Pioneering Biomedical Engineer and Advocate for Greater Diversity in STEM to Speak at Mills College

Oakland, CA—March 9, 2020

Biomedical engineer Gilda Barabino sits at her desk facing the camera with a smile, her desktop computer behind her.This fall Mills College will host a pioneering investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease and cellular tissue engineering, Dr. Gilda Barabino, PhD, for an event-filled day on campus culminating in a talk from Dr. Barabino. This talk is the seventh in the College’s Russell Women in Science Lecture Series, which foregrounds the voices of outstanding women scientists who are leaders across a wide spectrum of scientific fields. An accomplished engineer and educator, Dr. Barabino will deliver a lecture that speaks to her important biomedical research and the urgency of advancing diversity in the sciences.

As head of the Barabino Laboratory at the City College of New York (CCNY), Dr. Barabino leads a team of students and researchers who study the mechanical and biochemical cues that influence tissue growth and disease progression. The aim of the research group is to develop a deeper understanding of how to replenish damaged tissue—in particular as a remedy for those afflicted with sickle cell disease, the most common hereditary blood disorder in the United States, which disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

In addition to her groundbreaking lab work, Dr. Barabino has also distinguished herself as a thought leader on promoting racial and gender inclusivity in engineering and in the sciences, writ large. During her tenure at Georgia Tech, Dr. Barabino served as the inaugural vice provost for Academic Diversity and has since founded and continues to serve as executive of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.

“The best science is conducted when we have the most inclusive group of people involved,” says Dr. Barabino; “You can’t possibly have the best minds at the table if you exclude a certain group.”

Today, Dr. Barabino serves as the Dean of Engineering at CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, holding appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, as well as an appointment within the CUNY School of Medicine. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. Additionally, Dr. Barabino is a member of several national science associations, including the Biomedical Engineering Society, of which she has formerly served as president, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, where she also served as president and from which she received its highest honor—the Pierre Galletti Award—in 2017.


Title: Engineering for Societal Impact: One Woman’s Journey to Engineer Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease
Speaker: Dr. Gilda Barabino
Date, Time, Location: TBA*

*This event, orignally scheduled for the spring, has been postponed to the fall of 2020 in accordance with public health advisories.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

About the Russell Women in Science Lecture Series:

The Russell Women in Science Lecture Series at Mills College is an annual event featuring leading female scientists from around the country speaking on topics of global impact. These lectures introduce students and the general public to key scientific issues while highlighting the career opportunities available to young women in the sciences. Mills students have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time learning from inspiring role models before and after the public lectures. See a full list of past speakers. The Russell Women in Science Lecture Series is generously funded by Mills College alumna Cristine Russell '71.

Mills College—Leading the Future of Science for Women:

Mills College has a longstanding commitment to preparing women for leadership in science and has built a vigorous scientific community that fosters student learning, hands-on research, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Although the number of American women pursuing careers in science has increased modestly over the last two decades, the National Science Foundation reports that only 28 percent of the workforce in science and engineering fields in 2015 were female. Mills is committed to encouraging more women to pursue scientific study and creating opportunities for them to find inspiration and mentorship from established leaders. Take a virtual tour of Mills.

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