LifeOmic November, 2020

Women in STEAM who inspire! A biographical series

Women in STEAM who inspire! A biographical series

This Lifeology card deck highlights women in science, technology, engineering, arts and math who inspire us and inspire you.

52 Cards

Natasha Aziz works in drug discovery at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. She helps to discover new medicines for people suffering from infectious diseases.

Fun facts about Natasha:
  • Drug discovery is complex and can’t be done alone. Natasha works as part of a multi-disciplinary team!
  • After years working on discovery of medicines for cancer, she now works on therapies for patients who live in resource-poor settings.
  • Natasha has had a wide variety of roles: lab head, project team leader, academic relations, operations, program development, scientific education, and currently project & portfolio management!
How Natasha inspires us
  • “When graduate students and postdocs reach out to me to find out what it's like to have a ‘real job,’ they are often surprised to hear how fun and collaborative a job in science can be.” - Natasha
  • Follow Natasha at Lifeology!

Pallavi Tiwari is the director of the brain image computing lab at Case Western Reserve University. She uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help clinicians diagnose and predict cancer in minimally invasive ways.

Fun facts about Pallavi
  • Pallavi works on using AI for personalized treatments of cancer, often for patients who have very limited treatment options.
  • She runs a lab of mostly female scientists and is an advocate of women in STEM!
  • Pallavi loves tennis!
How Pallavi inspires us
  • “Pallavi always pushes the envelope. She inspires and challenges the limits, whether with AI in healthcare or just thinking about how to help those around her.” - Satish Viswanath, colleague
  • Follow Pallavi at Lifeology!

Isabel Rojas-Ferrer is a PhD candidate researching Cognitive Ecology. She tries to understand individual variation in animal personality, how animals learn and how they make decisions.

Fun facts about Isabel
  • Isabel studies how the experiences of zebra finches affect their personality and learning. She also studies bee memory and how bees make decisions!
  • She is an avid advocate of diversity, inclusion and mental health in the sciences.
  • She has a German Shepherd named Vito whom she takes everywhere!
How Isabel inspires us
  • “The ferocity and dedication with which Isabel tackles new theories of learning and information, as well as old problems within her community, are inspiring.” - Ethan
  • Follow Isabel at Lifeology!

Pujaa Rajan is a Deep Learning Engineer at, an AutoML platform startup. She works to improve artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can solve complex problems.

Fun facts about Pujaa
  • She likes to find AI research papers to share and discuss with her team at work.
  • She leads the USA chapter of WomenInAI, which she established in 2019!
  • Pujaa loves reading – she read 71 books last year!
  • She was selected to be a Google Woman Techmaker and a Google Machine Learning Developer Expert.
How Pujaa inspires us
  • “[Pujaa has taught me to] always ask for what you want -- it will lead you to the most valuable opportunities in your career, and open doors you never thought to be possible.” - Software Engineer at Google
  • Follow Pujaa at Lifeology!

Sandra Phinbow is a biomedical scientist and medical educator, teaching people about oncology, dermatology, wound care and women's health. She’s featured in Great Britain's Who's Who!

Fun facts about Sandra:
  • As a former single mum, and a disabled and dyslexic scientist, Sandra has had a lot on her plate. It has never stopped her from achieving! She has worked in hospital labs and is a decorated Army veteran.
  • She was the first female firefighter in Kent!
  • Her hobby is astronomy – she loves to teach people about the night sky.
How Sandra inspires us
  • “I learnt [from Sandra] that if you're born with nothing, and no one expects much from you, you can become anything you want. You have to ignore the naysayers and fight your way to the top in spite of them!” - Matthew
  • Follow Sandra at Lifeology!

Arlene Blum is the Founder of Green Science Policy Institute.
She works to stop the use of harmful chemicals in everyday things, like clothes and cosmetics.

Fun facts about Arlene:
  • She was the first chemist to uncover how bad some chemicals in children’s clothing were. Her research has helped them to be banned.
  • She informs people on the danger of “forever chemicals” that don’t break down when we throw them away.
  • Arlene is passionate about mountaineering. She has led daring all-women mountaineering trips to some of the world’s most remote places!
How Arlene inspires us
  • “Her tireless and logical approach to policy based in science is inspiring. I want to live in the world Arlene is fighting for.” - Kalliopi
  • Follow Arlene at Lifeology!

Tremaine “Tremie” Gregory is a Research Scientist at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
She studies mammals that live in the canopies of tropical forests and how human activities affect them.

Fun facts about Tremie:
  • Tremie pioneered the use of camera traps in the canopy! This opened a whole new way to study the forest as a 3D ecosystem.
  • She is a full time ecologist and a mom of two!
  • She has worked on diverse conservation projects throughout Latin America. She focuses on primates and arboreal mammals that spend most of their lives in treetops.
How Tremie inspires us
  • “Tremie goes for what she thinks is right. Taking camera traps up into the canopy, which she was told numerous times wouldn't work, has led to amazing discoveries and images.” - Diego
  • Follow Tremie at Lifeology!

Julie Rorrer is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemical Engineering at MIT.
She researches how to turn molecules from waste into higher value chemicals and fuels.

Fun facts about Julie:
  • She works on turning recycled plastics and plant waste molecules into renewable fuels, with the help of catalysts.
  • Julie founded “ColorMePhD”, a free colouring book series all about science and engineering research! It makes complicated ideas simpler to understand for young students.
  • She can play the violin!
How Julie inspires us
  • “Julie has taught me to find something you love and go for it! Using your time on something you love is never a waste.” – Julie F.
  • Follow Julie at Lifeology!

