DATE: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
TIME: 9:45 AM-2:45 PM
VENUE: NYU Silver Center Lobby
PARTICIPANTS: Chiye Aoki, Shara Bailey, Jasna Brujic, Jane Carlton, Lara K. Mahal, Wendy Suzuki, Christine Vogel, Alexandra Zidovska

Invitation Only

What better way to inspire the next generation of women scientists than to meet working scientists, tour their labs, and learn about their paths to exciting careers? Women in labs from anthropology, neural science, physics, and more opened their doors to NYC high school girls at universities throughout the city, including New York University, Columbia University, and CUNY’s City College. Students had the rare opportunity to experience the work of several prominent scientists as they cycled through the labs to learn about the fields, meet the scientists, and be inspired to follow in their paths.

This program was produced in collaboration with the College of Arts and Science at New York University (NYU) and the Women in Science program (WINS), Columbia University and the City College of New York.

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Chiye Aoki was born in East L.A., lived in Tokyo from age 6 to 11, and has been in the United States ever since. She gained and lost her native tongue twice, due to the moves, and as a consequence gained interest in brain plasticity. She was able to pursue her curiosity by entering a Ph.D. program at The Rockefeller University. She then received postdoctoral training at the Weill Cornell Medical College, where she learned electron microscopy. Aoki attained a faculty position at NYU’s Center for Neural Science in 1990 and has been there ever since. At NYU, she teaches cellular and molecular neurobiology. The theme common to her research is the neurobiological basis of individuality. Chiye Aoki is most interested in investigating the neurobiological basis of individual differences in reactivity and resilience to stress, and in brain development and plasticity during adolescence.


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Shara Bailey is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at New York University and associate research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. She is also the Director of the Women in Science Program in NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences and is on the editorial board of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. Bailey’s research focuses on using teeth to answer questions about human evolution. She has worked extensively on Neandertals and early modern humans including the earliest modern humans from Europe and Africa. She has studied the Homo floresiensis (a.k.a. “hobbit”) dentitions and will soon add the new species Homo neledi to her ever-growing database. Bailey’s recent work comprises the systematic and comparative study of deciduous teeth (i.e., baby teeth) and seeks to answer questions about the evolution of childhood. Her books include a co-edited volume (with Jean-Jacques Hublin) on Dental Perspectives on Human Evolution with Springer Press and The Evolution of the Human Dentition (in progress), Cambridge University Press. In addition to fossil hominins, she is involved in projects investigating dental variation and systematics of extant hominoids (i.e., apes).


Jasna Brujic is an associate or tenured professor of physics in the Physics Department of New York University. She is one of several core faculty members that comprise the Center for Soft Matter Research. Brujic received her Ph.D. for work on the transmission of stress through particulate matter at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, UK. She then conducted postdoctoral research on the dynamics of single molecule proteins in the lab of Julio Fernandez in the Biology Department of Columbia University, New York City. Brujic has been on the faculty at NYU since 2007 and leads research initiatives in both of her major areas of expertise: jammed matter and biophysical systems.


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Jane M. Carlton is director of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and a biology professor at New York University. She has spent the past 20 years on the faculty of several scientific institutions in the United States, including the genome sequencing center founded by J. Craig Venter. Carlton is passionate about genomics and the power that this technology has to revolutionize biomedicine. Her research involves sequencing the genomes of important human pathogens, in particular species of malaria and parasites prevalent in the United States such as the common STD Trichomonas vaginalis. She has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012. Jane M. Carlton received her Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Edinburgh.


Lara K. Mahal is an associate professor of chemistry at New York University. She earned her B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Mahal was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctral Fellow from 2000-2003 at Sloan-Kettering Institute before starting her first independent position at the University of Texas in Austin. In 2009, Mahal began working at New York University where she is currently a faculty member. Her work has focused on the study of glycosylation using systems-based approaches and creating tools for such studies, including the lectin microarray technology for which her laboratory is known. For her work she has received numerous awards including a Beckman Foundation Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.

Wendy Suzuki
Neuroscientist, Psychologist

Wendy Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University. At NYU she studies the brain areas important for long-term memory, as well as the effects of physical exercise on learning, memory, and attention in people. She runs an active research lab, teaches extensively at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and is involved in leadership training for women and new scientists. Wendy Suzuki is also a new author and her first book, Healthy Brain Happy Life, will be published by HarperCollins in 2015.

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Computational and Structural Biologist

Christine Vogel originally trained as a biochemist in Germany, but moved to Cambridge, England, to obtain her Ph.D. in computational and structural biology with Dr. Cyrus Chothia and Dr. Sarah Teichmann at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology. She later moved to Austin, Texas, to work with Dr. Edward Marcotte. In Dr. Marcotte’s lab, Vogel co-developed computational methods to improve identification and quantitation of proteins observed in mass spectrometry-based experiments. In 2011, Christine Vogel started her own research group at New York University, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, investigating the systems properties of protein expression changes in response to environmental stress. Specifically, Vogel’s lab investigates how yeast and mammalian cells respond to chemical stress, such as those triggered by hydrogen peroxide treatment.

Alexandra Zidovska_192px

Alexandra Zidovska is an assistant professor of physics at the Center for Soft Matter Research in the Physics Department at New York University. She received her Ph.D.from the University of California, Santa Barbara after she completed her undergraduate studies and M.Sc. at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She pursued her postdoctoral studies as Damon Runyon Fellow at Harvard University. Zidovska’s current research uses approaches from soft matter physics and polymer physics to study chromatin, the functional form of DNA in cells, particularly its organization and dynamics in eukaryotic cell nuclei.