Women in Science Wednesdays

While women fill close to half of all jobs in the United States, they hold less than 25 percent of positions within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Even as college-educated women have increased their share in the overall workforce, our country’s science and technology sectors continue to lack a female presence.

To help close this gap, UNC research is sharing their stories — from the depths of the ocean to the crest of a mountain, with projects that impact our state, the nation, and the world. Carolina’s female scientists from all areas of STEM are making waves in the world of research. Join us each week as our scientists share their unique perspectives on the rigors of research, and advice for other women in their fields.

Rebecca Tippett

Rebecca Tippett is the founding director of Carolina Demography, a research consulting service at the Carolina Population Center. Her research focuses on informing decisions at local, state, and national levels through analyzing demographic data on topics like where and why people move, educational attainment and employment rates, and the housing market.

Teresa Edwards

Teresa Edwards is the assistant director for survey research within The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC. She conducts web and mail surveys for principal investigators within and outside the university, teaches within the graduate Certification Program in Survey Methodology, and provides survey research consultations to faculty, staff, and students across campus.

Yaiza Canzani

Yaiza Canzani is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding the behavior of wave functions that solve Schrodinger’s equation — the mathematical formulation for studying the energy levels of quantum mechanical systems like atoms.

Kimiko Suzuki

Kimiko Suzuki is a PhD student in the Curriculum for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. She works in both the Dohlman and Elston labs located in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine. Her research focuses on predicting how intracellular signaling pathways respond to stress.

Carly Moreno

Carly Moreno is a PhD student studying marine science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on using molecular sequencing to study the environmental factors that regulate phytoplankton growth in Antarctica.

Sweta Karlekar

Sophomore Sweta Karlekar is an undergraduate researcher majoring in computer science within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Chancellor's Science Scholar. Her research focuses on building an artificial intelligence program that can automatically identify early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia through a person's speech.

Morgan Yapundich

Senior Morgan Yapundich is an undergraduate researcher majoring in chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on pharmacological experiments that will shed light on how a drug induces cellular death in cancer cells.

Robin Armstrong

Robin Armstrong is a PhD candidate within the UNC Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology and a graduate research assistant in the Duronio Lab. Using fruit flies as a model, she researches how chromatin structure influences DNA replication programs.

Vicki Mercer

Vicki Mercer is an associate professor of physical therapy in the UNC School of Medicine and director of the Human Movement Science Curriculum. She is also a clinical physical therapist for the Division of Physical Therapy’s faculty practice in Hillsborough. Her research focuses on balance and motor control with patients undergoing neurological and geriatric rehabilitation.

Jeliyah Clark

Senior Jeliyah Clark is an undergraduate researcher studying environmental health sciences within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also a Chancellor’s Science Scholar, McNair Scholar, and undergraduate research assistant in the Fry lab. Her research focuses on the impacts of human exposure to environmental contaminants.