Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
5240 Medical Sciences Center
Education: University of Iowa, Biology/Chemistry BS, Human Anatomy PhD
Colorado State University, Postdoctoral Fellow
Yale University, Postdoctoral Fellow
Hometown: Brandon, IA (Population: 300)
I am a cell/molecular biologist who studied human placental hormone regulation for 20+ years. I loved it, but then decided I wanted to stand back and study an entire person. I therefore spent a sabbatical at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at the Center for Minority Health where I learned about community-based research. So, I am a biologist who is trained to enter the community appropriately. I call this ‘Translation Type III”.
I also teach an undergraduate health disparities course where I learn more than I teach. Plus I recruit underrepresented students into science to address educational disparities.
Short description of my research: There are a multitude of reasons why a woman may have a low birth weight or premature child. A retrospective medical records study is being conducted to identify low incidence traits that might be ‘markers’ of risk. Statistical analyses are being applied to identify a subpopulation of mothers with unique traits for genetic studies.
What is your passion? I teach an undergraduate course on health disparities. One ‘passion’ is making this subject matter relevant to the lives of my students as well as the public at large. My other ‘passion’ is finding new ways to facilitate entry of underrepresented students into high education.
What advice do you have for undergrads, grads, postdocs seeking careers in STEM fields? Learn early on how to distinguish between ‘general advice’ and ‘specific advice’. General advice is true for everybody. Because it is true for everyone, it is safe to put it on a website. If it is on a website, you don’t need me to read it to you. Specific advice is what is right for you specifically. Not generic. Specific to you. Specific advice I can supply.
What do you like to do when you’re away from work? Tend my butterfly garden. Refinish furniture.