilators as well as with direct care of critically ill patients. After seven years of intense clinical
work in the ICU and related settings, she chose to obtain further research training and experience. She
subsequently obtained her Master’s degree in Physiological Science in 2002. She has also served on the
faculty of two Colleges in Brazil, 2001-2006, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Physical
Therapy, where she thought the following courses: Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Exercise Physiology and
Dr. Sert-Kuniyoshi current research project seeks to determine the association of sleep apnea and the long-
term occurrence of cardiovascular events after myocardial infarction. She is also interested in developing
further research exploring the mechanisms linking the early morning occurrence of cardiac and vascular events,
as well as the role of body composition in predicting cardiovascular risk. Dr. Sert-Kuniyoshi is author in four
book chapters and has twelve manuscripts published, four as first author. These papers have been published
in leading sleep/cardiovascular journals including Hypertension, Chest and Journal of the American College of
Prachi Singh has been working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Mayo Clinic since 2005. In recognition of
her contributions and scholarly endeavor during her tenure at Mayo she was appointed as Assistant Professor
of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in 2008.
Dr Singh was awarded her PhD degree in 2003 from the Central Drug Research Institute, India and had two
years of postdoctoral research experience before joining at Mayo Clinic. During her tenure as postdoctoral
fellow at International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology she worked extensively with
expression and purification of malarial protein to be used in human vaccine trials. She comes from a molecular
biology background and has integrated her work with clinical research. She is a very valuable member of Dr.
Virend K. Somers research team and contributes significantly to education, research and administration of the
laboratory. She is responsible for development of research areas integrating our clinical research protocols with
basic biology questions.
Since her appointment as research fellow, she was awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship from American Heart
Association and has published several original research papers and has presented at several international
meetings. Her overall research focus is in understanding the molecular mechanisms linking leptin to obesity-
related type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. She played a key role in developing the recently
accepted R21 grant application and is currently working in developing a R01 grant application. Additionally she
provides valuable mentorship to summer students, assists in manuscript reviews, grant and manuscript writing.
Dr Singh is also a member of several key specialty societies including the American Heart Association, North
American Vascular Biology Organization and the Obesity society.
Sherry Sours-Brothers is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Nephrology Division at UT Southwestern
Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Her current research interests include translational studies of the malfunctions of
renal tubular ion transport mechanisms associated with chronic kidney disease and nephrolithiasis and her
research history includes molecular mechanisms of kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Sours-Brothers
has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles and contributed to multiple reviews and book
chapters. She has also presented her research in seminars and at national meetings.
Dr. Sours-Brothers earned her doctorate in Physiology and master’s degree in Biotechnology at the University
of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, where she also worked as a research associate. She
currently serves as the co-chair of the Career Development Committee of the Postdoctoral Association at UT
Southwestern, of which she is also president-elect, and on the Membership Committee of the Association for
Women in Science.
Dr. Yvonne Spicer is the Vice President of Advocacy & Educational Partnerships at the National Center for
Technological Literacy® at the Museum of Science, Boston. Dr. Spicer is a highly sought after national and
international speaker and advocate for pre-college Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
education. She has expertise in technology and engineering education, standards development and school
leadership. Spicer was instrumental in establishing the 2001 Massachusetts technology/engineering curriculum
framework with Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, president and director, Museum of Science. Concerned by how
many children in the U.S. "are shut out of technology and engineering," Spicer makes a compelling case for
closing the gender and minorities gap in engineering. When she earned her doctorate at the University of
Massachusetts Boston in 2004, she did her dissertation research on how nine African American female public
school principals survived and thrived as educational leaders. Dr. Spicer is the former Director of Career &
Technical Education in Newton, Massachusetts and served as the Statewide Technology/Engineering
Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Education.
She earned a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Arts & Technology from the State University of New York -Oswego. Dr.
Spicer is a native of Brooklyn, New York and has made a commitment to improving the opportunities for
females and students of color in science, technology, engineering mathematics (STEM) fields.
Daniela Terson de Paleville
Daniela Terson de Paleville is a research assistant for University of Louisville Neurosciences Collabora-tive
Center (NCC) and the Frazier Rehab Institute. She works with several investigators on spinal cord injury
research. She is the principal investigator for the “Trunk-Respiratory Motor Control Assess-ment” (TRMCA).
The aim of this study is to evaluate how pulmonary function and trunk muscles are af-fected after spinal cord
injury. She also assists with the data collection and analysis of different interven-tions including: locomotor
training, respiratory muscle training and functional electrical stimulation. She is the first author of two peer-
reviewed articles in rehabilitation and she is also author on three other manuscripts to be submitted.
