In 2005, the concept of a student-run organization focused on professional development and networking opportunities for graduate students, especially women, was first discussed. Chemistry graduate students, Sujata Bardhan and Dani Solano, approached Katinka Csigi, Director of Grants Development, and Professor Rosina Georgiadis for support and guidance. The group decided to move forward with the idea and successfully interested their peers in forming BUWIC. BUWIC has the full support of the Chemistry Department and is part of a larger Boston University movement of developing groups that focus on issues related to the advancement of women in the sciences.
Sujata Bardhan, Co-founder
Sujata earned her doctorate degree in April 2007 from the laboratory of Professor John Porco where she worked on the synthesis of epoxyquinoid compounds and the asymmetric synthesis of spiroisoxazoline natural products. In 2004 – 2005 she became the first recipient of the Novartis Fellowship in Organic Chemistry for Women and Minorities. Sujata received her master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD), where she investigated model studies of DNA photorepair with Professor Daniel E. Falvey and has a bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University (Kolkata, India). Sujata is currently conducting post-doctoral research at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
Dani Solano, Co-founder
Dani Solano earned her master’s degree in 2006 under Professor John Porco where her research focused on the expansion of ESIPT photocycloaddition methodology towards 3-hydroxyquinolinones to generate novel tricyclic alkaloid derivatives. She received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, CA) where she worked with Professor Eric J. Kantorowski, to access nine-membered rings from eight-membered rings via free-radical chemistry. A native of California, following her Summer 2006 internship with Amgen, Inc., Dani returned to her home state to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis under the supervision of Professor Mark J. Kurth. Dani’s research is focused on heterocyclic chemistry including library synthesis, insecticidal applications and the development of α4β1 integrin antagonists towards the treatment of lymphoma.