HBA-MA WIScience scholarship

The HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter WIScience scholarship: The premier catalyst for developing women leaders in science was developed to attract budding and aspiring healthcare professionals with a scientific background to the HBA from academia and government organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region.

All scholarship recipients were responsible for the following:

  • Experience the value of the HBA through participation - attend at least one HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter WIS and one HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter event.
  • Meet approximately 6-8 times throughout the year with their assigned mentor.
  • Volunteer to support an activity or initiative in the HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter.

2013 scholarship winners:
Natalie Leach PhD
Post-doctoral fellow
National Institutes of Health*
Natalie Leach is committed to preparing students for careers in biotechnology. She has nine years of experience teaching in the classroom, laboratory and community to promote interest in biotechnology careers and STEM (science technology engineering and math) education. Her training in basic science research is highlighted by multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, oral presentations, training grants and awards. Natalie received her PhD from the University of Iowa and BS from Oklahoma State University. Natalie recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and is embarking on a career in scientific education. She has recently joined the faculty at Northern Virginia Community College – Manassas as an assistant professor.

Kate Sheffey
Biotechnology master’s program
Johns Hopkins University *
Kathleen Sheffey is a senior chemist at Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. She received her BS in forensic chemistry with a minor in molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics from Towson University. In her current position with Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Kate is working to better understand and enhance pharmaceutical dosage forms and raw materials for commercial product, focusing specifically on medications affecting the central nervous system. She has a passion to learn about, understand and better aid the process of developing new indications for known drug products and helping those new indications to reach the market faster. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in biotechnology enterprise at Johns Hopkins University.

Martha Sklavos PhD
Post-doctoral fellow
SAIC, Frederick National Laboratories Cancer Research *
Martha Sklavos received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2001. She spent the next three years gaining additional research experience as a laboratory technician and subsequently entered the biomedical research graduate program at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine in 2004. Martha’s thesis focused on type 1 diabetes and she received her PhD in immunology in 2009. Martha was a post-doctoral fellow with SAIC-Frederick in the Human Papillomavirus Immunology Laboratory at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in Frederick, Maryland. Martha was awarded a “Funding to Advance Research on Cancers in Women” grant from the National Cancer Institute in May 2012 to investigate a novel biomarker for cervical cancer risk. She led several clinical studies to define the role of this novel biomarker in additional cancer types. After completing the scholarship program, Martha transitioned into a new position as associate research project manager at MedImmune.

Sonia Step
PhD candidate
University of Pennsylvania *
Sonia Step grew up in the Boston area and moved to Philadelphia for college in 2005. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in biochemistry. She is continuing at University of Pennsylvania to pursue a PhD in pharmacology with expected completion in 2014. Her graduate research is focused on the transcriptional regulation of adipocytes by thiazolidinediones, a class of anti-diabetic drugs.

*Affiliation at time of scholarship award

Scholarship winner testimonials:

"The HBA has been a guiding light that keeps getting brighter through HBA volunteerism, connecting with individual members and attending virtual and live events within the organization. As a result of my first year as an HBA member I have formed lifelong personal and professional connections, been advised by the best in the business, and made leaps and bounds in my pursuit of the career I have always wanted, but wasn’t sure how to attain. What a difference a year makes." - Martha Sklavos, PhD, HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter WIScience scholarship recipient 2013-2014

“Because of my HBA experience, I explored career options, identified my goals, and turned those goals into reality by landing a new job.” - Sonia Step PhD candidate, HBA Mid-Atlantic chapter WIScience scholarship recipient 2013-2014

Check back for more information on the 2016 application process.

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