2020 STEM LEADERSHIP AWARD
RECIPIENT: Dr. Kamana Misra,Founder, ContraRx
President, Association for Women in Science, New Jersey
A scientist with expertise in multiple fields, Dr. Misra has a deep interest in translational science. She leads the Association for Women in Science New Jersey (AWIS CJC) activities as the chapter President where she has spearheaded several initiatives for New Jersey women in STEM. Some of these include Women in STEM Entrepreneurship Challenge, Women in STEM Mentoring Excellence Award, MedHealth Challenge for middle and high school females. Her initiative “Providing Entrepreneurial Alternatives for New Jersey Women with Life Sciences PhDs” designed to encourage women to embrace entrepreneurial ventures was funded through National Science Foundation (NSF) supplemental program in partnership with NJIT I-Corps site. Several STEM entrepreneurial ventures with female leads received mini grants and specialized entrepreneurial training. For these contributions she has been an invited speaker at the UN Headquarters for the UN International Day of Women & Girl in Science. Dr. Misra is currently leading the activities of her startup ContraRx, a company focused on educating users on unintended harmful consequences of polypharmacy. A key focus is to address an unmet market need for women focused pharmacovigilance tools. For example, her recent publication highlighting the probability of higher cardiotoxicity risk in female COVID 19 patients on anti-malaria treatment regimen in “Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine” brought together experts from along the globe to segregate their clinical data on COVID 19 patients into male and female trends. She is truly an inspiration for all of us.
2020 WOMEN’S HEALTH INSTITUTE INNOVATIVE RESEARCH AWARD
RECIPIENT: Dr. Adrian Balica
Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecology & Robotic Surgery
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences,
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Working with Ilker Hacihaliloglu in the Rutgers Department of Biomedical Engineering, he studied ‘Artificial intelligence for evaluation of the endometrial tissue ultrasound data: a precursor for endometriosis diagnosis.’ At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Balica is Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Pelvic Surgery and an esteemed mentor as well as a well published researcher. In the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, he is not only a sought after pelvic surgeon, but also he runs the gynecologic ultrasound unit. He has many administrative positions in the Rutgers Health faculty practice as well as in several committees of the medical school.