Happy Monday! Hope you’re all doing well today! Today is Women in Science Day and I wanted to share some of my favourite females in STEM with you guys! I plan to go back and do my PhD and work in Neuropsychology after I get more research experience and NINETYFOUR87 is launched. I’ve always been passionate about Science and Neuroscience and knew it was something I wanted to do as my career. I went to school for Sociology and Psychology and also did my pre-med courses. Neuroscience, and Science in general is not the easiest, but if you’re passionate about it, it’s something you work hard in.
A little back story – I often get asked why do you want to work in Science, when I briefly worked in Sports and also starting my own business. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to work in Science and Medicine. I wanted to help others and wanted to make others feel better. For the longest time, I knew I wanted to be a Psychiatrist and then in grade 10, I said I wanted to become an Anesthesiologist and then after watching Grey’s Anatomy (LOL MCDREAMY), I wanted to become a Neurosurgeon and then back to Psychiatry. When I was in elementary school, I remember telling my Mom I wanted to become a Fashion Designer – that did not go well with my parents, so fast forward to present day, it kinda makes me laugh. *Before anyone goes and says anything to criticize my parents, they have always supported me and my dreams* When I was in high school, my Lola was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was a very sad time in my family. When I was in grade 10, my Lolo passed away and we were nervous to tell her he had passed. Up until she passed last January, she thought my Lolo was sleeping and or away for work. (My grandparents had a house in the suburbs in Asia and my Lolo had multiple businesses nearby, but in the country, so he had his farm, businesses and had another house and would come home on weekends or after he was done work). My Lolo and Lola had 7 children (my Mom was the youngest) and had 16 grandchildren – when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she thought she only had 1 child, my Mom and 1 grandchild, me. It was very sad because there’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s and even though she had the best healthcare, treatments and life, her memory faded as she grew older. I think Alzheimer’s is such an ugly disease and we really need to find a cure. I’ve seen firsthand how not it affects the person that has Alzheimer’s, but also how it affects their family and friends as well. Both my Lola and Lolo are my inspiration in life and I want to do my part and help find a cure.
Side Note: The Women Crush Wednesday series was inspired when I was doing some research last year and found that females working in STEM were not celebrated as much as their male counterparts. I haven’t posted any female in STEM yet, but they are scheduled to post in the upcoming weeks and months!
NAME | Rosalind Elsie Franklin
OCCUPATION | Chemist and X-Ray Crystallographer
EDUCATION | Newnham College, Cambridge University (Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry )
KNOWN FOR | discovery of the structure of DNA and for her pioneering use of X-ray diffraction
CAREER | She started her career working as a assistant Research Officer at the British Coal Utilisation Research Association and wrote her thesis on “The physical chemistry of solid organic colloids with special reference to coal.” She also worked as a crystallographer alongside Jacques Mering where she found the structure of DNA. She also worked as a Research Associate at King’s College London (Biophysics).
NAME | Marie Skłodowska Curie
OCCUPATION | Physicist and Chemist
EDUCATION | Floating University – an underground, secret institution. Sorbonne (Physics),
KNOWN FOR | invented the term “radioactivity” and discovered radium and polonium.
CAREER | She enrolled as a physics student at Sorbonne and worked on a research project on the measurement of the magnetic properties of various steel alloys. By 1897, Marie Curie achieved two university degrees, a fellowship (a scholarship), and a monograph. A few years later, her and her husband researched the radioactive elements polonium and radium and she invented the historic word “radioactivity.” In 1898, Marie and her husband discovered a new radioactive element, polonium.
NAME | Dorothy Hodgkin
OCCUPATION | Chemist
EDUCATION | Oxford University (Bachelors and Doctorate)
KNOWN FOR | developing crystallography of biochemical compounds
CAREER | Her career began as a research fellowship from Somerville College, Oxford in 1933 and also tutored Margaret Thatcher. During WWII, there was a demand for penicillin and it was the same time she began to start studying penicillin hydrochloride. This research led her to being awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964.
NAME | Susan Greenfield
OCCUPATION | British Scientist, Writer, Broadcaster, member of the House of Lords
EDUCATION | Oxford University
KNOWN FOR | treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease
CAREER | Her career began researching on brain physiology, particularly Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. She has also written and published peer reviewed journals, books and was also a guest lecturer. Among her other business endeavours, she is also the CEO of NeuroBio – a company that has disruptive approach to Alzheimer’s disease based on her research.
NAME | Adele Diamond
OCCUPATION | Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at UBC, FRSC fellow
EDUCATION | Swarthmore College, Harvard University, Yale University
KNOWN FOR | world leader in the field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
CAREER | Her career began at Harvard where she did a Pre-doctoral Training Program in Cross-Cultural Psychological Research which funded her dissertation. She switched her studies to neuroscience at Yale University and hypothesized that maturational changes in the brain’s PFC made possible the impressive cognitive advances seen between 6–12 months of age. Among her other work, Adele and her team discovered improvements in phenylketonuria, identified EF deficits in children treated for PKU, research on differences between the inattentive-type ADHD and many more.
I am inspired by Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, Dorothy Hodgkin, Susan Greenfield and Adele Diamond and the work they have done and what they have done for the world and woman wanting to work in STEM. I could go on and on about all the females in STEM that influenced me to what to work in Neuroscience, but that’s for another time (Woman Crush Wednesday y’all!). For as long as I could remember, I have always been interested in psychology and now neuropsychology and I hope that when I do my PhD and my own research work and dissertation, I could accomplish something and make my mark in psychology and/or neuropsychology. Lastly, thank you to every female who inspires other females to go for their dreams – whether you’re in STEM, working in business, in education, in customer service etc., thank you for paving the way!