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.

Samantha Kistler

Samantha Kistler is a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating the modifications that occur within Ras proteins, which may allow for protein-specific drug targeting. Mutated Ras proteins are found in up to 30 percent of cancers.

Jillian Dempsey

Jillian Dempsey is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding how to harness the sun’s energy to create clean fuel.

Rima Janusziewicz

Rima Janusziewicz is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences, and a graduate research assistant in the DeSimone Lab. Her research focuses on a more effective way to 3-D print objects called continuous liquid interface production and how that method aids application development for the life sciences.

Ling Lin

Junior Ling Lin is an undergraduate researcher within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences double-majoring in chemistry and Asian studies. She is also a McNair Scholar and a Chancellor’s Science Scholar. Her research focuses on developing novel antiplatelet therapeutics to inhibit blood clot formation and prevent the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Haley Moser

Senior Haley Moser is an undergraduate researcher within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences double-majoring in environmental sciences and geography. Her research focuses on utilizing geographic data to identify the spread and level of nutrients and contamination within waterbodies after a major weather event like a hurricane — information that helps local governments better prepare for when the next storm hits.

Tonya VanDeinse

Tonya VanDeinse is a clinical assistant professor within the UNC School of Social Work. Her research focuses on how to improve mental health and criminal justice outcomes for adults diagnosed with both mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Victoria Whitley

Junior Victoria Whitley is an undergraduate researcher within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences majoring in applied mathematics. She is also a research assistant in the Joint Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences Fluids Lab. Her research focuses on understanding how some salts dissolve in corn syrup, causing stratified fluids to diffuse unevenly.

Nena Peragallo Montano

Nena Peragallo Montano is the dean of and professor within the UNC School of Nursing. Her research focuses on health disparities in HIV prevention among Latinos, as well as translating research into best practice within the community.

Elizabeth Wayne

Elizabeth Wayne is a postdoctoral fellow in the Carolina Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on using nanomedicine to manipulate the natural behavior of immune cells for the delivery of therapeutics.

Allison Mathews

Allison Mathews is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Her research focuses on the use of crowdsourcing to learn how to better engage communities about the social and ethical implications of HIV cure clinical trials, HIV testing, and other health services.