Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

We can empower girls and women to pursue science by providing supportive environments in which they are encouraged to explore the world, observe nature, and indulge in their limitless curiosity. We also need to promote more women into positions of leadership in the sciences, where they establish and reinforce pathways for equity and diversity across disciplines.
—Dr. Cassandra L. Quave
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, is celebrated on February 11th each year. This day is dedicated to promoting women and girls in science. From the website: "Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace."
In celebration of the incredible impact that women in science make on the world, I asked some of the women on my research team to share their thoughts on science, diversity, and what drives their passion for research. Here are a few highlights below.
Emory University Urogynecology Fellow Ivrose Joseph, MD, is passionate about caring for patients with many common but infrequently discussed conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and bowel incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infection. She is currently pursuing her passion by studying bacterial persistence as a mechanism of recurrent urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women.
Emory Herbarium Collections Manager, Thara Samarakoon, PhD, is a plant systematist. She uses phylogenomics and traditional taxonomy to reveal the mysteries that plants hide. She asks questions about plant origins. In her current work, she is building a deeper understanding of the evolution of plant chemical diversity and is exploring what insights this may yield for new directions in drug discovery.
Emory undergrad researcher Sophia Boraschi is passionate about science centered around the improvement of human health. She is currently pursuing her passion by studying alkaloids extracted from medicinal plants in the search for new compounds to fight infectious diseases.
Airy Gras Mas, PhD research is focused on examining the relationship between plants and people. She is currently a visiting scholar in the Quave Research Group studying extracts from medicinal plants used by Catalan people to treat infectious diseases. Dr. Gras is the recipient of a prestigious award from Spain (The Margarita Salas Fellowship), which supports her research experience at Emory University!
Emory undergad researcher Cindy Xin Fang is inspired by the ancient wisdom of using plant to restore the body's inner balance. Her study of alkaloids makes her realize the connection between this ancient power and science, and drives her to explore more hidden medicinal activities in plants.
Emory undergrad researcher, Andrea Snoddy, said: "I believe that the progression of science relies on the collaboration and excellence of all people. Individuals from underrepresented groups bring distinctive insight and skills to the worlds of science and research that are indispensable. With work like ours, specifically ethnobotanical research, having an appreciation for the diversity of cultures in our own spaces will facilitate the ability to appreciate cultures we have yet to meet and share in their knowledge."
Emory undergrad researcher Muskaan Vohra is passionate about studying the intersection of alternative and Western forms of medicine. She is pursuing this passion by investigating antimicrobial compounds from medicinal plants.
Emory undergrad researcher Nadine Jarrar is exploring commonalities between Jordanian alternative medicine and Western ethnobotany with the phytochemistry group. She prepares plant extracts, delves into Dr. Quave’s lit reviews, and shadows Dr. Woo, hoping to gain insight on high performance liquid chromatography and mass spec methods as she develops an independent project.

Foodie Pharmacology Podcast Listed at #4 on the Best 25 Food Science Podcasts by Feedspot

New on Foodie Pharmacology:

Medicinal Plants & Integrative Medicine with Dr. Stephen Dahmer

Stephen Dahmer MD - Goodness Growth Holdings - Chief Medical Officer
At Foodie Pharmacology, we’re not only fascinated with the incredible pharmacological potential of medicinal plants, but are also eager to learn more about how this translates into integrative medicine. We have a wonderful guest today to discuss this topic: Dr. Stephen Dahmer. Dr. Dahmer is a board-certified family physician whose passion for health and healing has taken him around the globe. A fellow of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, for over two decades he has studied the relationships between plants and people, working closely with diverse cultures and documenting their uses of plants and other integrative therapies. You can learn more about Dr. Dahmer’s work supporting clinical trials on Cannabis at https://vireohealth.com/ and follow him on social media on Twitter @DrStephenDahmer and Instagram @stephendahmermd .

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