Science Outside the Lab in Our Nation’s Capital

I arrived at Northwestern with a passion for women’s health research, along with a vision for increasing scientific literacy, improving upon science communication, and engaging more women in science. Over the past few years, my vision has become more focused. I hope to work at both a local and national level to improve healthcare for women in a world where reproductive science is often disregarded, to the detriment of women nationwide.

My goal is to combine my expertise in women’s health and reproductive science, and my communications skills, to inform policy that affects women. In the past I’ve always said, “we need more women in policy,” or “we need more scientists in policy,” and now I know I am that woman. I am that scientist. We all should be.

This is why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about science policy from the decision makers themselves. Continue reading

This is what a scientist looks like…

The March for Science was a huge success! All over the country people stood up to say that facts and evidence matter. Unfortunately, scientists can’t afford to remain in the background anymore. We must reach out to the public, we must help them to understand, and make scientific data more accessible. Today, Chicago proved we are the science city, with more marchers than even DC had, and incredible attendance at the expo after. While I didn’t get to march due to setting up the Woodruff lab booth, I did get to talk to so many people about science! People from all ages stopped by to discuss some of the current projects in the Woodruff and Laronda labs. Continue reading

Meet Evatar: The Mother of Microhumans

She’s innovative. She’s three-dimensional. She’s made out of human cells. She has a functional reproductive tract that includes an ovaryfallopian tubeuterus and cervix. She also has a liver, and the channels necessary to pump nutrients between her organs. She produces and responds to hormones, and has a normal 28-day hormone cycle. She can metabolize drugs. She can tell you how a drug may affect fertility in women, or if it is toxic to the liver. And she fits in the palm of your hand. She’s the future of drug testing in women and personalized medicine, and her name is Evatar. Just as Eve is thought to be the mother of all humans, Evatar is the mother of all microHumans. Continue reading

Stepping away from the bench to discuss communication strategies

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to discuss strategies for communicating reproductive science (and science in general) to a doubtful world with the Northwestern University MS Health Communication students yesterday. What a great program! I couldn’t have asked for a more receptive and engaged audience. I’m really hoping to be able to collaborate with some of these students in the future and bring some of our ideas together. It was so refreshing to step away from the bench work and academic research based talks that I’m used to giving, to discuss something equally important in the scientific community.

Many Americans have never met a scientist…we need to fix that

This is something I’ve been passionate about for a while. The general public is misinformed about a lot of scientific issues, but we really only have ourselves to blame. Our work is not over once we publish in an academic journal, we must also be vigilant about communicating our findings with the general public, in a way they can understand. We as scientists tend to surround ourselves with other scientists, both at work and outside of work, and it becomes all too easy to just ignore the anti-science propaganda, to roll our eyes and walk away from the pseudoscience. We have to do better than that. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many of us, but it’s a skill that we can learn, and we owe it to the general public – the tax payers who fund our research. Academics tend to adopt the mantra, “we must never stop learning,” but just as we must never stop learning, we must also never stop teaching.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/07/scientist-march-trump/

 

Why I marched, and will continue to march

March

Today I marched in solidarity with women all over the world who are standing up for their rights.

I did not march because my candidate didn’t win, or because I thought it would change the results of the election. I did not march due to differences in political opinions. I did not march because I’m “whining,” or “a special snowflake,” or a “crying libtard,” or any of the other oh-so-original and so eloquently stated insults that have been thrown at us (generally by the same people who lecture about how we all need to unite).

This is bigger than a difference in political opinion.

Today I marched for equal rights for women everywhere. I marched because I’m in a male dominated field, and have personally experienced sexism and misogyny, as have so many of my female colleagues. Continue reading

Team Cervix

So proud to lead this team of wonderful women! Mentoring has become one of my favorite roles as a scientist, and I couldn’t ask for better mentees. While we’re sad to say goodbye to Jovanka Ravix today, we know she’s going to go on to do great things! Plus, once a member of Team Cervix, always a member of Team Cervix!

team cervix