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Deborah L. French, PhD

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:03
Director, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core, Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics10Deborah L. French, PhD

My research uses the innovative human pluripotent stem cell (PSC) technology as a tool for modeling genetic diseases to study mechanism, development, and establish new therapeutic modalities. These remarkable induced PSCs (iPSCs) can be grown indefinitely in culture, and they have the ability to form any tissue of the body such as blood cells, heart cells, and neuronal cells. In addition, these cells can be genetically manipulated using the CRISPR/Cas genome editing technology to create control and mutant-specific cell lines that can be compared in downstream applications.

I tell young women interested in pursuing science to believe in themselves with confidence and motivation. Follow your passion for science, and do not give up. Start networking early. Be flexible but firm in your decisions. Find a sounding board who will help you balance home and career. When you hit bottom, take time to lick your wounds but bounce back. Have perseverance, and you will not regret it.

Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:59
Senior Scientist and Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Center for Injury Research and Prevention9Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH

My research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of motor vehicle crashes among children and adolescents. I aim to advance traffic safety research and epidemiologic methods through novel linkages of administrative data sources. I have led the development of a unique data warehouse that integrates statewide New Jersey data on driver licensing, police-reported crashes, CHOP electronic health records, vital statistics, and hospital discharges. Our studies that use this data warehouse address critical foundational questions in traffic safety, impact young driver policy, and provide the evidence base for driving with developmental disabilities.

One of my personal goals is to travel far and wide. Professional travel allows me to visit wonderful places — for example, I lived in Denmark while conducting my dissertation research. I want to instill a sense of adventure and cultural curiosity in my three children. We spent a month in Europe last summer, and they met people from all over the world while I taught a course in Austria.

Renata Pellegrino da Silva, PhD

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:53
Laboratory Director, Center for Applied Genomics8Renata Pellegrino da Silva, PhD

My work focuses on developing advanced genomics technologies and techniques. I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I started my PhD training dedicated to projects involving molecular changes caused by sleep deprivation. My most important academic move was becoming a PhD candidate at CHOP/Penn. With appreciation and determination, I embraced this opportunity to expand my knowledge of genetics in order to help families clarify answers about certain diseases and conditions.

My favorite quote is: “Even when there is darkness, we also see the illumination of the stars and the moon to guide our way.” Never give up! I had a difficult childhood that involved family illness, financial struggle, and frequent displacement. School was my escape and coping mechanism. As a 19-year-old biomedical undergrad, I had an amazing female oncology professor as a role model who was a scientist deeply committed to caring for patients. I want to serve the field of science by exhibiting the same emotional intelligence and hope to see a world transformed through medical discoveries applied equally toward all humans.

Julia Parish-Morris, PhD

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 21:41
Scientist, Center for Autism Research 2Julia Parish-Morris, PhD

Girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are different than boys, but the nature of those differences is just beginning to be understood. My research uses methods from computational linguistics and infrared eye tracking to identify what is unique about autism throughout the lifespan, particularly in girls and women. Understanding how autism may be expressed differently in girls and boys will improve the accuracy of early screening and identification efforts, and will inform personalized interventions to help individuals with ASD reach their full potential.

My one word of advice to young women interested in pursuing science is to persist. The value of diversity in scientific inquiry cannot be understated. Women and other underrepresented individuals bring perspectives to science that historically have been missed or ignored, leading to huge gaps in knowledge. Remember that you personally, and your perspective, are invaluable to scientific progress.

Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 14:53
Senior Scientist and Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Center for Injury Research and Prevention9Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH

My research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of motor vehicle crashes among children and adolescents. I aim to advance traffic safety research and epidemiologic methods through novel linkages of administrative data sources. I have led the development of a unique data warehouse that integrates statewide New Jersey data on driver licensing, police-reported crashes, CHOP electronic health records, vital statistics, and hospital discharges. Our studies that use this data warehouse address critical foundational questions in traffic safety, impact young driver policy, and provide the evidence base for driving with developmental disabilities.

One of my personal goals is to travel far and wide. Professional travel allows me to visit wonderful places — for example, I lived in Denmark while conducting my dissertation research. I want to instill a sense of adventure and cultural curiosity in my three children. We spent a month in Europe last summer, and they met people from all over the world while I taught a course in Austria.

Deborah L. French, PhD

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 14:49
Director, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core, Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics10Deborah L. French, PhD

My research uses the innovative human pluripotent stem cell (PSC) technology as a tool for modeling genetic diseases to study mechanism, development, and establish new therapeutic modalities. These remarkable induced PSCs (iPSCs) can be grown indefinitely in culture, and they have the ability to form any tissue of the body such as blood cells, heart cells, and neuronal cells. In addition, these cells can be genetically manipulated using the CRISPR/Cas genome editing technology to create control and mutant-specific cell lines that can be compared in downstream applications.

I tell young women interested in pursuing science to believe in themselves with confidence and motivation. Follow your passion for science, and do not give up. Start networking early. Be flexible but firm in your decisions. Find a sounding board who will help you balance home and career. When you hit bottom, take time to lick your wounds but bounce back. Have perseverance, and you will not regret it.

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