EWIS Leadership

2018-2019 EWIS Officers 

Kristina burrack

Kristina Burrack Ph.D.
Executive co-chair and Finance and Grant Writing Coordinator, kburrack@umn.edu

Kristina received her Ph.D. in immunology in 2014 from the University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus. Her thesis work focused on investigating the immune response to mosquito-transmitted viruses, specifically chikungunya virus and Ross River virus, which cause severe arthritis-like symptoms. She also received a Certificate in Clinical and Translational Science from the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and a Certificate in Global Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, investigating the immune response to malaria infection. She is passionate about global public health and infectious disease research. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys participating in triathlons, hiking, reading, cooking, and trying new breweries.



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Tijana Martinov
Executive co-chair and Public Relations co-chair, mart3527@umn.edu

Tijana is a Ph.D. candidate in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICaB) program, studying immune tolerance in the context of type 1 diabetes in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Fife. Tijana is currently serving as the EWIS Public Relations co-chair, where her duties involve advertising and promoting events, as well as increasing EWIS presence on social media. Tijana is the president of the Association of Multicultural Scientists, and an active member of the Career Development Committee within her graduate program. She is dedicated to closing the gender gap in science, and improving diversity and inclusion in the STEM fields. She helped organize science outreach events for 100+ children from local communities, in an effort to inspire young students to pursue careers in science. In her free time, Tijana enjoys reading, cooking, dancing and playing basketball.



Pam R

Pam Rosato, Ph.D.
Logistics Coordinator, prosato@umn.edu

Pam received her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College where she studied the neuronal immune responses to herpes simplex virus. Pam has been a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. David Masopust in the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota for two years. There, she studies immune memory T cells residing in tissues and how they can be exploited for cancer therapy and vaccine design. She has participated in science outreach by serving as a judge for the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair, and has served as a TA and taught several undergraduate and graduate courses. In her role as the Logistics Coordinator for EWIS, Pam schedules meetings, keeps detailed records, and works closely with Event Planning Co-chairs to ensure smooth event execution. In her free time, she enjoys running and playing with her two cats and dog.



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Jessica Fiege Ph.D.
Partnership and Collaborations chair, fiege018@umn.edu

Jessica received her Ph.D. in 2014 from the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics graduate program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  Her thesis work studied the role of an immune cell adaptor protein in T cell memory formation after bacterial and viral infections, which resulted in two first author Journal of Immunology publications. Jessica is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Ryan Langlois, Ph.D, at the UMN-TC where she has shifted her focus from immunology to virology and studies influenza A virus tropism and interactions between the immune system and virus infection. During graduate school, Jessica became involved with the national women’s group, Graduate Women in Science, and is currently the local Twin Cities Chapter President. Jessica is dedicated to teaching and supporting women in STEM fields. She has been a professor at both the UMN-TC and University of St. Thomas, and regularly volunteers to judge the MN State Science fair for middle and high school students. As the EWIS Partnerships and Collaboration chair, Jessica maintains contacts with other women’s groups locally and at the UMN, as well as coordinates outreach activities with local schools.



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Beth Adamowicz
Steering Committee Member, adamo010@umn.edu

Beth earned her Bachelor’s of Science with Honours in molecular genetics from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 2013. Her undergraduate research included the characterization of microbial communities from cattle rumen, and population genetics studies of polar bears and bighorn sheep in the Canadian Arctic. She is currently a PhD student in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology program at the University of Minnesota in the lab of Dr. William Harcombe. She studies how metabolic interactions between different species in bacterial communities modulates how bacteria respond and evolve resistance to, different types of antibiotics. She has received several awards for her research, including three undergraduate research grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), an NSERC Postgraduate Doctoral Fellowship in 2016, several travel awards, and the Colonial Dames of America Scholarship in 2017. In 2016, at the annual meeting for the American Society for Microbiology, she chaired a small group discussion on the lack of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic positions. She was asked to write a paper on this discussion, which was published in 2017 in FEMS Microbiology Letters. Beth has mentored undergraduates in the lab throughout her graduate education, and has served as a teaching assistant for an advanced molecular genetics course and a graduate student mentor for the University of Minnesota Enviro-Mentors program. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, singing in a choir, watching horror movies, playing video games, and spoiling her senior cat Callie.


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Clare Conemac
Research chairconem003@umn.edu

Clare obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN in 2011 where she was the Director of Finance for the HIV/AIDS Awareness Club. After graduating, she joined the lab of Dr. Vaiva Vezys in the Center for Immunology as a Researcher I exploring mechanisms of CD8 T cell tolerance to self-proteins in the small intestine. In 2014, she began working as a Researcher 3 for Dr. David Masopust focused on CD8 T cell differentiation and function following repeated antigen exposure. Her current project seeks to define correlates of protection  from HIV in non human primates using a T cell based vaccine, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with the Oregon Primate Research Center. Clare joined EWIS in 2016 and serves as the EWIS Research Chair and Librarian, which fits her interests in statistics and literature. Clare feels EWIS is important because it highlights and seeks to end the barriers that still prevent young women from entering and succeeding in the sciences. Since moving to Minnesota in 2007, Clare has begun to get used to the frigid winters, and even enjoying sports like snow tubing and skiing. In her free time, she can be found trying new recipes, exploring Minnesota's many nature preserves and parks with her husband and daughter, and visiting the local breweries and restaurants.





