Faculty News

Michigan Minds Special Series: Women in STEM

Michigan Minds Special Series: Women in STEM

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science aimed at highlighting the critical role women and girls play in science and technology, promoting full and equal access to programs, and empowering more women and girls to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.

In honor of this day, we are celebrating some of the remarkable women working in STEM fields at U-M. From studying mathematical models to treat cancer, to natural language processing, to firearm injury prevention and so much more, the breadth and depth of impactful research conducted by women at U-M is astounding.

In this special series of Michigan Minds, each of the faculty members discusses her research expertise, shares important findings from studies she’s conducted, and provides her advice for women and girls embarking on their own journeys into a STEM field.

Listen to each episode below:

SERVING THE WORLD THROUGH RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP

For 10 consecutive years, the University of Michigan has ranked number one in research volume among US public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In this episode of Michigan Minds, U-M Vice President for Research Rebecca Cunningham discusses how U-M is advancing society through research, the Firearm Injury Prevention Research Initiative at U-M, and the importance of encouraging more participation among women and girls in STEM fields.

EXPLORING THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RESEARCH

Julie Lumeng, assistant vice president for clinical and human subjects research and executive director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, explores the importance of human-research activity and the studies she has conducted examining the development of eating behavior in children. Lumeng also shares advice to women and girls embarking on their own journeys into science fields.

DEVELOPING DATA-DRIVEN MATHEMATICAL MODELS TO STUDY CANCER

Mathematics professor Trachette Jackson, who is also a member of Michigan Medicine’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains the field of mathematical oncology and her work in developing data-driven mathematical models to study cancer. Jackson also provides words of wisdom for women and girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM.

STUDYING SOCIAL INEQUITIES AFFECTING STEM PROFESSIONALS

Erin Cech, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Literature, Science, & the Arts, explains her research examining cultural processes of inequality. She also explores the importance of studying inequities in STEM, and her recent research into the disparities that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) STEM professionals.

UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF SUGAR ON EATING BEHAVIOR

Monica Dus, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, discusses her research on why some foods change eating behaviors. She also talks about the podcast she hosts to promote researchers and their work, and reveals some of the best ways to encourage more women to pursue work in science-related fields.

EXAMINING THE INTERSECTION OF NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Rada Mihalcea, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering, explains her research in natural language processing, a subfield of artificial intelligence‚ and what she feels are the best ways to encourage more women and girls to pursue work in STEM-related fields.

INVESTIGATING ZEBRAFISH GENETICS TO UNCOVER HUMAN STEM CELL PROPERTIES

Pamela Raymond, Stephen S. Easter Collegiate Professor Emerita of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in the College of Literature, Science, & the Arts, discusses her research investigating retinal stem cells in zebrafish to uncover properties of human neural stem cells. Raymond also talks about her advocacy for gender equity in science throughout her career, and the optimism she has for the future.