Meet Jessica, a molecular and cellular biologist currently employed by Cell Microsystems as the Senior Director of Product Applications. She has worked in a multitude of fields, including cancer research, toxicology, regenerative medicine, and most recently life science tools development. Jessica holds a BS in Biology from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Molecular Cancer Biology from Duke University.
In her current role, Jessica has the opportunity to use Cell Microsystems's technology to innovate workflows in cell biology. "I tell everyone on my team," Jessica says, "that we don't follow protocols, we create them. We get to use our microscopy and cell isolation platform to dream up new ways that our technology can enable advances in research and development in a range of applications (drug discovery, gene therapy, etc.)."
Cellular Biologist (n) - a scientist who studies the physiological properties and structure of cells and their interaction with other biological organisms
An inspiration to young women considering career paths in STEM, Jessica shared that her "entire team is made up of incredibly intelligent, hard-working female scientists." What a great reminder that there are so many opportunities available out there for the scientifically curious!
"Science is an amazing way to combine analytical thinking and logic with creativity and innovation. There is really no more inspiring feeling in the world than the thrill of discovery and success after repeated experimentation and failure."
Jessica attributes much of her interest and engagement in STEM research to "truly terrific" scientific mentors, of which her mother stands out as her first inspiration to become a scientist. A microbiologist herself, Jessica's mother would bring Jessica and her sister to work with her during school breaks and the girls would have "pipette box stuffing" races - winner got a candy bar from the vending machine at mom's lab! Her mother also highly encouraged her interest in research projects, participation in science fairs, and enrollment at a STEM magnet school. Such an amazing mom! 💕
One of Jessica's interview responses really stuck out as one that likely resonates with many women in STEM: that of being a full-time working mother. Jessica has two "high energy" boys, and she has dedicated incredible effort to finding a sustainable and fulfilling work-life balance between her professional passion and her family.
"When I was pregnant, every boss I had repeatedly asked if I was going to 'come back to work,' so it's been my mission to continue to advance in my field while also being a mom. It's definitely not always easy, and often I feel like some aspect of my life is not getting the attention it deserves, but it was important to me that as a woman in STEM I be able to have a career and a family."
Shop yarns inspired by Jessica and other inspirational real women in STEM.