Milagros Silva Morales Ph.D.
Program Coordinator, silva271@umn.edu

Milagros is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Mueller at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals and Biology, as well as her M.S. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Neurosciences from the University of Veracruz in Mexico. Currently she studies peripheral immune self-tolerance mechanisms in the context of autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis. Her scientific interests include neurosciences, cancer biology, prostate cancer, cell motility, adhesion, metastasis, peripheral T cell tolerance mechanisms, regulatory T cells and T cell anergy.  She served for 7 years as the organizer of Brain Awareness Week (BAW) at the University of Veracruz to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Also she served as the organizer of the XLIV National Congress of Physiological Sciences, National and local Student Conferences for the Mexican Pharmaceutical Association and the Forum of Chemistry at Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. She joined EWIS in the Fall of 2017, as she is always interested in engaging and motivating young women to consider the possibility of a scientific career. In her spare time, Milagros enjoys oil painting, cooking for her son and husband, reading books, playing soccer and brewing beer with her husband.



Katie Block

Katie Block Ph.D.
Monitoring and Education Specialist, keblock@umn.edu

Katie received her Ph.D. in Immunology in 2015 from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation research focused on autoreactive T lymphocytes that induce autoimmune arthritis and how the gut microbiota influences autoimmunity. Currently, Katie is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota, studying the effects of microbial exposures on the development of asthma in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Jameson. Katie's role in EWIS as Monitoring and Education Specialist is to maintain a record of the events and measure progress toward the organization’s mission and goals. She also serves as the Officer of Communications and Outreach for the University of Minnesota Postdoctoral Association. In her free time, Katie enjoys knitting and sewing and spending time outdoors with her dog.



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Katie Murphy Ph.D.
Program Coordinator, murph557@umn.edu

Katie received her Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Minnesota. Her thesis work focused on developing an effective immunotherapy for brain tumors. She is now a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Griffith studying how response to cancer immunotherapy is complicated by obesity. Dr. Murphy has assisted the Office of Education and Community Engagement within the Masonic Cancer Center with education and outreach projects; she has participated in seminar development, networking events, and laboratory tours for high school students. She has also been involved with the PDA at the University of Minnesota and volunteered at the UMN STEM Academy. She is dedicated to raising awareness of gender bias and sexual harassment in the workplace and is committed to supporting women in STEM fields. As a EWIS committee member, she will be involved developing educational programming to empower female scientists.




Janna Dickenson Ph.D.
Chair of Sexual Harassment Recommendations, jdickens@umn.edu

Janna received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Utah, where she studied sexual fluidity and the neurobiology of sexual desire and arousal. She is currently a Doug Braun-Harvey postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Janna is trained in couples therapy, sexual trauma/abuse recovery, sexual functioning concerns, LGBT health, gender and sexual identity development, and managing compulsive and impulsive behaviors. Janna joined EWIS in the Fall of 2017, and serves on the Sexual Harassment subcommittee, whose main goals are increasing campus awareness about harassment in general, and in STEM fields in particular, and recommending practices to reduce harassment on campus in order to create a respectful and inclusive community.



2018-2019 Faculty Advisors



Tanya Freedman Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor, tfreedma@umn.edu

Dr. Freedman received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. The Freedman lab focuses on utilizing biochemistry, immunology, biophysics, and structural biology to understand macrophage and lymphocyte signaling. The lab is working on understanding how inflammation and dysregulation can affect cell sensitivity and exacerbate disease, as well as how protein-protein interactions at the plasma membrane regulate signaling, and how receptor clustering enables signaling.



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Pam Skinner Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor, skinn002@umn.edu

Dr. Skinner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota.  She directs a research program focused on understanding HIV and prion disease immunopathogenesis and the development of novel treatments for these diseases. Dr. Skinner has also created and teaches an Introduction to Biotechnology course. She is an advocate for women and minorities and works to resolve inequities in salary, promotion, retention, and representation in leadership positions. Dr. Skinner has been an EWIS advisor since its inception in the fall of 2016, and is one of the leaders of the Women’s Faculty Cabinet on campus.



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Ingunn Stromnes Ph.D. 
Faculty Advisor, ingunn@umn.edu

Dr. Stromnes received her Ph.D. at the University of Washington and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Her research team is focused on advancing the understanding of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, with a particular emphasis on properties of the tumor and the tumor microenvironment that influence antigen-specific T lymphocyte migration and function. Dr. Stromnes joined the EWIS advisory board in the Fall of 2017.