Meet Women in STEAM who Inspire! September Edition

Illustration of Pujaa Rajan

Women in STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, math, and medicine) are rocking it in the world today, doing excellent but often under-promoted work. We want more people to know about these women and their work, including girls who might dream of careers in STEAM fields! That is the goal of our “living” Women in STEAM Lifeology card deck!

Each month, we feature new women in this living digital card deck, based on women nominated here. But all women nominated are also featured in this monthly Women in STEAM blog post.

We’ve also partnered with 500 Women Scientists to feature women from their Request a Woman in STEMM platform in a unique Lifeology card series, which we’ve now updated for September here!

We’ve featured two new amazing women in our illustrated card decks for September!

Pujaa Rahan is featured in our Women in STEAM deck. Based in San Francisco, she is a Deep Learning Engineer at Node. She has a love for AI and research and looks to apply it in as many ways as she can to help the world by solving complex problems. She also leads the USA chapter of WomenInAI and is a Global ambassador, having founded the chapter in 2019. Pooja has a love for learning and is an avid reader, having read an astonishing 71 books last year! She also reads research papers with her team and discusses how they can apply their learnings to their current work at Node. She is also a Google Woman Techmaker and Google Machine Learning Developer Expert.

What I have learned from Pujaa..“Always ask for what you want — it will lead you to the most valuable opportunities in your career and open doors you never thought to be possible.”  – Software engineer at Google

Launch Women in STEAM
Illustration card of Lauren Edwards

Lauren Edwards is featured in our 500 Women Scientists Who Inspire deck. She is trained in neurorehabilitation, specializing in motor recovery and learning after stroke. She utilizes techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroencephalogram, and fine-skilled motor tasks to probe networks of neuroplasticity after neurologic insult. In addition to being a scientist and doing research in the lab, Lauren is passionate about STEM outreach. She is the director of the Fellowship for the Future Program and actively leads the Reproductive Justice Initiatives serving and transforming society one project at a time. Lauren’s work has been dedicated to using her scientific background to foster excitement about STEM in young Black communities while advocating for academia to be a more appreciative and nourishing space for Black scholars.

“My favorite thing about Lauren’s work is her attitude and enthusiasm towards new challenges. I have never worked with anyone who is as positive and who never gets discouraged. She’s full of ideas, she never gives up, and her leadership guides others towards achieving their goals!” – Francesca Bernardi

Launch 500 Women Scientists Who Inspire

Other Women in STEAM who inspired us this month!

Photo of Dr. Prerna Vohra

Dr. Prerna Vohra is a Lecturer in Microbiology at the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh. She is looking at how gut bacteria interact with human and animal hosts to cause disease and is developing vaccine technologies to prevent this. She’s not intimidated by the size of a question – even if it’s as big as a cow! She’s gone from working on C. difficile spores to Bacteroides genetics, to large animal studies of Salmonella and Campylobacter in chickens – hugely different areas of expertise, with similar questions in mind.  Prerna also came up with a way to study mixed strain bacterial infections in large animal studies without any genetic modification by using deep sequencing. This new method means scientists can look at more than 10 strains in parallel, reducing the need to use as many animals in their research. 

“She is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone to learn what she needs to find an answer to a scientific question. She does this all with grit, determination, and above all, kindness.” – Eliza Wolfson

Nominate a Woman in STEAM