Pharmacology Department Celebrates Women in Biomedical Sciences

October 3, 2023 by

Women in biomedical sciences event

Michelle Bland (holding cards) celebrates women in biomedical sciences with Dean Kibbe (far right) and other supporters.

The School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology celebrated women in biomedical sciences at an event held September 29 on the McLeod Hall Patio. Attendees enjoyed a beautiful sunny afternoon sharing refreshments and networking as Michelle Bland, PhD, handed out “trading cards” with profiles of women who have made significant contributions to the field of pharmacology and to biomedical sciences over the years.

Venus Jones, MD

Venus Jones, MD

Included among these women profiles was a UVA School of Medicine alumna, Venus Jones, MD, who completed her residency in neurology and became chief of neurology at Andrews Air Force Base. She was the first Black student to graduate from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) and was the only Black woman in her class at UVA. The UVA Society for Black Biomedical Scientists and Engineers, co-created by pharmacology graduate student Synphane Gibbs-Shelton, provided informational posters and representatives from the SOM’s Committee on Women in Medicine and Science also attended the event.

Dr. Bland, one of the event organizers, came up with the idea to create the trading cards as a way to inspire a younger generation of scientists and remind everyone of important contributions women have made to BIMS. Several of the attendees expressed intentions to pass the cards along to their daughters to help inspire their budding interests in science.

Dr. Bland is an associate professor of pharmacology and a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion strategist (JEDI) for the Department of Pharmacology. She studies molecular mechanisms linking innate immune and insulin signaling to control cell growth and metabolism.


Filed Under: Community, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion