Thursday, 26 March 2009

Ada Lovelace Week Day 4: Nina Schor

Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., is a scientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center studying both neuroblastoma (the most commonly occurring childhood brain cancer) and neurodegenerative disorders. Scientific American has called her "a reluctant poster-child" for women in the sciences, and as such, I feel like it's worth a post about her here.

Schor had been interested in the sciences from a very young age. While attending Benjamin Cardozo High School in New York City, she entered the Westinghouse competition (now called the Intel Science Talent Search) with an experiment that determined the effect of aldehydes (a type of chemical compound found in car exhaust) on the ability of plants to produce chlorophyll. In 1972 she became the first woman ever to win the competition -- it had been open to both sexes since 1949.

She went on to get her BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale in 1975, her PhD in Medical Biochemistry at Rockefeller in 1980, and her M.D. from Cornell University Medical School in 1981. I can't possibly list all her certifications here, and I honestly don't understand enough about her work to explain it. She has been named repeatedly to the Best Doctors in America list, has been the keynote speaker at a number of presitgious events, and is currently the William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She and her team there are pioneering new treatments for neuroblastoma, as well as for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Here is a link to her profile at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where you can find a list of her current appointments and most recent articles. Oh, and a link to a brief interview with her over at



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