Emory Female Inventors

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Emory University is home to many brilliant female inventors, whom have contributed ground breaking research and innovation to the society at large. From new treatment methods to life threatening diseases to new accessible techniques of health education, Emory women help shape the world we live in today. March is Women’s History Month and we will be highlighting historical female inventors as well as Emory’s historical female figures and inventors through a series of five blog posts. Here five Emory inventor’s. We hope you enjoy.

  • Marcia Holstad: Consistent and regular dosage of antiretroviral medication is an absolute necessity for all HIV positive individuals. Without strict adherence to a daily treatment regimen these individuals risk further illness or spread of the disease. To combat this problem, Marcia Holstad DSN/RN-C/FNP created the LIVE network, a music program used to educate and motivate HIV positive individuals about living with HIV and the importance of regular medication. The network features multiple music genres; all of which contain original content that is not only accessible and enjoyable, but also informative. The initial response to this music program by a focus group of HIV positive patients was extremely positive with many participants asking to share the network with their loved ones. Holstad used this innovative education method to not only help improve HIV treatment, but also to make learning about the disease and its treatment more fun.

  • Lily Yang: Lily, professor of surgery and radiology, and Nancy Panoz, chair of surgery in cancer research, came to Emory with the goal of exploring the use of nanotechnology to fight disease, with a focus on cancer. She is currently conducting groundbreaking research to develop multifunctional tumor-targeting nanoparticles to detect and identify primary and metastic tumors. She hopes to further the use of these particles to deliver therapeutic agents to targeted tumors. Though a final treatment method has yet to be produced, Yang’s work shows great promise in revolutionizing cancer treatment. (Read read more on our website here.)

  • Cecilia Bellcross: Although the general population is acutely aware of the possible genetic heritability of certain strains of breast cancer, the referral process of at risk patients to undergo genetic testing has been historically erratic. Cecilia Bellcross (TITLE) noticed this discrepancy between at risk patients and genetic testing and saw the need for a more efficient screening tool that would suggest whether a woman should consider further genetic counsel regarding susceptibility to heritable breast cancer. Thus, the B-RST screening tool was born. This method asks women 6 basic questions regarding their personal and familial cancer history to identify individuals particularly vulnerable to heritable breast cancer. The results of this screening tool can then recommend whether those individuals should seek further medical council and genetic testing. The B-RST tool was such a success it is used by individuals and medical professionals around the world.

  • Sheila Angeles-Han: Approximately 5 million children in the U.S. suffer from some degree of visual impairment, however many available diagnostic surveys regarding visual ailments are written for adults. Recognizing the need for an age appropriate diagnostic tool, Sheila developed a new survey made up of questions to assess the effect of visual impairment on the quality of life and function in youth. This survey has vastly improved both the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosing and treating impaired vision in children. (Read more on our website here.)

  • Rani Singh: When it comes to metabolic disorders like Urea Cycle disorders or Phenylketonuria, the use of drug or vitamin supplement based treatments is often less successful than the use of a strict dietary regimen. These types of disorders are often negative reactions to intake of certain amino acids or compounds. Therefore, using a structured dietary plan, including restriction and or avoidance of certain foods, many metabolic diseases can have minimally disruptive symptoms. However, active and diligent adherence to medically suggested dietary guidelines is often extremely complex and arduous. Knowing this, Rani, the director of metabolic nutrition program at Emory’s division of medical genetics, developed a pocket-sized food list booklet that contains clear and accessible information on specific metabolic diseases as well as medically recommended dietary restrictions. (Read more on our website here.)

Interviews with two female inventors
Barbara Rothbaum – Treating Anxiety Disorders: Balancing the Real World and the Virtual World
Harriett Robinson – From Academic Researcher to Startup Scientist: Leaving the Lab to Pursue Your Innovation