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#WHM AWIS Member Spotlight - Dr. Neena Schwartz

Posted By Amy Neale, Thursday, March 10, 2016

Neena Schwartz, PhD
Professor of Endocrinology Emerita
Department of Neurobiology at Northwestern University
Founding Member of AWIS


Neena Schwartz’s legacy is not only with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), but also through her work on female reproductive biology and the regulation of hormonal signaling pathways. Her work played a major role in the developing the modern understanding of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in endocrinology and was mainly significant in discovering the hormone inhibin.


An active feminist advocate for women in science throughout her career, Neena is a founding member of AWIS and shared the founding presidency with Dr. Judith Pool. She remembers the spark that became AWIS originating after drinks at a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology meeting with other women scientists frustrated with their situation.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Neena received her bachelor’s from Goucher College and her PhD in physiology from Northwestern University as the only female PhD student in the department.  Her love of science began while conducting undergraduate research with Curt Richter at Johns Hopkins University and at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.


Neena’s achievements in science have not gone unrecognized. She received the Williams Distinguished Service Award from the Endocrine Society in 1985 and the Carl Hartman Research Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction in 1992. In 2010, Neena wrote her memoir, A Lab of My Own, in which she came out as lesbian. She says she wrote the book "because no one had documented the feminist movement in science. Eventually I realized that if I was going to talk about my life, I had to really talk about it.”

Tags:  #WHM 

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