2019 Women in Science Symposium

April 25, 2019  1 – 6 p.m.
Lory Student Center Theater
Colorado State University

In 2019, the Women in Science Symposium (WISS) featured Phyllis Wise, Nancy Haigwood and Jan Leach.  Each brought a unique perspective as a leader in science… whether that be in academia, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, or the non-profit sector.



Nancy Haigwood, PhD
Director, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University

Following completion of her postdoctoral training, Dr. Haigwood spent 17 years in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, principally at Chiron Corporation (Novartis) in Emeryville, California, and at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.  From 1997-2007, she was a Professor of Microbiology & Pathobiology at the University of Washington and Member at the Center for Infectious Disease Research, both in Seattle. Since 1986, the focus of her research has been on HIV and AIDS, with a focus on halting mother to child transmission and on vaccines for children and adults. She was recruited to OHSU in 2007 to become the fifth director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center and to continue an active research program. Currently, Dr. Haigwood serves as a volunteer board member for the local AIDS service organization in Portland, the Cascade AIDS Project. She is an advocate for science education & outreach to the public and frequently speaks both locally and nationally on this subject.

Jan E. Leach, PhD
University Distinguished Professor & Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture, Colorado State University

Jan Leach is a plant pathologist whose research focus is to understand the molecular mechanisms of plant disease susceptibility and resistance. Leach also studies how climate changes impact plant disease caused by microbial pathogens, primarily studying rice and interactions with bacterial pathogens, and how the Russian wheat aphid microbiome influences the insects’ aggressiveness to plants. Leach is a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, and she also serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture.

Prior to joining CSU in 2004, Leach was a University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University.  She is a Fellow and a past President of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). She served on the APS Public Policy Board for 16 years, leading advocacy efforts such as the Phytobiomes Initiative, a systems-level approach to improving crop productivity.  Leach is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She is currently President of the International Society of Plant Pathology.

Phyllis M. Wise, University of Illinois  vice president and chancellor, Urbana-Champaign campus

Phyllis M. Wise, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & President, Colorado Longitudinal Study

Phyllis M. Wise is a renowned biomedical researcher and a respected leader in higher education leader. In 2017, Dr. Wise accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer & President of the Colorado Longitudinal Study — an ambitious project to create the largest repository in the world of biological specimens and corresponding data on the social determinants of health status. These biological samples and information on health behaviors will be collected for a 10-year period and will allow public health and biomedical researchers to discover and innovate new diagnostics and therapeutics to systematically improve health and enhance wellness.

Previously, Dr. Wise has served as chief executive officer and chief academic and budgetary officer at pre- eminent research universities, including the University of Washington and the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. She is a passionate advocate for public research universities and the role they must play in meeting society’s greatest global challenges. With over thirty years of research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among other funding agencies, Dr. Wise’s research used animal models to focus on issues of women’s health and how hormones influence learning and memory, while protecting the brain against neurodegeneration. Dr. Wise’ research discoveries include mechanisms that underlie hormonal influences on the brain.

Dr. Wise received her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She holds honorary degrees from Swarthmore College and the University of Birmingham (England). She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


“How We Support One Another for Success”
Facilitated by Erica Suchman, PhD – Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, CSU

Henry Scharf, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Statistics, CSU
Jane Stewart, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Bioagricultural Science & Pest Management, CSU
Gregg Dean, DVM, PhD – Department Head, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, CSU
Gilbert John, PhD – Assistant Dean of Research, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, CSU
Marcela Henao Tamayo, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, CSU
Alex Byas, DVM – PhD Candidate, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, CSU