February 2012

Research Spotlight in review

Each month, ASBMB’s education and professional development manager, Weiyi Zhao, highlights the work and life of a minority scientist. In observance of Black History Month, on these pages we look back upon what some of the scientists who’ve participated in the interview series had to say.


Isiah Warner

Vice chancellor for strategic initiative at Louisiana State University, Boyd professor and Philip W. West professor of analytical and environmental chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor

In the beginning: “I always tell of my first chemistry experiment at the age of 2 when I tasted kerosene to see why it produced light. From that experience, I learned the first law of chemistry, i.e. do not taste the chemicals.” Read the full interview here. 


Marion Sewer

Associate professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, member of the ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee

In the thick of it: “I have found that biomedical research, particularly in academia, can be isolating and at times fraught with setbacks and disappointment. In spite of these adversities, I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is to not let speed bumps deter you from your goals and to not be afraid to take detours off a set path if these changes move you closer to a personally satisfying career.”  Read the full interview here. 


Jason Sello

Assistant professor of chemistry at Brown University

Words of wisdom: “I would advise young people from under-represented backgrounds not to view their gender, race or ethnicity as an impediment. Science is not always a meritocracy. However, in this business, ideas are commodities, and publications are the currency. It is critically important to seek out good mentors, empathetic advisers and a network of supportive peers.” Read the full interview here.  


Heather Pinkett

Assistant professor in the department of molecular biosciences at Northwestern University

Forging a path: “Originally, I thought I wanted to be a child psychiatrist; I had even volunteered at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for a summer. When I went off to college, I majored in biochemistry and minored in psychology. Sitting in my psychology classes, I found I was fascinated not only by the discussions of behavior associated with mental disorders but also by our discussions on neurotransmitters. I wanted to know more.” Read the full interview here.  




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