2018 WiSTEM2D Scholars Award winners announced
Meet the six inaugural winners of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award, which supports women at significant points in their research careers in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design (STEM2D). The women each will receive a total of $150,000 in funding and three years of mentorship from Johnson & Johnson leaders as well as members of the award’s Advisory Board.
“The six women honored as recipients of the 2018 Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholar Award represent the caliber of talent that we believe is essential to global innovation today and in future. The Award program, and its distinguished Advisory Board, is part of our company’s commitment to help increase the participation of women in STEM2D fields worldwide,” said Kathy Wengel, Worldwide Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain and WiSTEM2D Program Executive Sponsor.
Soojung Claire Hur, Ph.D.
Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Soojung Claire Hur, Ph.D., applies her technological expertise to studies of how complex hydrodynamic forces can impact or regulate the function of single-cells. She also examines how a cell’s physical characteristics might leverage such fluid dynamics to enrich specific cell populations.
Using this research, Hur has developed instruments to facilitate simple and cost effective biological assays, with applications in oncology, immunology, gene therapy and regenerative medicine.
I am grateful to be an inaugural recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Award, which helps provide much needed support and encouragement for women, such as myself, in historically male-dominated fields of math, science and engineering. This support will not only help produce exciting new research and discoveries but also bring about a brighter future for current and future women in STEM2D.
Via her translational projects, she has collaborated with numerous surgeons, oncologists and clinical researchers. Hur received her B.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, from UCLA. She then joined the Rowland Institute at Harvard University as one of two Rowland Fellows, later joining the UCLA Department of Bioengineering as an assistant researcher and managing clinical studies funded by Vortex Biosciences, Inc.
Hur recently received the School of Engineering Faculty Award at the 2018 Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine Research Retreat. She co-authored 14 peer-reviewed journals articles, including three featured as journal covers, as well as 44 conference proceedings, and has received three U.S. and two international patents.
Seemay Chou, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco
Seemay Chou, Ph.D., leverages her expertise in science to study bacteria and investigate how different animals control the bacteria that live in or on them. One major focus of her research program is understanding the relationship between ticks and their microbes, which ticks can, during feeding, transmit to humans, such as the Lyme disease-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
Being an inaugural Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D scholar is an incredible honor. I’m excited for the unique resources this award will provide to my own research program as well as the opportunity to work with Johnson & Johnson to maximize the potential of other women in science.
Chou received her B.S. and B.A. in molecular biology and Plan II Honors at the University of Texas at Austin. Chou pursued her Ph.D. in molecular cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley, followed by postdoctoral studies in microbiology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Chou is also a passionate advocate for women at UCSF, where she is the faculty mentor for the Women in Life Sciences (WILS) organization and works closely with students, postdocs, and faculty to address gender equity issues in science.
Lauren Stadler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
Lauren Stadler, Ph.D., applies her engineering expertise to reimagine wastewater as a resource of water, energy and nutrients. Her group combines microbial ecology, environmental chemistry and sustainability assessments to study wastewater treatment processes and resource recovery and their impact on the environment and human health.
I am thrilled to be selected as a WiSTEM2D awardee! This early career support will grant me the independence and flexibility to move my research program forward and pursue research that I am passionate about.
Her investigations also explore water sustainability and controlling the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in the environment. Through fundamental research on how microorganisms share antibiotic resistance genes in water systems, she intends to advance the safety and sustainability of Earth’s water infrastructure. Lauren earned her M.S.E. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Her dissertation received the 2016 CH2M/Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Individual fellowships entirely supported Stadler’s doctoral research, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and University of Michigan Rackham Merit and Predoctoral Fellowships.
Prior to graduate school, Stadler was a Fulbright scholar in India where she studied algae for treating wastewater. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Stadler joined the faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University.
Jennifer Pazour, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jennifer Pazour, Ph.D., applies her manufacturing expertise by taking a data-driven approach to solve logistics and supply chain challenges. She creates new mathematical models to guide decision-making, with applications for transportation, distribution, healthcare, military and service industries.
I am excited to be a WiSTEM2D fellow because I believe the world needs more industrial and systems engineers, who can think analytically and systematically about complex problems, and this program will help me reach a wider and more diverse audience. The mentorship will provide valuable opportunities for me to learn about innovative solutions and open research challenges facing the healthcare supply chain.
She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, a National Academies of Science Gulf Research Program Early-Career Fellowship and the Dr. Hamed K. Eldin Outstanding Early Career IE in Academia Award from the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers.
She holds three degrees in industrial engineering, including a B.S. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. Prior to her current position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., she served on the faculty at the University of Central Florida.
Jingyi Jessica Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of California Los Angeles
Jingyi Jessica Li, Ph.D., applies her mathematical expertise to develop statistical and computational methods motivated by important questions in biomedical sciences and the abundant information in big genomic and health-related data.
Winning the inaugural Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Math Award is a significant milestone in my research career and strongly motivates me to continue my efforts in bridging statistics and biology together.
On the statistical methodology side, her research interests include association measures, high-dimensional variable selection and classification metrics. On the biomedical application side, her research interests include next-generation RNA sequencing, comparative genomics and information flow in the central dogma.
Li received her B.S. summa cum laude from the Department of Biological Sciences and Technology at Tsinghua University, China, and Ph.D. from the Interdepartmental Group in Biostatistics at University of California, Berkeley. Li is the recipient of the UCLA Faculty Career Development Award, Hellman Fellowship, the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Award in Informatics and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
At UCLA, she also is a faculty member in the Department of Human Genetics, the Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program in Bioinformatics and a member in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Gene Regulation Research Program Area.
Jessica Menold, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Engineering Design and Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
Jessica Menold, Ph.D., applies her design theory and methodology expertise to explore prototyping and its role throughout the product development process. Recently, she has studied the reliability and accuracy of off-the-shelf “maker” tools such as 3-D scanners and 3-D printers to understand their potential for impact in bio-reverse engineering in emerging, resource-constrained markets.
I am beyond excited and honored to be a part of the WiSTEM program with Johnson & Johnson and I look forward to the many opportunities the program offers.
Menold uses her design thinking, social entrepreneurship and engineering education as a founder of Amparo, a company that creates re-moldable prosthetics sockets for amputees in rural South Africa and Brazil; a founder of Curiospace, a startup that designs and distributes problem-solving kits to at-risk children; and founder of Empathink, a social impact organization bringing women together to solve problems.
She received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to beginning her faculty position at Penn State, Menold worked as a post-doctoral fellow at RWTH Aachen University in the Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Management group exploring the role of prototyping technology in startups and mass-customization applications.