Lessons to my Younger Self: STEM Edition

Happy New Year! After participating in the #BLACKandSTEM major Tweets roll call last week I was inspired to share my top lessons to my younger self.

Lesson to my Younger Self (STEM Edition): (more…)

Being a #BLACKandSTEM Woman Twitter Chat Reflection

Every Thursday #BLACKandSTEM has Twitter chats on various topics. On Thursday, October 30, I participated in their discussion about being a Black Woman in STEM. In case you missed the Twitter chat click here to find out more information.

Let’s get started with my reflection: (more…)

Empowering Women in STEM

Earlier this year I shared a post about my reflections as Black Woman in STEM #AAWiSTEM. I know that there many women in STEM that read Mademoiselle Scientist who can relate to some of the things I mentioned in that post. Let’s go a bit deeper.

Empowering Women in STEM: (more…)

Women’s History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

In honor of Women History Month let’s celebrate Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi.

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Photo Credit: TheGuardian.com

Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is a virologist, professor, and Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit, Virology Department at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Dr. Barré-Sinoussi was born on July 30, 1947 in Paris, France. She was the only child and had a passion for science at an early age. When she entered undergraduate she decided to pursue a natural science degree because she wanted to make discoveries.

Shortly after she began to work in the laboratory with Jean-Claude Chermann at the Pasteur Institute studying retroviruses and cancer in mice and completed her Ph.D. there. In 1975 she was offered a fully funded research position supervised by Montagnier. Since I am interested vaccine and infectious disease research I wanted to showcase Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi’s cutting-edge contributions to science in the field of disease transmission, immunity, and virology.

In 2008 two of the greatest discoveries were honored. 2008 was the year the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared with three scientists. Harald zur Hausen has 1/2 of the Prize share “for his discovery of human papilloma virus causing cervical cancer”, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has 1/4 of the Prize share and Luc Montagnier has 1/4 of the Prize share “for their discovery of human immunodeficiency5 virus”. As stated on Nobelprize.org website,”It was identified in lymphocytes from patients with enlarged lymph nodes in early stages of acquired immunodeficiency, and in the blood from patients with late stage disease” To learn more about the discovery check out the nobelprize.org.

Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi represents one of the 44 total women that have been awarded the Nobel Prize (1901-2013) and one of the 16 total women that have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the Sciences. She believes that receiving the Nobel Prize is also a prize for everyone in the community. (more…)

Black History Month Edition of Mademoiselle Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb

In honor of Black History Month let’s celebrate Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb.

Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb

Photo Credit: California State University State Library

Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb is a cell biologist/cell physiologist, educator, professor, administrator, and former president of California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1924 from a middle class surrounded by medical journals and science books at her home library. Her father was a physician, her grandfather was a pharmacist and she became the third generation in her family to pursue a science field. After completing high school she graduated from Talladega College in Alabama in 1944 with a B.S. degree in Biology. Then, she attended graduate school at New York University where she earned a M.S. degree in Cell Physiology in 1947 and a PhD in Cell Physiology in 1950.

Ever since she first looked at cells through a microscope in her high school biology class she knew that she wanted to pursue a research career. She wanted to understand the theory of diseases and as a scientist she would have this opportunity. Dr. Cobb’s research focused on the skin pigment melanin and relation to skin tumors. She tested chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer cells, specializing in cell biology.

In addition to her research she has held several academic positions: Professor at Sarah Lawrence College (1960-1969), Dean and Professor of Zoology at Connecticut College (1969-1976), Director of ACCESS Center at California State University, Los Angeles and President of California State University, Fullerton (1981-1990). She retired in 1990.  (more…)