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Sunday, December 16, 2018

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Microbiologist Kelly Doran (left) works with a student. Microbiologist Kelly Doran (left) works with a student.

Empowering Women in STEM

Three SDSU professors were named top 100 inspiring women in STEM fields.
By Hallie Jacobs

INSIGHT into Diversity's list of 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Awards recently recognized 100 women making waves in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Three San Diego State University professors made the list for inspiring and encouraging the next generation of young women to pursue careers in STEM.

Kelly Doran, Professor of Biology

Kelly Doran is a microbiologist who studies how bacterial pathogens cause disease. Her research seeks to understand how the bacterium group b streptococcus penetrates the blood brain barrier in order to cause meningitis in newborns.

A researcher by practice, Doran also found a calling in mentoring and helping students.

"I really enjoy being able to discover new things and watching students grow in their understanding of science and the scientific process," she said. "I really enjoy mentoring students and imparting my love for research."

Students under Doran's direction have achieved success, winning awards and fellowships. Undergrads studying in her lab have gone on to prestigious Ph.D programs at Harvard and her graduate students have secured postdoctoral fellowships and research positions in industry.

Eunha Ho, Associate Professor of Environmental Public Health

Eunha Hoh devotes her research to discovering harmful contaminants nobody knew even knew to look for.

“If you only look for the things you already know are present, then you might miss a lot of other things that could turn out to be extremely important, but you never knew they were there,” Hoh said.

Her current research projects focus on ocean and human health and environmental exposure to tobacco smoke residue and tobacco product waste. Chemicals of interest are known toxic organic pollutants such as persistent organic pollutants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco smoke residues and waste components, as well as potentially toxic brominated/chlorinated flame retardants, their degradation products and other emerging contaminants.

Sara Giordano, Assistant Professor of Feminist Science Studies

Sara Giordano's area of focus is in feminist science studies.

Through her work she critically examines scientific assumptions and claims about race, gender, sexuality, disability and other socially salient categories of difference. She is interested in critical science literacy, the democratization of science and questions of scientific accountability more generally. Her recent work has focused on the fields of synthetic biology and bioethics.  

Before joining the faculty at SDSU, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in women’s studies at Emory University focusing on bioethics. She has also worked as an ethics consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.