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Will we see you tonight at ? Join us for a convo with Astrid Caldas (), Senior Climate Scientist at , on policy, natural resources mgmt, socio-environmental synthesis, climate comms & more: 🌎🧪

From Maria Sibylla Merian's 1730 ed. of "Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium." In 1699, the naturalist traveled to Dutch Suriname and spent two years studying the local insect population. Located

A driven botanist indeed. Mexican-born botanist, Ynés Mexía collected and preserved 150,000 plants beginning at the age of 51. Of those, 500 were new discoveries. Her drive and passion for plants have left a mark on the botanical world.

So honored to contribute to this great project promoting the role of Women in Science Thank you for your continuous action We should export the idea! Amaizing photographer

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What causes AIDS? In 1983, Dr. Barré-Sinoussi answered this crucial question by discovering the HIV. Her finding was the critical first step towards preventative measures and antiretroviral treatment.

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IBRO-MENA Neuroscience School on Trauma, Stress, and Neurodegeneration

Nice group photo of the IBRO-MENA Neuroscience School on Trauma, Stress, and Neurodegeneration.

The school is being held right now until 8 October at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. Divided into two separate events, the students have completed a 3-day advanced school and are now attending a 2-day conference, advancing scientific exchange in the MENA region. 

Particular emphasis is being placed on promoting the professional advancement of women in neuroscience by boosting the number of female speakers at the conference to 50%.
Divulgación de las matemáticas: Ellas fueron las primeras
A finales del siglo XVII, varias aristócratas y escritoras inglesas comenzaron a pedir una mejora en la educación de las mujeres. Poco después, apareció el primer almanaque dirigido a mujeres y repleto de matemáticas
Laureates of prestigeous Czech Scientific award Neuron - What do you like to read?

Laureate No. 1 (B. Vejnar, mathematician): Apart from beautiful mathematical proofs, I like reading fiction novels and literature about philosophy, theology and history.

Laurate No. 2 (F. Kolář, biologist): Mainly scientific articles, however I do not have time even for that. So I read mainly children stories to my kids.

Laureate No. 3 (H. Macíčková, chemist): Scientific articles and the journal Respekt. (note: Respekt is a weekly journal with commentaries about politics, environment, and economy)

Well… what could be possibly my response?
I read ton of fanfiction stories, and Young adult and New adult novels. Usually with the LGBT topics and fantasy background. And, yeah, I also read scientific papers for sure.

I feel like not fitting the pattern…
Do they really just read scientific papers and political journals?

Why Pursue a Graduate Degree…or Two?

A question many people ask me, and one that I frequently ask myself, is why attend graduate school? There are many different reasons to pursue a graduate degree; to be qualified for your dream job, to learn more about a field of interest, or to change focus areas from your bachelor studies, just to name a few! Regardless of what reason you choose to pursue a graduate degree, I cannot stress how important it is to have a specific motivation to pursue your graduate degree!! Graduate school is extremely challenging both mentally and physically, so it is critical to know specifically why you will dedicate your whole self to obtaining an advanced degree.

For me personally, my motivation to pursue graduate school was a combination of all three of these things. Although I knew I had to work hard in my Chemistry courses, my passion for the subject and interest in a biotechnology career in high school drove me to study Chemistry (on the Biochemistry track) in college. I enjoyed Introductory Chemistry but when it came to Organic Chemistry, I realized for myself  the challenge that came with the dreaded O.Chem. After pushing through a year of O. Chem, I continued my in-major course work with Physical and Inorganic Chemistry courses. These courses were no doubt academically challenging, but the greatest challenge for me was the loss of the spark of my interest in the subject. During the time when I felt I had lost my passion for chemistry, I took a genetics course and found my perspective was opened to the world of biology. The more biology courses I took, I realized that my passion was in the “Bio” side of Biochemistry; however, I was too far along in my undergraduate career to formally switch majors. Therefore, I applied to a Master’s program with the intention of making an academic pivot to engage in my newfound passion for biology. 

In conjunction with finding this new passion in my academics, I had the opportunity to learn more about the biotechnology industry by interning at a large diagnostics company. In this role, I not only experienced biology research in the industry space, but also had the opportunity to network with individuals in the organization both with and without advanced degrees. Through  my position and these career conversations, I found that my dream career would be as a member of a Research and Development team at a healthcare focused biotech company. As I met more and more employees in these positions, I found that to pursue my career of interest, a graduate degree would be necessary. To pivot academically as well as gain the qualifications for my dream job, I enrolled in a Masters of Science in Biotechnology program. 

