The Fogarty International Center and the Office of Research on
Women's Health cosponsored a celebration of International Women's
Day in early March at the Lawton Chiles International House.
Three international researchers presented talks on the theme "Women
in Science, Women in Health." They discussed the links between
their research at NIH and the health of women around the world.
A networking reception followed the event.
|Three researchers (from l) Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero, Dr.
Carolina Barillas Mury and Dr. Y. Peng Loh present talks on the theme “Women in
Science, Women in Health” for a celebration of International Women’s Day.
Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero, staff scientist in the Laboratory of Cellular
Carcinogenesis and Tumor Promotion, NCI, spoke on "Basic Science
and Women's Health." Presenting her findings from the past 15 years
of research, she discussed the genotoxic effects of anti-HIV therapies
and the impact this knowledge has had on health practices. Research
indicating increased rates of cancer in mice exposed to AZT in
utero has heightened awareness of the potential drawbacks of anti-retroviral
therapy in pregnant women, leading to long-term surveillance of
the affected population.
Dr. Carolina Barillas Mury, an investigator in the Laboratory
of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID, spoke about her research
and career in a talk titled "A Tale of Female Mosquitoes, Malaria
in the Tropics, and Women in Science." Discussing her research
on the response of mosquitoes to invasion by malaria parasites,
Barillas linked her analysis of biochemical reactions to the goal
of disrupting transmission of malaria from mosquito to human. Originally
from Guatemala, Barillas described her decision to study malaria
in mosquitoes by saying, "I wanted to use my medical training and
to make a difference, so it had to be a human disease. And if I
couldn't live in Guatemala, I at least wanted to study a disease
of the tropics."
Dr. Y. Peng Loh, chief of the section on cellular neurobiology,
NICHD, spoke on "Asian Women Scientists' Contribution to Health." First
focusing on her own work, she discussed the intracellular sorting
of two hormones: CART and insulin. Mutations in CART and insulin
genes leading to mis-sorting of these hormones have been linked
to certain forms of obesity and diabetes. Loh is currently collaborating
on the development of novel therapies for such disorders. She concluded
her talk by highlighting the contributions of notable Asian women
in science and health, and by sharing her "10 Golden Rules for
Women in Science." The key element? Visibility, visibility, visibility.