University of Washington, USA
OSA Member since: 2006
OSA Fellow since: 2010
My research focuses on the role of experience in sensory processing. Past work includes measuring performance in patients who were implanted with electrode retinal prostheses and examining the effects of long term blindness on the brain (and the effects of sight recovery) using a combination of behavioral measurements and magnetic resonance imaging.
Being the chair of the Vision group at OSA was a highlight because it made me realize that I had magically transformed (over the course of 10 years) from being a very disorganized person in graduate school to a very organized person as a junior professor. I think now I have tenure I’m regressing backto being disorganized.
What is your advice for balancing one’s professional and personal life?
Marry a person who is prepared to do at least 50% of the childcare, housecleaning, oil changing and the rest of the organizational nonsense that eats up one’s life. Make them swear to it before you marry them, and then make them keep to their promise.
Do you have suggestions for how female scientists support each other’s careers and development?
I think the difference between women and men's professional lives is shrinking: as men do more in terms of family it is becoming tough for both genders to find any kind of balance. I know many young scientists of both genders who are very concerned about this. I wish the younger generation would be more vocal and assertive about this issue to NSF, NIH and within their own University. The only way things are going to change is if young scientists demand better maternity/paternity provisions.
Women sometimes do need to encourage each other to hang tough when negotiating "marriage" responsibilities, especially when the woman has a partner who is more established.
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