Fangirl Friday: 4 Rad Women Leading the Science World
Women can do anything they put their minds to from working at NASA to curing cancer to running international businesses. So, why do women only make up 29% of the science and engineering workforce?
Despite the small, but growing, pool of women scientists, these ladies are totally rad. From discovering immortality to growing bones from stem cells to solving abstract equations, we need to recognize and celebrate their success!
Emily Levesque, an MIT and University of Hawaii grad, is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. When she’s not teaching students, she is studying massive stars by building galaxy models and analyzing data. Her breakthroughs have led to advancements in space technology!
We’ve been searching for immortality for centuries. While we haven’t quite found the fabled Fountain of Youth, Cynthia Kenyon is getting us closer than ever before. Kenyon, a molecular biologist, is the VP of Aging Research for Google’s Calico project. Over her career, she has discovered the Hox genes and a genetic mutation in the daf-16 gene in roundworms that increase their lifespans by over 65%. She is currently developing drugs to replicate the mutation in worms to double their lifespan.
Nina Tandon is the biomedical engineer founder and CEO of EpiBone, a company that grows bones from stem cells. Currently, when patients need a bone graft, they choose grafts from their own bones or deceased donors. Both choices can lead to infection and rejection. EpiBone is a major game changer. The company can grow custom-fitted bone cells from patient’s stem cells obtained from their fat in 3-4 weeks. Her research will soon be tested in humans.
Maryam Mirzakhani is a mathematics professor at Stanford University and the first ever woman to receive the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. Mirzakhani uses novel approaches to study shapes and surfaces in several fields of abstract mathematics.
It’s time to celebrate and encourage girls to pursue the sciences and math. Take these awesome women for example, they followed their dreams and now they are answering some of the universe’s most asked questions.