Melody Serra is a Tech Instructor for a non-profit that helps young adults who can’t afford college to gain skills and experience.
She has built her career around helping to close the gap of economic disparity.

Fun facts about Melody:
  • Melody is passionate about education and helping others. She volunteers for Girls Who Code and teaches at San Quentin State Prison.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, She has been teaching free science classes to kids over Zoom!
  • She is a talented artist.
How Melody inspires us
  • “Not only is she providing opportunities for young adults to gain skills and experiences through software engineering, she puts her whole heart into it. She cares deeply about each of her students and their future success.”  - Minh
  • Follow Melody at Lifeology!

Lily Edinam Botsyoe is a world changer!
She’s helping to build a future internet that is more inclusive. A leader at Hacklab Ghana, she helps youth in Africa prepare for jobs in tech.

Fun facts about Lily:
  • She has a twin sister!
  • She studied art at the start of high school but borrowed friends’ biology and chemistry textbooks to read!
  • She is inspiring girls by having them illustrate women scientists who have braved the odds. Contact her to support the project.
How Lily inspires us
  • “Lily goes above and beyond with her talent and time, cheery and optimistic. She demonstrates how to see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.” – Joy
  • Follow Lily at Lifeology!

Daisy Shearer is a PhD candidate in experimental quantum physics.

Daisy’s field is ‘semiconductor spintronics’ – finding new ways to control the quantum spin of electrons!

Fun facts about Daisy:
  • Her research could help us make better, faster and more secure computers.
  • She is open about being autistic, to open people’s minds about accessibility for disabled students and employees in STEM.
  • She’s currently working on a new project called “Neurodivergent in STEM”.
How Daisy inspires us
  • “She has shown me personally that anything is possible if you try, and has inspired me to go into further education. She is a brave, courageous person with a heart of gold!”  -  Vicky
  • Follow Daisy at Lifeology!

Moira Jardine is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of St Andrews.

She models the magnetic fields of stars. She is helping us understand how our sun was born and evolved.

Fun facts about Moira
  • She has a skill for making simple models which explain very complex ideas!
  • She studies what the solar system would have been like when it was young, and which other stars shine on planets that could harbor life.
  • She’s the queen of jigsaw puzzles!
How Moira inspires us
  • “Science (and life) are social pursuits and can’t be mastered alone! It’s inspiring and heart-warming to me that she always has time to help anyone with anything she can.” - Rose
  • Follow Moira at Lifeology!

Signe Elizabeth Aasberg, PhD, immunology researcher at the NTNU, Norway.

Signe studies how your body uses an army of proteins and cells to fight disease!

Fun facts about Signe:
  • Signe looks at why some people have a higher risk of developing sepsis, when the immune system, the body’s “army”, overreacts to an infection.
  • She loves archery and video games!
  • She helps to create science comics for kids!
How Signe inspires us
  • “She inspires me with her passion to bring broader audiences (including kids!) to science and health conversations.” - Paige
  • Follow Signe at Lifeology!

Jessamyn Fairfield, PhD, lecturer at National Univ. of Ireland Galway.

Jessamyn is a physicist who is working on what seems like science fiction - creating electronics that can learn like a brain, and heal themselves!

Fun facts about Jessamyn:
  • Jessamyn is both a US citizen and a Irish citizen.
  • She combines science and stand-up comedy, as a founder of Bright Club Ireland!
  • She helps other women in science to share their work and become leaders.
  • She plays the ukulele and sings songs about science live on stage!
How Jessamyn inspires us
  • “I love that Jess sees the importance of cultural exchange between science and the arts, and that she's constantly pushing herself and trying new things.” - Maura

Bethann Garramon Merkle, MFA, science communicator and educator.

Bethann mentors other scientists to help them better communicate science with other people.

Fun facts about Bethann:
  • Bethann teaches courses in science writing and science communication at the University of Wyoming.
  • She is an artist. She helped to create street murals in Laramie, Wyoming, featuring pronghorn!
  • She speaks English and French.
How Bethann inspires us
  • “Bethann has taught me to believe in myself as a person and as a scientist. She has helped me with my writing and art skills! She cares very much for all of the students she interacts with.” - Emily
  • Follow Bethann at Lifeology!

Meenakshi ‘Meena’ Das, technology educator.

Meena works on finding inclusive ways to help teach computer science to people with disabilities.

Fun facts about Meenakshi:
  • She is working on using sign language to help teach Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, and new ways to teach coding to blind students.
  • Her speech disability has not stopped her from loving public speaking!!
  • She loves animals.
How Meenakshi inspires us
  • “In technology it’s so important to be inclusive of all voices. Her work gives people with disabilities the opportunity to be a part of building tech. She's an incredible advocate for people with disabilities.” - Dasani
  • Follow Meenakshi at Lifeology!

Amanda Obidike, Founder of STEMi Makers Africa.

Amanda is a data scientist who mentors and empowers girls! She has won lots of awards for helping girls and women.

Fun facts aboud Amanda:
  • She runs a library for underserved communities.
  • She promotes entrepreneurship, clean energy, data science and better education.
  • She is currently writing a book called: “The Can of Worms”
How Amanda inspires us
  • “Amanda inspires us here in Beau, Cameroon even amidst the ongoing war we have. She ensures we are empowered to fend for our families. I have learned from her how to persevere in times of conflict or lack.” - Okwuchi
  • Follow Amanda at Lifeology!

Nominate a woman in STEAM who inspires you today!

We will feature your nominee at, and two women each month will also be selected for illustration in this card deck!

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