Seven individuals from the University of Pittsburgh were honored at the Carnegie Science Center for their outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. The 21st Annual Carnegie Science Award Celebration honored the recipients in 21 separate categories, as well as Honorable Mentions for each category.
Dr. Kara Bernstein was recognized in the Emerging Female Scientist category (Honorable Mention) and has been with the University of Pittsburgh for six years. Dr. Bernstein’s research focuses on a specific type of gene called RAD51 paralogs and their role in breast and ovarian cancer.
“It’s a tremendous honor and it’s really wonderful to be recognized for our hard work. What I’ve accomplished was really part of a team and being in the right environment at the University of Pittsburgh was critical for the work that we did to make these advances in science. I feel very optimistic about the future and about our ability to make strides in cancer research and come up with new therapies for our patients.”
We also asked her what advice she had to give for other female scientists. “Progress is one step at a time. It’s really important to believe in yourself and ignore individuals who may limit your potential because of whatever bias they may have.”
Click on each award title to see the video on the winners.
University/Post-Secondary Educator Award
Chandralekha Singh University of Pittsburgh
A professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, Chandralekha Singh pioneered research-based efforts to improve teaching and learning in advanced physics courses to help students understand high-level concepts. Dr. Singh is improving diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through involvement with the university’s Investing Now college preparatory program.
Information Technology Award
Alex Jones, PhD University of Pittsburgh An associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Alex Jones is internationally known for his research in “green computing.” His research led to the creation of GreenChip, a tool that provides detailed estimates about manufacturing and operational-phase metrics, such as energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Innovation in Energy Award
Kevin Chen, PhD University of Pittsburgh Kevin Chen is driving innovation with his research on fiber optical sensing technology. The innovations and technologies developed by Dr. Chen’s team have critical applications to improve efficiency of energy production and safety of transportation infrastructures across all aspects of the energy industry.
Life Sciences Award
John Kellum, MD University of Pittsburgh A physician and a researcher, John Kellum is developing new procedures to treat acute kidney injury, which kills more than three million people annually. Dr. Kellum has led a world-wide effort to define acute kidney injury and establish diagnostics and therapeutics to improve health outcomes for this serious condition.
2017 Honorable Mentions
University/Post-Secondary Educator Dr. Peyman Givi, the University of Pittsburgh
Emerging Female Scientist Dr. Kara Anne Bernstein, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Environmental Dr. Emily Elliot, the University of Pittsburgh