About half way through my Masters program, I began to think about my next step academically and professionally. Being exposed to so many graduate students on route to their doctorate in my Masters, I considered continuing my graduate school journey and applying for a PhD program. The summer after my first year in my Masters program, I had the opportunity to gain work experience at a start-up company and was really able to see the job opportunities for someone with a PhD. I realized then that I would love to combine my passion for scientific research with my leadership skills as a means of one day managing a Research and Development team. However, for this career path, I felt my independent research skills and management skills needed development. Therefore, I decided to apply for a second graduate degree by pursuing a doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Biology. 

My motivation to pursue my graduate degrees has been academic, skillset, and career minded; however, this motivation differs for everyone! Grad school an extremely grueling but extremely rewarding process and I personally feel that one’s motivation is what carries them through long days of research followed by late nights of studying and reading academic papers. This is why I stress the importance of knowing your motivation before beginning your graduate program. Many see grad school as the opportunity to push off the real world; however, in my perspective, this is not the most effective motivation for committing to graduate education. So if you are asking yourself “Why Grad School?”, like I did, I encourage you to identify that specific motivation that will not only motivate you to begin graduate school, but to keep pushing forward when it gets tough. 

You Don’t Have Time to Be Timid, You Must Be Bold and Daring

This is quite easily my favorite quote from Beauty and the Beast. Although it is used by Lumier to talk up the Beast to woo Belle and break the spell on the castle, it is always good to give yourself this pep talk! I feel this quote is a great way to lead off this post, as its origin stems from my commitment to be bold and daring in developing this blog. 

A year ago, I came up with an idea to share some of the insights I have gained as a young woman in the biotech industry through a blog. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested in or read this blog, but I liked knowing that there could be someone out there who would find my opinions and personal experiences to be useful in developing their own careers. However, for the last year the content of this blog has been hidden on a page on tumblr without anyone knowing about it but me, well and I guess tumblr! In a recent conversation with my boyfriend, I was reminded of this forum and have decided that I don’t have time to be timid and am ready to be bold by sharing this blog with all of you! And on my end, I am going to be more daring by coming up with semi-regular content and sharing it with my followers. 

Now, in the interest in being bold and daring, I think a proper background on me is necessary (especially as I was vague about in my initial blog intro). I attended a small liberal arts undergraduate institution where I got my BA in biochemistry. In high school, I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry in college. Although it did not come easy to me, I worked EXTREMELY hard on my chemistry coursework in high school and found it highly rewarding. It was this high reward and my early interest in drug development that drew me to study this discipline in college. However, junior year of college I found that my passion really was for the biology side of biochemistry. Seeking to gain more biology experience, I continued my education in a Masters of Science in Biotechnology program where I participated in graduate coursework and was contributing to a research project lead by a Principle Investigator (PI). Despite earning my Masters this past spring (2019), I decided to continue my education and begin my doctoral training in Cellular and Molecular Biology this fall. Throughout all of these academic experiences, I filled my summers with meaningful opportunities in industry through internships at both a large diagnostics company and a small small molecule discovery start-up. Although I expect for my PhD to be busy, I feel like it is my perfect opportunity to share my journey and experiences with my followers and young girls interested in biology and the biotech field. Let’s not be timid, but allow ourselves to be bold and daring together!! Here’s to a new chapter of Beauty and the Biotech Beast! 

(Feel free to check out my earlier hidden content by scrolling to the bottom of the blog!) 


Want to know who’s bones these are (hint: one of them is a fossil bone) and why we should care about what they look like in the inside? Come to the Calgary Zoo tomorrow for soapbox science! You can learn about my research and the research of other women in science from the University of Calgary.
#yyc #soapboxscience #yycsoapboxsci #womeninscience #calgaryzoo #paleontology #bones #purple #science #fintolimb

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This is literally the cutest thing in the world. Thanks for sharing @adivoleti. This made my whole week!
#womeninscience #womeninscienceBook

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Happy 85th Birthday to Dr. Jane Goodall. Here she is on the Ellen Show.

This is a #Repost from @theellenshow
Happy birthday, @JaneGoodallInst. Thank you so much for being here.

#JaneGoodall #85thBirthday #ConservationHero #WomenInScience

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