March 13, 2012 5:45 AM
Anne Skaja Robinson belongs to a core group of women who are changing the face of scientific research. A ceremony on Friday (March 9) celebrated Robinson’s accomplishments and honored her investment as the Catherine and Henry Boh Professor of Engineering in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering.
Although women continue to be under-represented in science and technology — and potential female researchers hesitate in making a career in research — Robinson is determined to lead by example through her position as chair of the country’s third-oldest chemical and biomolecular engineering department.
She arrived at Tulane in January after teaching for 14 years at the University of Delaware, where she gained a global reputation for her efforts to decipher neurodegenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
“Understanding what is happening to brain cells is key,” Robinson said during a slide-show presentation of her research, which focuses on interactions between molecules. Once that mystery is solved, the cure for Alzheimer’s and similar diseases could be within reach.
“Things are happening so fast, any given day we may find the key insight needed to enable a cure,” Robinson said.
Nicholas Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, said he was elated when Robinson accepted the position as chair. She was drawn to Tulane because of the opportunity to enhance her research and teaching as the Boh professor and at the new Donna and Paul Flower Hall for Research and Innovation, opening this fall.
The Boh professorship was established through a gift from the Boh Foundation; Catherine and Henry Boh; and Katherine, a 1956 Newcomb College alumna, and Robert H. Boh, who holds two Tulane degrees — an undergraduate degree in engineering (1951) and a master’s degree (1953).
Maureen King is a writer in the Office of Development.
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