PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The National Women’s History Project has named two Brown University professors as 2013 Women’s History Month honorees.
The theme of the 2013 celebration is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Brown faculty members Susan Gerbi and Jill Pipher are among the 18 women nationwide to be honored as “extraordinary visionaries and role models in the STEM fields, where women are still noticeably underrepresented.”
National Women’s History Month will be celebrated during March 2013.
Susan Gerbi is the George Eggleston Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry. She was the founder of that department at Brown and served as its chair for 10 years. Her research, much of which is focused on ribosomal RNA and DNA replication, has been recognized with numerous awards including the State of Rhode Island Governor’s Award for Scientific Excellence, election as president of the American Society for Cell Biology, and election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Gerbi is a founding member and past chair of the Women in Cell Biology Group of the American Society for Cell Biology. She is also a founding board member of the Rosalind Franklin Society, whose mission is to recognize, foster and make known the important contributions made by women in the life sciences.
As a national leader in graduate education in the biomedical sciences, Gerbi was one of the founders and chair of the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Graduate Research and Education Training (GREAT) Group. She has testified about graduate education before both the House and Senate Subcommittees on Appropriations. She served for 25 years as director of Brown’s NIH-funded multidepartmental predoctoral training programming in molecular and cell biology and biochemistry.
Gerbi is also the principal investigator of the Beckman Scholars award to Brown for undergraduate research in biology. In this connection and others, she has been active in Brown’s partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
Jill Pipher, professor of mathematics, is director of the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics. At ICERM, Pipher leads a team of six faculty directors and eight staff who operate scientific programs for almost 1,000 visiting faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates tackling crucial mathematics challenges. ICERM is one of eight National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes nationwide, and the only one led by a woman.
In February 2011, Pipher was named president of the Association for Women in Mathematics, which encourages women and girls to study and have active careers in the mathematical sciences and promotes equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the field. The association organizes workshops, lectures and prizes for female mathematicians; matches mentors to young women interested in math and science; and supports national high school mathematics days.
Pipher’s research interests include harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, and cryptography. That work has led to the recent founding of a new technology company. Her awards include an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, Presidential Young Investigator Award, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Fellowship, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship.