Engineering Diversity

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  • RECOGNIZING EXCELLENCE
  • TRACKING PROGRESS
  • MENTORING
  • BUILDING EVIDENCE
  • WHAT WORKS
  • RESOURCES

ENGINEERING DIVERSITY

ENGINEERING DIVERSITY

Biomedical Engineering workforce diversity, capitalizing on the full spectrum of skills, talents, and viewpoints, is essential for solving complex human health challenges. The participation of underrepresented individuals in engineering and medicine is a critical issue affecting our nation’s health and the future of research. The urgent national challenge to diversify the scientific workforce calls for research universities, academic medical centers, and national stakeholders to take action.

Women receive only 37% of Ph.D.’s in Biomedical Engineering. (2016)

The American Society for Engineering Education 

 

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African Americans make up less than 2% of tenured/tenure-track faculty in biomedical engineering (2016).

The American Society for Engineering Education

The gender wage gap is within 3% for women in biomedical engineering.

–2016 American Community Survey, US Census Bureau

On-the-move cancer cells prefer a “comfort cruise,” follow predictable paths of least resistance
Cynthia Reinhart-King | September 13, 2019

On-the-move cancer cells prefer a “comfort cruise,” follow predictable paths of least resistance
Cynthia Reinhart-King | September 13, 2019

According to the researchers, migrating cancer cells decide which path in the body to travel based on how much energy it takes, opting to move through wider, easier to navigate spaces rather than smaller, confined spaces to reduce energy requirements during movement. These findings suggest energy expenditure and metabolism are significant factors within metastatic migration, which lends credence to recent clinical interest in the study of metabolomics and the targeting of cellular metabolism as a way to prevent metastasis.

The discoveries appear in a new paper, “Energetic costs regulated by cell mechanics and confinement are predictive of migration path during decision-making,” published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Led by Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering, the research is the first study to quantify the energetic costs of cancer cells during metastasis – enabling the prediction of specific migration pathways. These new findings build on similar research from the Reinhart-King Lab, published earlier this year, which discovered “drafting” techniques used by cancer cells to conserve energy during migration.

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Could an Extracellular Matrix Gel Rebuild MI-Damaged Hearts?
Karen Christman | September 11, 2019

Could an Extracellular Matrix Gel Rebuild MI-Damaged Hearts?
Karen Christman | September 11, 2019

For MI survivors with moderate left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, an injectable biomaterial designed to mimic healthy extracellular matrix (ECM) was found to be safe in a phase I study.

Billed as a potential new approach to heart failure, VentriGel is an ECM hydrogel made from decellularized porcine myocardium and delivered by transendocardial injection using a catheter.

No adverse events definitely related to VentriGel were reported among 15 study subjects with LV dysfunction persisting at 60 days to 3 years post-MI and who had received percutaneous coronary intervention, according to Karen Christman, PhD, of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California, and colleagues in their study published online in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

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Anaerobically Stored Red Blood Cells May Improve Transfusion Outcomes in Hemorrhagic Shock
Pedro Cabrales | September 3, 2019

Anaerobically Stored Red Blood Cells May Improve Transfusion Outcomes in Hemorrhagic Shock
Pedro Cabrales | September 3, 2019

Transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) stored anaerobically – in the absence of oxygen – is a promising technique to improve resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock, according to animal studies reported in SHOCK®: Injury, Inflammation, and Sepsis: Laboratory and Clinical Approaches, Official Journal of the Shock Society. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

“Resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock via transfusion of anaerobically stored RBCs recovered cardiac function, restored hemodynamic stability, and improved outcomes,” write Pedro Cabrales, PhD, of University of California, San Diego, and colleagues. But more research is needed to determine whether the improved recovery seen with anaerobically stored RBCs in rats will translate into benefits for patients in hemorrhagic shock after trauma.

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Most Patients Willing to Share Medical Records for Research Purposes
Lucila Ohno-Machado | August 21, 2019

Most Patients Willing to Share Medical Records for Research Purposes
Lucila Ohno-Machado | August 21, 2019

As medicine becomes both bigger and more personalized, the need for massive databases of patient records, such as the 1 million person All of Us Research Program , become increasingly essential to fueling both new discoveries and translational treatments.

But the looming, lingering question is to what degree are individual patients willing to share medical records and biospecimens with researchers and institutions beyond their personal physician or health care system? And more specifically, how should patients be asked and what information are they most likely to share?

In a novel attempt to answer these questions, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in California, North Carolina and Texas, asked patients at two academic hospitals to respond to a variety of different approaches seeking to share their medical data with other researchers.