Prior to joining the NCC, she worked as lecturer for health and exercise physiology courses at the Health and
Sport Sciences Department at University of Louisville School of Education and Human De-velopment. She
also lectured similar courses at “The Citadel” College of South Carolina. She was the coordinator of the
program “Aqua-Angels” (adapted swimming and aqua-therapy program for children with cerebral palsy and
other disabilities) at the Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center Louisville, KY. Daniela Terson de Paleville was
also a Research Assistant at the Harambee Nursing Center “A Commu-nity-As-Partner Model to Integrated
Mental Health in Vulnerable Populations” University of Louisville (School of Nursing) Louisville, KY.
Her hometown is Mendoza, Argentina. Before moving to the United States in 2001, she worked for the
Government of Mendoza in the “Different Capabilities” program as instructor and rehabilitation therapist of
children and adolescents with different motor and mental disabilities at the Municipality of Lujan de Cuyo. Ms.
Daniela Terson de Paleville earned her bachelor's degree in sport sciences from the Instituto de Educacion
Fisica Jorge Coll in Mendoza, Argentina in 1999. Additionally she holds a master of sciences in exercise
physiology (2005); a master of sciences in physiology and biophysics (2008) and she ex-pects to obtain her
PhD in Physiology and Biophysics in May 2010. Her research interests center on the neurological disorders
and spinal cord injury.
Dr. Tracey Thomas is a Senior Consultant in the area of Biosciences at Booz Allen Hamilton and supports
clients as a subject matter expert (SME) in biological-threat agents. Dr. Thomas provides technical expertise
on pathogens that can be used as biological-threat agents, the exposure risk for these agents, and the means
of manufacturing and delivering such agents. She consults, primarily with the Department of Defense, on
various projects such as test and evaluation of detection systems, hazard assessment of threat agents, agent
detection and identification, and technical intelligence on foreign capabilities.
Prior to joining Booz Allen, Dr. Thomas was a AAAS Risk Policy Fellow at the National Center for
Environmental Assessments (NCEA), US Environmental Protection Agency where she provided scientific
expertise to projects involving environmental and public health, toxicology, and risk assessment. She
contributed to developing the first life-stage specific guidance on assessing risk of environmental exposures,
supported the National Children’s Study by performing biomarker research as a member of the protocol
development team, and identified mechanisms of developmental toxicity of environmental agents in an effort to
advance the risk assessment process.
Dr. Thomas completed her postdoctoral training in virology researching HIV – host cell interactions at the Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD) in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences. She
earned her doctorate from Howard University (Washington, DC) in cell and molecular biology researching
signaling mechanisms of developmental activation and received her Bachelors degree from Hampton
University (Hampton, VA).
Segayle graduated in May 2009 with a PhD in Atmospheric Science from Howard University. Her dissertation
investigates the effects of assimilating lidar-derived water vapor mixing ratio on quantitative precipitation
forecast over the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In particular, she was interested in the impact of high
resolution water vapor observation on the development, timing and propagation of a small mesoscale system
that developed during the Water Vapor Validation Experiment: Satellite and Sondes (WAVES) field campaign in
In addition to the WAVES field study, Segayle has been involved in a number of other field campaigns including
the NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (NAMMA). This international field project was aimed at
investigating the African easterly waves (AEWs) that cross the Atlantic and are precursors for Atlantic
hurricanes. As a member of the Special Observation Period 3 (SOP3), she traveled to Kawsara and Dakar,
Senegal to launched radiosondes and collected ground based measurements from the flux tower. Generally,
her research interests include understanding mesoscale convective processes.
Segayle was also a protégé in the Significant Opportunity in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS)
program, and a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) summer policy colloquium. She is also
a student member of the AMS and American Geophysical Union.
Obioma Uche is currently a research associate at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Her research
interests involve the investigation of the dynamics of surface structures, behavior of interfaces, and the kinetics
of adsorbate-surface interactions.
Dr. Uche received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Prior to attending graduate school, she worked as an engineer for ExxonMobil Corporation where she
developed applications for the monitoring of various refinery operations. She earned her doctorate degree in
Chemical Engineering from Princeton University with her research efforts concentrated in the fields of materials
science and thermodynamics. Following graduate school, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Sandia National
Laboratories prior to acceptance of her current position.
Dr. Uche has been the recipient of a number of awards throughout her academic and professional career. In
particular, she received the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship award for the
maximum four years. She has also published several articles in peer-reviewed journals including Physical
Iuliia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Virginia.
