Last week WiSE teamed up with CSHL’s Diversity Initiative for the Advancement of STEM (DIAS) and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to host Dr. Ushma Neill for a special seminar on allyship – what allies are, why they’re necessary in STEM, and how women and minority scientists can be best supported by their colleagues. Dr. Neill is the Vice President of Scientific Education and Training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her responsibilities include overseeing the academic curriculum and organizing career and professional development opportunities for pre-and postdoctoral trainees at MSKCC. Prior to her current position she worked at MSK as Director of the Office of the President Dr. Craig Thompson where her role was central to leading and designing the strategic agenda.
Dr. Neill received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University where she studied pulmonary mechanics and mathematical modeling, after which she conducted post-doctoral research at Imperial College of London as a Marshal Sherfield Scholar studying vascular permeability. Shen then spent two years as a manuscript editor at Nature Medicine before joining the Journal of Clinical Investigation as Executive Editor. She is now the Editor at Large and part of the all women editorial staff at JCI.
Dr. Neill’s other passions include advocating for bettering scientific communication so that scientist can relay their research with broader public appeal. She is a prolific writer with multiple articles highlighting important issues that scientists deal with. In 2017, Dr. Neill published in the Scientific American Journal where she talked about the “me too” movement and different individuals experience. From her the article, there’s a quote that resonates with us and is a testament to her bravery and willingness to say how she feels, it reads: “And to those of you who argued that Scientific American was not the place to discuss sexism in science, I counter: then where else can we engage in a public dialogue about how to treat fellow scientists?”—Dr.Neill is a prime example of a minority in STEM who not only conducted rigorous research but through her career and positions, takes time to advocate for other minorities. It was our great pleasure to host Dr. Ushma Neill at the brand new seminar on the topic of Intersectionality in STEM.
Huge thanks to DIAS’ David Johnson and WiSE workshop Chair Grinu Mathew and for writing this special WiSE Wednesday piece!