To highlight some of the numerous incredible women associated with the University of California System, the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW) has launched the “Remarkable Women of UC” series, recognizing various UC women each year beginning with the UC alumna for 2017.
The alumni associations from each of the 10 UC campuses were asked to nominate women to be recognized and then PACSW selected 13 who are being featured in a “Remarkable Women of UC” descriptive poster exhibit. Representing a broad spectrum of disciplines, ages and ethnicities, these 13 women are all champions in their fields.
Here at Berkeley Lab we’re highlighting seven of the women in STEM fields. The posters are currently displayed in the hall outside the Building 50 Auditorium and will be up until mid-December.
Here are the women we’ve featured and their bios:
Sue Desmond-Hellmann is a physician, scientist and philanthropist who has devoted her career to improving the human condition and has driven major developments toward eradicating disease, poverty and inequity.
She credits a move to Uganda in 1989 to study HIV/AIDS and cancer as a turning point. “It was so profound to recognize…that all the learning I had done to become a doctor didn’t matter at all if I didn’t make a contribution.”
Trained as an oncologist, Desmond-Hellmann spent 14 years at Genentech where she developed two of the first gene-targeted therapies for cancer. She became the first female chancellor of UCSF in 2009, before becoming CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2014.
Carol Greider was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 with two other scientists for their discovery of telomerase, an enzyme in the human body that plays a critical role in normal cell function.
Greider earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. She is now a professor and department director at John Hopkins University, where she directs a group of eight scientists in studying the role of short telomeres, which are the ends of chromosomes, in age-related disease and cancer, as well as the mechanism that maintains the length of these telomeres.
Gail Knight became chief medical officer and senior vice president at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego in 2016. Prior to that, she was the first African-American woman to be named chief of staff and clinical director of neonatology at the hospital.
Knight has spent 25 years practicing medicine at Rady Children’s Hospital where she has treated and provided critical care, such as cardiac surgery and heart-lung bypass, to thousands of infants in the NICU. Knight, who earned her medical degree at UC San Diego, was instrumental in bringing many initiatives to fruition, including forming neonatal intensive care units at Rancho Springs Medical Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego.
Ann Lee-Karlon oversees more than 35 teams developing treatments for various medical conditions and diseases as senior vice president at Genentech. Lee-Karlon, who earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley and Ph.D. at UC San Diego, previously worked as a biotech scientist and holds U.S. and international patents in vascular tissue engineering.
Lee-Karlon is passionate about broadening and diversifying the talent pool for future leaders in STEM. As president of the Association of Women in Science in Washington, D.C., she partnered with the United Nations to establish International Women and Girls in Science Day and with the Kauffman Foundation to initiate programs to help women and minority entrepreneurs succeed.
Marigold Linton, an enrolled member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, is the first California reservation American Indian to have ever left a reservation to attend a university. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Riverside, where she has established a scholarship fund, and received her Ph.D. at UCLA.
Linton is director of American Indian outreach for the University of Kansas, where she developed a consortium with Haskell Indian Nations University that obtained over $13 million to support research training opportunities for American Indian students and faculty at both institutions.
Linton founded the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, and the National Indian Education Association.
Jaime Nack, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA, is an environmental champion who serves as one of Al Gore’s presenters for The Climate Reality Project. She is president of Three Squares Inc., a consulting firm that develops sustainability plans for corporations, government agencies and academic institutions. In 2013, she launched One Drop Interactive as an online platform to engage employees on sustainability and show real-time savings across energy, water, recycling and other business operations.
“Technology holds the power to expand the impact of our work 100 times over. When you think about what that means for purpose-driven companies, the ability to scale profit and impact is huge.”
Janna Rodriguez’s passion for social issues has translated into concrete solutions to critical issues. In 2012, while working for UNICEF in Ibadan, Africa, the researcher developed a pneumonia sensor that has become part of pneumonia prevention kits now used. Last summer, while working with Child Family Health International in Argentina, she proposed solutions to problems in their water demand and sewer system.
Rodriguez is working on her doctorate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Among her goals, the UC Merced graduate wants to help more people from diverse backgrounds get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “I want to serve as a role model to women who may hesitate to enter STEM fields but who have much to contribute.”