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#IAmNYAS: Yana Zorina

Meet Cell Biologist and Academy Member Yana Zorina, PhD.

Published September 11, 2015

#IAmNYAS: Yana Zorina

Welcome to our first #IAmNYAS profile. These profiles will help you get to know fellow members of the Academy community. You'll also learn about the ways those community members are building STEM careers across industries, overcoming the challenges associated with cutting edge research, putting science into practice, influencing policy, and supporting future generations of science leaders. We also hope you'll enjoy getting to know the personal side of your colleagues!

To that end, we'd like to introduce you to Yana Zorina, PhD. Yana has been an Academy Member since 2013 and is currently working as a Cell Biologist at Acorda Therapeutics, a biotechnology company located just north of New York City that focuses on developing multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury treatments.

We wanted to know what inspiration and advice led Yana to pursue a career in the sciences. Read her answers below:

What's the best piece of career advice you've received?

When I was in college, I entered the pre-med program with the assumption that if I was interested in science and biology, then the most logical place to go was medical school. My pre-med advisor at the time told me that science comes in 3 stages: scientists discover new knowledge, teachers disseminate the new knowledge, and doctors apply it to patients. At that point I realized that I wanted to be at the root of the process, and these words have stayed with me until the present day.

Did you ever compete in a science fair as a kid?

During high school I participated in the Intel Science Talent Search program and became a semi-finalist after performing a screen for iron-regulated promoters in mycobacterium tuberculosis. The Intel competition served as my springboard into the amazing world of scientific research.

Do you have any hobbies outside of science?

Ever since childhood I have always enjoyed intricate craft making. I particularly love making flowers out of fine beads. The patience and attention to detail required in such projects directly translates to the projects I now work on in the lab. The morphological beauty of neuronal and glial cells speaks directly to the artist in me, and I greatly enjoy imaging these cells via confocal microscopy.

Learn more about how to build a career in STEM here.