STEMinist Profile: Abbie Bellis Stringer, PhD Graduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Abbie Bellis Stringer

Recent PhD Graduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Northwestern University

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
In the 4th grade my class took a field trip to the FBI headquarters in Washington DC and as a part of the tour walked through the forensic chemistry/science lab. In a time before shows like Bones, NCIS and CSI, this was my first time realizing that science was more than bubbling colored liquids. Science could be used to solve problems (and catch the bad guys). Although I didn’t pursue the forensic sciences, since that day I’ve worked to find ways to apply science and math to solve complex problems.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
The thesis work for my PhD involved the designing of an assay that could be used to better understand what is going on inside the communication network in live cells to try to better understand what make diseased cells different from healthy ones. We introduced cells with the luciferase reporter genes (luciferase is what makes fireflies butts glow) in order to monitor events within cells in culture by quantifying the light the cells are emitting.

Role models/heroes:
I’ve always looked up to Hilary Clinton. She is strong-willed, smart and holds her own in a world dominated by men.

Why do you love working in STEM?
I love solving problems, I love being creative, and I love trying to understand the world around me.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Try to surround yourself and work with as diverse people as possible. Learn from your differences and find strength in them.

Favorite website/app:
I’m a big fan of FlipBoard on the iPad, it turns your Google Reader, Twitter and news into a picture-based, personalized magazine. I also love Pinterest for craft and cooking inspiration.

Twitter: @Abbiedbs

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