Sometimes you read about someone who has so many accomplishments it's hard to figure when they have time to sleep. Pardis Sabeti is one of those people. The profile of the 32-year old biological anthropologist in the April 25 issue of Science was pretty amazing:
- one of the first recipients of a L'Oreal Women in Science fellowship award
- developed a "novel test for natural selection in the human genome" which is being used in research on the evolution of resistance to malaria and Lassa fever
- as a postdoc had more than $600,000 of her own grant money, and is currently a co-investigator on a $2 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant
- named a Trailblazer by Science Spectrum magazine as one of the "top minorities in science" (read the interview)
- named by the London Daily Telegraph as one of the "top 100 living geniuses"
- panelist at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
- received a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Biomedical Sciences
- recently hired as an assistant professor at the Harvard FAS Center for Systems Biology
"Even though I am gregarious, I interact more with [scientific] papers than with people. Deep down, I am just a math geek."Sabeti, who moved to Florida with her family from Iran in 1979, attributes her academic success to her mother:
"My mother crated a summer camp in our house, where she would teach the children and make us do book reports. And my sister, who is 2 years older than me, would teach me and my cousin what she had learned in school."But she also has a creative side. When she has time she writes music and performs with her band, Thousand Days. And she is making videos:
With support from the MIT Council for the Arts and a women-in-science program sponsored by L’Oreal, Dr. Sabeti is planning a series of music videos featuring Boston-based science luminaries such as Dr. Lander and artificial intelligence expert Marvin Minsky.You can see one of them when she is profiled on NOVA, scheduled to air in July.
[. . .]
The videos, which Dr. Sabeti would like to distribute online, will use pop culture to show that science is cool. Her hope is that young viewers will want to learn more about the people in the videos.
For more about her research and her thoughts on women in science, check out the video below of her talk at Seed Magazine's Inspiration Festival in 2006:
She starts talking about women in science - particularly the L'Oreal Women in Science program - at about 14:44.
And the sleep thing? When Science spoke to Sabeti she was managing "only 2 hours of sleep each night, most of them inside a crumpled blue sleeping bag she keeps under a desk . . ."
Tags: Pardis Sabeti, biology, human genetics, women in science