February 2012

Research Spotlight in review

/assets/0/366/418/428/2729/2730/2731/50d46b10-233e-4dc4-a5fc-58ab53298108.jpgAvery August

Professor and chairman of the immunology department at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

What motivates him: “The satisfaction of seeing members of my lab make exciting discoveries, seen for the first time, and sharing that with them keeps me working. The satisfaction of seeing students come in not knowing how to use a pipette and leave brimming with excitement about a future in science makes it all worth it.” Read the full interview here. 


Gloria Thomas

Assistant professor at Xavier University of Louisiana, member of the ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee

Lesson learned: “After my B.S. and before entering graduate school, I worked at the Albemarle Corp. in an R&D unit developing a synthetic product. I quickly learned that my worth as a chemist was primarily determined by meeting the color specifications of the marketing teams and the chemical engineers’ existing plant designs. While I enjoyed working with the business teams and engineers, I wanted to experience more freedom in my science.” Read the full interview here.


Kitani Parker Johnson

Assistant professor at Xavier University of Louisiana

Managing loss, setbacks: “I lost my major collaborator, who was also my husband, very suddenly. We had several projects going both between us and independently. To re-focus my research, I had to reach out to someone I not only respected but trusted scientifically and who could serve as a mentor during that incredible time of transition.” Read the full interview here. 



Kristala L. Jones Prather

Associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

An early start: “I don’t think there was ever any particular moment that caused me to gain interest in science. I was always a tinkerer – the kid who had to set the VCR, program the satellite dish (when we lived beyond the reaches of cable in East Texas!), took apart the sink to retrieve lost jewelry, and fixed the toilet with paper clips. I think a career in science and engineering was inevitable for me!” Read the full interview here. 

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