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NYU Tandon startup paves the way for pesticide-free cannabis, wine grapes, and other high-value crops
Jin Kim Montclare | August 20, 2019

NYU Tandon startup paves the way for pesticide-free cannabis, wine grapes, and other high-value crops
Jin Kim Montclare | August 20, 2019

Brooklyn Bioscience, a startup company commercializing university research to detoxify a common and dangerous class of pesticides, recently received another round of funding – this time in the form of a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The New York University School of Engineering team behind Brooklyn Bioscience is engineering proteins to remediate and detoxify organophosphates (OPs), which cannot easily be removed by conventional means.

The two-year grant, part of the NSF’s Partnership for Innovation program, was awarded to the startup whose principals include Jin Kim Montclare, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and doctoral candidate Andrew Olsen.

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Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

Not One More Generation: Women in Science Take on Sexual Harassment
ASBMB Today

I was driven out of science by a harasser in the 1980s.”

Coming from a woman who has since helped to found a scientific society, served as director of the Genetics Society of America and presented her research on sexual harassment to a 2018 National Academies panel, it is a surprising statement. But Sherry Marts left academia after finishing her Ph.D. at Duke and never went back.

2018 has been a banner year for confronting sexual harassment in science. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a report on the high prevalence of harassment of women in science, and the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation are updating their sexual harassment policies. It appears that science might be catching up with the #MeToo movement, which has raised awareness of workplace sexual harassment. However, critics say that large institutions are moving too incrementally and could do much more.

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Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Why we’re editing women scientists onto Wikipedia
Nature

Marie Curie is one of the most famous women in science. But her first page on Wikipedia was shared with her husband — until someone pointed out that, perhaps, her scientific contributions were notable enough to warrant her own biography.

That’s the beauty of Wikipedia. It is the fifth most popular website in the world and notches up more than 32 million views a day. A community of volunteer editors collaboratively edit, update and add content to democratize access to a common and constantly updating collection of knowledge. But as with any democracy, results are determined by those who choose to participate. Who edits Wikipedia — and the biases they carry with them — matters.

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Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy
The Hill

In 1871, Margaret Knight earned a patent for inventing a brown paper bag with a flat bottom, the same model that is used in most grocery stores across the country today. More than a century later, African American inventor Lonnie Johnson received a patent for his Super Soaker water gun, a toy that has generated more than $1 billion in sales and has been among the top 20 best selling toys in the world every year since 1991.

The commercial success these inventors enjoyed was based on a strong and open patent system. Except for individuals held in slavery, the U.S. patent system has always welcomed all inventors by awarding patents regardless of race, gender, or economic status. It is an essential engine of innovation. Economic activity from patents in the United States is estimated at more than $8 trillion and intellectual property industries directly and indirectly support 30 percent of all U.S. employment.

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New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

New analysis of funding trends offers encouraging news for female investigators—with caveats
Science

Once female scientists receive a major research project grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), their funding futures are quite similar to those of their male peers, a new study reports. That suggests gender represents a small, and shrinking, barrier to success in a biomedical science career, the authors argue, and it emphasizes the importance of encouraging women to apply for grants in the first place. Yet these statistics belie the significant systemic hurdles that persist for many women, others say.

The study helps illustrate where work remains to be done to truly make opportunities in science equal for men and women, says Donna Ginther, a professor of economics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence who studies the scientific workforce, and who wasn’t involved with the study. “The more evidence we have about where [bias] is happening and where it’s not happening in the pipeline, the better we’ll be able to address those problems.”

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Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals
Code Like A Girl

Have you ever been in a meeting where a colleague says “I’m a great supporter of gender equality, but I’m totally opposed to quotas!” Or, “I believe in diversity, but I won’t stand for positive discrimination.” Maybe you felt a bit troubled by such statements, thinking: that sounds fair, but somehow I don’t think it is… how do I rebut this?

Bias is omnipresent in our society, and some of us are keenly aware of rampant bias in sectors like technology, engineering and politics. Efforts to thwart the effects of bias in communities and institutions prompt a spectrum of diversity initiatives. Many times these lead to backlash. It’s been just a year since the memo “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” spread through the company’s internal channels, then became public. Yet, another wrangle is already blasting online with the article “Why Women Don’t Code,” by a university lecturer. What do we do when privileged individuals continue to turn a blind eye on the injustices around them? They insist on points like “women are less likely to choose computer science,” and that it’s just due to natural differences.

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