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The Women in Science Series Brings Strength to Research

Judith Berger | Jan 1, 2013, midnight

When the Women in Science project was just an idea, Dr. Rosenberg was a logical person to be involved. She was a member of Women in Medicine and the County Medical Society, which held peer lectures that were highly regarded and well attended.

Dr. Rosenberg is on the advisory committee of WIS and has sponsored medical student participation in the award program annually since the beginning. “It’s important to have female med students attend the series. They are our future scientists and doctors. To see and hear these impressive scientists, doctors and researchers speak about their work may help them further focus in their field of study.”

Never shying from expanding her interests, Dr. Rosenberg is a published author of poetry. Dr. Rosenberg’s second husband, Jack, passed away eight years ago after 20 years of marriage. She has 12 grandchildren and a two-year-old great-granddaughter, whose first word was ‘book.’

Dr. Candice Klug, PhD

Dr. Candice Klug, professor of biophysics, is the chair of the Women in Science committee and has been on the MCW faculty for 11 years. Dr. Klug has a history of advocating for women scientists. She was the chair of the Women Faculty Council that focused on career development and related women’s faculty issues. “Times have changed and it’s gotten better,” she said. But few constructs get better without a catalyst of change. “Women come at careers differently. We don’t tend to advocate for ourselves.”

Dr. Klug remembers being good at math and science as a child. “I especially enjoyed the logic of chemistry in high school. Plus, I had a fantastic high school chemistry teacher at Homestead High School who was so inspiring that I majored in chemistry in college. As for research, I love to solve puzzles and figure out how and why things work. The advantage of being in academia is that I get to choose what I study – as long as I can get the research funded – and that independence is important to me.”

Dr. Klug has been on the WIS committee since its inception. “Men and women bring different strengths to research,” she admits. The Women in Science series provides an opportunity for speakers to gain a different perspective. “These women are doing amazing work; and the series allows them to justify their research and explain the implications to public health. That’s not an opportunity we often get. Researchers typically present to other researchers.”

Topics such as breast cancer research, viruses, cancer vaccines and stem cell research are topical, informative and, sometimes, controversial. “We are looking to raise awareness while creating an atmosphere of philanthropy,” she said.

“For attending students, it gives them an opportunity to see and hear women talk about their career paths as they embark on their science careers.” It exposes students to the community, allows them to network and to hear about other scientific work.

Dr. Paula Traktman, PhD

Dr. Paula Traktman is the senior associate dean, chair and professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Originally from New York City, Dr. Traktman has always been interested in how the world works. “It seemed real to me – I liked the exploration and the elements of truth,” she said of the empirical nature of experiments, collecting data, interpreting results and the lessons that move the next experiment.

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