The main goal of her study is to understand how calcium channels are involved in epilepsy and pain. Iuliia
studies how mutations found in epilepsy patients affect the channels. This research continues to lead to new
understandings of how these channels affect brain function. The second main goal of her research is to
develop tools for drug discovery. She has developed cell lines and shown that they are useful for screening for
new drugs. She also contributed to the development of cell-based pharmacological high throughput assays of
calcium channel activity and studied the effect of different drugs using this assay. Iuliia has significant
experience in ion channel patch clamp electrophysiology, and knowledge of pharmacological principles and
techniques associated with cell-based screening (cell culture, tissue slice recordings, assay development,
automation, microscopy, and fluorescent assays).
Prior to joining the University of Virginia in 2003, Iuliia was a graduate student at the Bogomoletz Institute of
Physiology in Kiev, an internationally acclaimed research institute, famous for developing patch clamp
methodologies and for studying the role of ion channels in nerve and muscle function. She defended her
dissertation on the role of chloride channel in prostate cancer, and got her PhD in biophysics in 2003. This work
has been awarded with President of Ukraine Award for Young Scientists. She earned her master’s degree in
physiology (1995) and bachelor's degree in biology (1994) from Dnepropetrovsk State University in Ukraine.
She is a member of Biophysical Society and of the Society for Neuroscience. Iuliia has published 17 papers
and presented the results of her research at 18 scientific meetings.
Ruth Washington is Director of the AGEP and LSAMP Programs and an Associate Professor of Molecular and
Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut Storrs Campus. At UConn, she has created and developed three
initiatives to expose underrepresented minorities to UConn and to increase the number of underrepresented
minority students entering careers in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) fields. The
University of Connecticut Graduate School Spring Recruitment Weekend brings 40 students predominately
from Minority Serving Institutions to UConn to meet and interact with STEM faculty and graduate students. The
Northeast Alliance at the University of Connecticut Summer Research Program for Underrepresented
Minorities is a 10-week program that brings to campus 20-30 students to do research in the STEM fields. The
MSI Faculty/Professional Staff Visiting Weekend connects UConn with minority serving institutions to promote
partnerships between UConn and the institutions that can lead to further collaborations in research, teaching,
and recruitment and retention.
Dr. Washington current research interest focuses on the underlying immunophysiologic and immunogenetics of
cardiovascular disease and related complications. She teaches courses in the Molecular and Cell Biology
Department and serves as the instructor and coordinator of the Responsible Conduct of Research for the
Graduate School. In addition, she serves as a point of contact on issues related to participation of minorities in
the STEM fields.
Dr. Washington earned her B.S. from Stillman College in 1988. She continued her education at Wayne State
University, earning a master’s degree in Immunology and a Ph.D. in the Biological Sciences in 1995. She
conducted postdoctoral research at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Michigan. During
her training, Dr. Washington was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) undergraduate, predoctoral, and
Postdoctoral Fellow. Prior to her position at UConn, she was a faculty member at Stillman College and Wiley
College. While there, she developed new courses, design and coordinate research seminars and implemented
STEM programs to strengthen community partnerships with research intensive universities.
Dr. Washington is the author of several research papers. She has delivered many invited talks at conferences,
workshops, and seminars. Recently, she established the first ever SACNAS Chapter at UConn.
Kimberly Wasson is a Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia.
Her work focuses on ensuring the safety of life-critical systems such as aircraft and medical devices, and her
interests lie at the intersection between the development of such technologies and public policy regarding their
use. She is currently investigating mechanisms to better assess and argue the safety of complex medical and
avionics systems for certification purposes. She works with representatives from the Department of Defense
(DoD), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop
certification methods to better meet the challenges imposed by the increasing complexity of such systems and
their software, such that they can be safely and efficiently brought to market and theater. Dr. Wasson’s work in
customizing Assurance Case technology to the needs of certifying authorities promises to offer means of
system assessment that are more compelling than traditional methods, as well as ease the practical burdens
on these authorities in coping with increasing numbers and diversity of systems to clear for use. Dr. Wasson
has also conducted work in software requirements engineering, inventing a method grounded in Cognitive
Psychology to reduce the incidence of communication errors in the development of safety-critical software
systems. Such errors result in systems that at best fail to serve their intended purposes, and at worst put the
lives and well-being of the public at risk. Dr. Wasson’s method was shown both quantitatively and qualitatively
to reduce the incidence and impact of such errors in safety-critical systems development.
Dr. Wasson received her doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Virginia in 2006. She also holds
a master’s degree in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Virginia, as well as a baccalaureate in Russian
from Syracuse University. She has successfully competed for grants, authored a number of top-tier conference
papers, given several invited talks, and reviews for anumber of journals and meetings. Her achievements also
include a Best Paper Award at the 21st International System Safety Conference, for empirical work in software
Nazanin Rebecca Yacobi
Nazanin Yacobi has been working as a postdoctoral fellow in Allergan headquarter in Irvine, in drug delivery
development group since March 2009. She has been recipient of 2009-2010 pharmaceutical development
postdoctoral fellowship a joint program between University of Southern California (USC), Pharmacy School and
Allergan Inc. As a postdoctoral fellow she works closely in groups that deal with physical chemistry, early drug
formulations, product formulations, manufacturing processes, drug delivery, and analytical sciences.
