“Stay Curious! Science Needs You!”
These were the encouraging words Nobel Prize winner and Salk Institute for Biological Studies CEO Elizabeth Blackburn shared with 300 teenage girls as her presentation came to a close at a recent event held at Salk’s auditorium in La Jolla.
The all-female audience consisted of students from six different high schools in the San Diego Unified School District, all of whom gathered to attend “Women in Biotech”.
The event was the most recent installment in the STEAM Leadership Series that aims to connect students with local executives in STEAM-oriented careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
The San Diego Foundation is a founding sponsor of the program, which is put on by Intellectual Capital and Kids Eco Club, in partnership with San Diego Unified School District.
“I learned that it really means a lot to be a woman in [the biotech] field,” said San Diego High School student Deandra Escanuela, who hopes to pursue a career in Medicine. ”To be a Hispanic girl, it would mean a lot to me to pursue this career and have this influence from these women.”
In addition to Blackburn, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, students heard from a panel of six local female scientists who shared stories of their ups and downs on their way to professional success, including:
- Asako Navarro, M.S. Research Coordinator, San Diego Zoo & Wildlife Park
- Megan Owen, PhD, Associate Director, Applied Animal Ecology, San Diego Zoo & Wildlife Park
- Ida Khodami, Sr Manager, Engineering at ILLUMINA
- Pantea Khodami, Manager, Market Development at ILLUMINA
- Corina Antal, Evans Gene Expression Lab at Salk
- Elena Blanco-Suarez, Allen Molecular Neurobiology Lab at Salk
The STEAM Leadership Series has reached more than 29,000 students in 25 San Diego high schools.
The second annual “Women in Biotech” event continued the mission of the STEAM Leadership Series to bridge the science, education and high-tech business communities along career pathways that empower young people to live their dreams and explore their options.
The next STEAM event is scheduled for June 1 on the USS Midway Museum. For more information, contact Steve Chapple at firstname.lastname@example.org.