Town Hall: Saving Lives with Science

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How do women scientists use biology, chemistry, and other scientific disciplines to create medical treatments and vaccines to serve humanity? NGCP's Girls Advisory Board (now known as the Youth Advisory Board) led a discussion by girls for girls exploring exciting careers in scientific disciplines that require innovation and dedication,

Town Hall: Saving Lives with Science was hosted on February 24, 2021 by NGCP and Career Girls. In this webinar recording, women STEM professionals share personal stories of how they fostered their interest in science into rewarding careers.

Celia Dominguez - Woman with dark hair standing in front of a river and bridge

Celia Dominguez

Celia Dominguez is currently Vice President of Chemistry & Drug Discovery at CHDI Foundation a privately-funded, not-for-profit biomedical research organization devoted to a single disease – Huntington’s disease. CHDI’s mission is to develop drugs that will slow the progression of Huntington’s disease and provide meaningful clinical benefit to patients as quickly as possible.  Dr. Dominguez received a B.S. in Chemistry from Rutgers University, her Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Brown University, and Post-doctoral training at NIH/NIDDK.  Dr. Dominguez has over 30 years of drug discovery and development experience in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology sector with Amgen and DuPont Merck, where she held positions of increasing responsibility and has had a consistent and impressive track record of publishing, patenting, and (most importantly) delivering therapeutic candidates for pre-clinical, clinical evaluation (7 clinical candidates) and one approved drug. Currently, at CHDI Foundation she oversees all the Chemistry and Drug Discovery efforts at CHDI collaborating with Huntington’s Lowering, Genotype and Phenotype biology teams, and the Clinical team to identify Proof of Concept molecules and therapeutic candidates. Dr. Dominguez was born in Cuba, grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and currently resides in Los Angeles with her spouse and two English Bulldogs.

Marsenia Mathia - woman wearing white shirt and pearl necklace

Marsenia Mathis

Marsenia Mathis is a pioneer in Science and Public Health, Marsenia is a skilled Microbiologist with more than 13 years of experience. She has established her career providing scientific expertise and problem-solving solutions for both industry and government entities. For the past nine years, she has spent countless hours chasing infectious diseases byway of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She’s always had an inherent fascination with the functioning of living things and how they work so it was without a doubt her career path would be in the sciences. Working in Public Health was (is) a passion of hers. She loves the idea of solving problems, identifying solutions, and helping others. Not only being intrigued by infectious diseases and outbreaks, she felt it was a good way to contribute and give back to the community by working in public service. While studying infectious diseases is her primary job function by day, by night Marsenia enjoys building and expanding her platform to inspire more women and men to believe in and follow their dreams. She is the founder, creator, and Chief Executive Officer of The Nerdy CEO, a limited liability company. She established this platform to educate and encourage individuals in STEM professions to pursue and follow their dreams ensuring that they have the support, resources, self-confidence, and conviction to achieve their goals.

Jin Kim Montclare - Black and white photo of a woman with dark hair in a chemistry lab

Jin Kim Montclare

Jin Kim Montclare, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She runs a research group that specializes in synthetic biology with a focus on protein design. As part of in School Apps, Jin co-designs and promotes apps, as well as architects their deployment in K-12 and higher education environments.

Sharon Schendel - woman wearing black blazer and pink shirt in front of blue background

Sharon Schendel

Sharon Schendel received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Indiana University and her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Purdue University.  As a research scientist, she focused on bacterial toxins and mechanisms of cell death. She established the U.S. Editorial Office for The Biochemical Journal and was Education Specialist at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute where she focused on helping young scientists develop writing and oral communication skills. In 2017 Dr. Schendel began working with Professor Erica Saphire managing the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutics Consortium (VIC) which is developing novel antibody-based therapies to treat infections by some of the world’s deadliest viruses, including the Ebola virus, Lassa virus, and mosquito-borne alphaviruses. When SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019, Professor Saphire and Dr. Schendel took the model of the VIC to form the Coronavirus Immunotherapeutics Consortium–the CoVIC–a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, and the GHR Foundation. Dr. Schendel serves as Program Manager for the VIC and CoVIC that are both based at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. CoVIC seeks to develop antibody therapies for delivery in low- and middle-income countries to ensure that no one is priced out of effective therapies for COVID-19 and also to build a body of knowledge to accelerate responses to viruses that are yet to emerge.

Latoya Simmons - woman with long dark hair wearing gray blazer

Latoya Simmons

Latoya Simmons is an Emergency Management Specialist whose focus is infectious diseases. She has helped investigate numerous national and international outbreaks such as COVID-19, Ebola, and Zika. In her spare time, Latoya enjoys volunteering in her community and cosplaying

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