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Women in Medicine Month: Women as Biomedical Scientists

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Women as Biomedical Scientists

The AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) is proud to celebrate Women in Medicine Month! Each week in the month of September we will feature spotlights and leadership lessons from women in educator, scientist, physician, and leadership roles.

Women as Biomedical Scientists Spotlight

Monica L. Baskin, PhD

“As the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed, ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception.’ As more women are entering the biomedical science workforce, it is critical we are able to advance and hold places of leadership. As an African American woman, I am keenly aware of the intersection of gender and race and the lack of representation of these identities in medicine. Addressing our limited presence is not about political correctness, it is essential to generating novel research questions, therapies and other discoveries.”

Monica L. Baskin, PhD
Professor – Div. of Preventive Medicine
Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement -- O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Elise M. Lewis, PhD

“Celebrating the successes of women who are role models and making a lasting impact on STEM is the catalyst for future scientists to see what is possible. While I was the ‘first,’ often ‘the only’ in many facets of my life, I do not let these labels detour me from living a purposeful life. The uniqueness of my journey allows me to use my resources, networks, and platforms to promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness within my discipline and the broader STEM community, be a catalyst for change, empower the scientific leaders of tomorrow, and pay it forward through mentorship and sponsorship.”

Elise M. Lewis, PhD
Principal Director of Toxicology
Charles River

Melissa Lewis, PhD

“Indigenous knowledge is some of the oldest and most tested knowledge that exists in this world yet it often lacks validation in academic settings due to bias, ethnocentrism, and patriarchy. Indigenous people created and use some of the most advanced scientific knowledge and techniques resulting in healthy communities and sustainable ecology. Despite settler-colonization, Indigenous language, culture, foods, and lifeways are being revitalized across the country resulting in improved health and well-being outcomes for Indigenous people and lands with positive implications for all people.”

Melissa Lewis, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Missouri School of Medicine

Jennifer L. Moss, PhD

“Science is our best method for determining what is true about our world and our health. When done well, science is a communal activity, integrating perspectives from our forebears and from our contemporaries of different genders, racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. Women have a key role to play in diversifying academic medicine. Our representation is crucial for the success and sustainability of the scientific endeavor and, subsequently, our efforts to improve academic medicine, health and well-being, and social justice.”

Jennifer L. Moss, PhD
Assistant Professor
Penn State College of Medicine

Elizabeth Proctor, PhD

“As a scientist, one of the best parts of my job is getting to follow my curiosity in uncovering the causes of disease, and inspiring my students to bring their own questions and passions to their work. We cannot cure or treat what we do not know exists; the more diverse group of scientists and physicians we have working toward bettering human health, the more questions and passions that are given voice, and the more successful we will be in our goal of lessening suffering and improving lives. Celebrating women and underrepresented groups in medicine is important to make those voices heard.”

Elizabeth Proctor, PhD
Assistant Professor
Penn State College of Medicine

Hengameh H Raissy, PharmD

“The global COVID-19 crisis has reminded us to hold science in high regards. Science gives us knowledge, confidence and strength; I am a gender equity/diversity/inclusion researcher and I have never allowed my degree to limit what I can learn or do. I am passionate for what I do; research! There is always more to learn, and there is always a way to contribute to the science. High-quality scientists are essential to society. And we have learned- once again-scientific facts prevail whether people believe in them or not.”

Hengameh H Raissy, PharmD
Research Professor Pediatrics, Vice Chair of Research Pediatrics
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Vanessa Rivera-Amill, PhD

“Every experience provides you with opportunities, and most times, it is not clear at first. Support is essential when first embarking on a science career, whether from family or friends. I am grateful for my parents; they gave me the power to overcome my fears. Along the way, I met people that told me that science was not for me; they made me push harder. We have an inner light that nobody can turn off. If you look around, you will see the light in others; we are not alone. We can achieve greatness by working towards a common goal; we must always place science to serve our communities.”

Vanessa Rivera-Amill, PhD
Professor
Ponce Health Sciences University/ Ponce Research Institute

Events and Resources

GWIMS Business Meeting and Leadership Award Ceremony

November 5 - 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET

Come join us to recognize GWIMS’ accomplishments over the last year, and to celebrate our leadership award winners!

Register Now

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Join us on Social Media

To show your support for women in medicine month (#WiMmonth), please consider sharing the suggested tweet below (or RT from @AAMCtoday’s account):
I support women in medicine. RT if you do, too. #WIMmonth #GWIMS

Women in medicine face sexual harassment and other aggressions, a higher likelihood of depression, and a wide salary gap.

GWIM Resources

The GWIMS Toolkit is a series of presentations designed to provide practical guidance on a variety of topics relevant to women faculty in academic medicine. Each presentation provides an overview of the topic, relevant best practices, tips on implementation, and useful references for more information.

GWIMS Toolkits are useful resources that will help advance women in leadership roles.

GWIMS Toolkit