2017 Fellows


Kellie Ann Jurado is a postdoctoral scientist in Immunobiology at Yale University. Jurado’s research focuses on the Zika virus (ZIKV), an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause severe birth defects and neurological disease. Jurado is seeking to understand how ZIKV causes damage to the nervous system, which is critical to developing treatments. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will help fund this research and further Jurado’s goal of becoming an independent research scientist. It will also support her work on “Cut the Risk,” an educational campaign on sexual and reproductive health, with a special emphasis on the benefits of the HPV vaccine, targeting minority communities which she is developing with several partners at Yale Medical School and Yale New Haven Hospital. Having benefitted from STEM outreach programs herself, Jurado has been dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM throughout her career, most recently serving as a volunteer teacher in an afterschool program in Connecticut. Jurado, 30, received a Ph.D. in Virology at Harvard University and a B.S. in Biology and Microbiology at New Mexico State University, where she graduated first in her class. Jurado was born and raised in New Mexico, and currently lives in Connecticut, with her husband where she enjoys exercising and cooking in her free time.

Felicity Muth is a postdoctoral fellow in Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Muth’s research focuses on animal behavior and cognition, which is the study of how animals think, learn, and make decisions. Most recently, Muth is conducting research in the lab and in the field to understand how commonly-used pesticides (neonicotinoids) are affecting bumblebees’ foraging and pollination behavior. Since bees are major pollinators of both wild flowers and crops, this question has implications for natural ecosystems and human food security. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will enable Muth to hire a female research assistant and purchase key equipment, both of which will allow her to improve research outputs. Female mentors were critical in Muth’s decision to pursue a career in science, and, in turn, mentoring female students has played a substantial role in her scientific career. Muth has collaborated with the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada and Nevada Bugs and Butterflies and will use some of her fellowship funding to organize outreach activities for young girls through these organizations. Muth, 29, received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of St. Andrews and a degree in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh. Born and raised in London, England, Muth now resides in Reno, Nevada and enjoys rock climbing and hiking in her free time.

Ritu Raman is a postdoctoral fellow in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Raman’s research focuses on the design of new smart materials that dynamically respond and adapt to their environment. Specifically, Raman is developing these smart materials and using them to transform the way we deliver medication to people through the creation of a long-lasting pill device that delivers oral medication more reliably, cost-effectively, and efficiently. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will provide Raman the freedom to conduct her pioneering research and collaborate with other scientists, engineers and clinicians in this effort. Raman has been passionate about inspiring girls and women in STEM fields throughout her career, including helping found and grow the University of Illinois chapter of the Graduate Society of Women Engineers. Raman, 26, received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. Born and raised in India, Kenya, and throughout the United States, Raman now resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she enjoys writing, running, and being outdoors in her free time.

Sydney Schreppler is a postdoctoral fellow in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Schreppler is working to study and measure superconducting qubits, which are tiny circuits that mimic the behavior of the smallest particles in the world. Schreppler hopes that by furthering our understanding of superconducting qubits we can improve today’s devices that rely on precise measurements including microscopes, GPS satellites, MRI machines and computers. Having personally benefitted from her experience as a research assistant early in her career, Schreppler will use a portion of the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship funding to hire a female graduate student mentee who will receive hands-on training and the opportunity to contribute to this innovative study. Additionally, the fellowship will enable Schreppler to build new experiments with superconducting qubits by supporting materials and manufacturing costs. Schreppler is committed to mentoring women within and outside of STEM. In addition to serving as the postdoctoral coordinator for the Society of Women in the Professional Sciences at UC Berkeley, Schreppler also serves as the head coach of the school’s women’s club lacrosse team. Schreppler, 29, received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Physics from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Physics from Yale. Born and raised in Delaware, Schreppler now lives in Berkeley, California where she enjoys hiking, road biking, camping, and skiing in her free time.

Molly Schumer is a postdoctoral fellow in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard Medical School. Schumer’s research focuses on investigating how evolutionary forces shape our genes. Specifically, she is working to understand why a trait that can cause melanoma has persisted in swordtail fish for over a million years. Through this research, Schumer hopes to identify signals that may ultimately help us learn the genetic and evolutionary causes of diseases. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will provide Schumer with independence to pursue this research. Schumer has been passionate about science education throughout her career including working for two years as a Teach for America sixth grade science teacher in rural Mississippi. As part of her fellowship, Schumer plans to work with local schools to start a coding program for middle and high school girls. Schumer, 30, received her Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from Princeton and B.S. in Biology from Reed College. Schumer grew up in Enumclaw, Washington, and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband where she loves to hike, run, travel, and cook in her free time.