Prior joining Allergan Inc. she has been working as a PhD student, Research Assistant from 2004 to 2009 in
USC, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine. Her study focus has been
mainly on characterization of toxicity and mechanisms of how ambient air particulates and engineered
nanoparticles (including polystyrene nanoparticles, Quantum dots and single wall carbon nanotubes) transport
across lung alveolar epithelium. Findings from her studies provide important insights into the safe utilization of
nanoparticles in lung biology, especially where the respiratory tract lines the distal airspaces of the lung. These
results are to be used for the next phase of development and application of nanomaterials in medicine and
biology, especially pertaining to the delivery of therapeutic drugs or exogenous genes across the lung or
targeting to the lung, and the design of therapeutic strategies for heart disease that may be induced by airborne
nanoparticle trafficking into the systemic circulation. Nazanin Yacobi has successfully presented her research
findings in many national and international meetings and have three research papers published in peer
reviewed journals. Due to the nature of her research she has been working closely with different researchers in
USC Schools of Engineering, Pharmacy and Medicine.
While at USC she had an active leadership role in different organizations. She has been Engineering School
Senator in theUSC, Graduate and Professional Students Senate representing about 3800 engineering
graduate students and serving on the Senate Finance committee for more than three years. She has been also
acting as the Vice President of Programming and Mork Family Department Representative in the USC
Engineering Graduate Student Association at USC for two years.
Nazanin Yacobi received her doctorate and master degrees in chemical engineering from University of
Southern California; and bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Iran University of Science and
Joyce Yang is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of
Biomass Program (OBP). Her passion for renewable biofuels ignited when her team, Microbefuel, won
the MIT 1K Entrepreneurship competition for the alternative energy category. At OBP, she advises and
manages the algae related efforts and co-manages the lignocellulose biochemical conversion platform.
She is the lead for OBP on several biofuels-related interagency working groups, and serves as a liaison
between OBP and the DOE Office of Science. Most recently, she led planning and implementation efforts
on algal biofuels under the Recovery Act. She has also represented the Office of Biomass Program at
several national and international conferences and given a televised interview.
Joyce received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Rutgers University. At MIT, her graduate
thesis work on the genetics and microbiology was co-sponsored by DuPont de Nemours. Joyce
completed a postdoctoral fellowship on marine bacterial genomics at the non-profit research organization
called Ocean Genome Legacy. Her postdoctoral project focused on the enzymatic hydrolysis of woody
biomass in marine ecosystems as well as understanding microbial evolution in symbiotic systems. Joyce
is an author on six peer-reviewed articles, and serves as an ad-hoc peer-reviewer for the journal, Process
Biochemistry. She has engaged with science education throughout her career, acting as a mentor for
scientist of all ages, from K-12 through graduate levels. Her hobbies include cooking, eating, reading and
Kathleen M. Zackowski, Ph.D., O.T.R. is an Assistant Professor at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Neurology.
Dr. Zackowski earned her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Texas Tech University and went on to complete
her M.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Arizona. She worked as an occupational
therapist throughout Texas, Arizona and California for several years before pursuing her doctorate. She
completed her Ph.D. in Movement Science through the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University
in St. Louis. Dr. Zackowski completed her post-doctoral work at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins
School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology under the direction of Dr. Amy Bastian. She became an
Assistant Professor for Johns Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Department of Physical Medicine &
Rehabilitation and Neurology in 2006.
Dr. Zackowski has a wide variety of clinical and research experience that includes a fully funded research
program as well as a clinical practice as the Occupational Therapist for the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis
Center. Dr. Zackowski’s current studies investigate to what extent nerve fiber changes are associated with
recovery of locomotion and physical impairments in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases such as
multiple sclerosis and adrenomyeloneuropathy. Her long term goal is to better understand the motor control
issues that are responsible for impaired physical function and to improve rehabilitation outcomes for those with
multiple sclerosis and adrenomyeloneuropathy.
Outside of her academic position Dr. Zackowski is also the president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the
Association for Women in Science, serves on the Towson University Advisory Board for Occupational Therapy,
and on the executive board of the International Journal of MS Care. She has a wide variety of experience
that includes certification in adult Neurodevelopment treatment as well as lecturer to therapists,
physician’s, medical students and other clinician’s in the importance of rehabilitation for individuals with