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Mentoring Across Differences



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Feb 8, 2022 ‐ 10:00 am
End Date/Time-NEW

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, PhD, President of Intersections SBD Consulting, will discuss how we can provide more effective mentoring of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds.

Dr. Villa-Komaroff will describe her life as a scientist, including her family roots, graduate work at MIT, postdoctoral experience involved in the recombinant DNA revolution, and as a new faculty member learning the unwritten rules of academia.

She will discuss:

  • Her current focus on increasing diversity in science, math, engineering and medicine
  • How cognitive processes that underlie human decision making, such as implicit bias, can interfere with increasing diversity in American research and educational institutions
  • How acknowledging these biases in ourselves can unlock more effective mentoring of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds

All of the CHOP and Penn community are welcome to attend.


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Speaker Bio

Lydia Villa-Komaroff, PhD, is a molecular biologist, a business executive, and a diversity advocate. She was one of the early cadre of scientists who first used the ability to join DNA from animals or people to DNA from bacteria to make useful proteins and to study biological processes and human diseases. She is a board member of ATCC and Cytonome. She has served on advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and the Massachusetts Life Science Board. She represented small business for the State Department at an Asian-Pacific Economic conference and serves on several academic advisory boards. She is co-founding member of SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science), a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). She has been honored by election to the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement Award by Hispanic Business Magazine, the 2013 Woman of Distinction from the American Association of University Women, the 2016 recipient of the Elting Morison prize from the MIT Program in Science and Technology, and the 2021 SACNAS Presidential Award. She was one of six women scientists whose work was featured in the PBS series "Discovering Women," her work was the subject of a one-hour segment entitled "DNA Detective." She was one of 11 women scientists profiled on the website of the White House Office of Science and Technology during the Obama administration.