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Dr. Kiana Aran’s Achievements as a Biotechnology Leader Recognized in the 2021 Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women Scientists

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Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) Associate Professor Dr. Kiana Aran and Co-Founder and Scientific Director of Cardea Bio was recently announced as the recipient of the 2021 Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science in the Scientific Achievement category. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM careers across the world.

CLAREMONT, California, 28 October 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) Associate Professor Dr. Kiana aran and co-founder and Scientific Director of Cardea Bio was recently announced as the winner of the 2021 Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science in the Scientific Achievement category. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM careers across the world.

As a winner, Aran will receive a prize of $ 40,000, an invitation to the awards ceremony at London, and coverage on nature.com. During her short career, Aran received numerous accolades for her contributions to science and medicine, including the Clinical OMICs 10 under 40 Award, the Athena Pinnacle Award, and the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Aran’s main goal as an entrepreneur and biomedical researcher is to merge biology with technology to design the next generation of biosensors for the early diagnosis of disease. She invented and developed the CRISPR chip, the first CRISPR powered transistor that enables rapid detection of variants of inherited diseases.

“CRISPR was an enzyme developed by nature over millions of years to detect and destroy viral particles in bacteria,” said Aran. “This fascinating enzyme can decompress double-stranded DNA, find its target using an RNA molecule, and then cut it. It truly is a wonderful search engine that biology and nature have created.”

Its biodetection platforms harness the power of CRISPR while using modern electronics developed since the 1950s, such as transistors, making transistors more biocompatible so that they can operate in harmony with biology. Cardea Bio’s latest development, the EV-Chip, a low-cost portable reader prototype for detecting and quantifying exosome biomarkers from cancer and other aging-related diseases, was recently featured on the cover of Advanced Biology. .

Aran believes that awards like the one she just received are important because they recognize the crucial work she and others are doing to transform healthcare and because promoting the early career achievements of women like her. encourage other women to take on leadership roles. in STEM.

“Despite a growing number of women choosing to pursue careers in research, we still see too few taking on roles of responsibility and leadership,” said Dr. Skipper Magdalena, editor-in-chief of Nature. “There are several reasons for this. Among them, it is that many do not feel sufficiently supported or that their efforts at the beginning of their careers are sufficiently recognized.

Although women make up over 60% of university students, less than 5% take on leadership roles after graduation.

One of the problems, according to Aran, is that when the company emphasizes women leaders, the emphasis is often too much on the boundaries.

“We are usually asked questions like, ‘How does it feel to work in a male dominated field? ”, Said Aran.

Rather than inspiring other young women to follow in their footsteps, this type of advertising could discourage these women by causing them to focus on all the obstacles associated with leadership. Aran believes the focus should be on solutions, especially tools and resources that will help prepare women for these roles.

As a mentor, Aran trains the women in his lab to become the next generation of scientists and the next generation of leaders.

“Most of my doctoral students have their own team of graduates and undergraduates,” Aran said. “They have to juggle multiple projects and responsibilities. This is how you train them to be leaders, giving them opportunities and allowing them to fail, because that’s part of the process.”

She states that leadership must also be a mutual agreement; it cannot be forced on someone.

“For those who really want to be leaders, creating these opportunities is my whole mission,” said Aran.

Through her laboratory and her company, she offers women the opportunity to become leaders in the world of research by teaching them to create and manage their own teams.

“I can’t wait to become a better leader myself,” said Aran. “I’m still only at the beginning of this journey, but as I learn, I transfer everything I learn to my mentees. The more I become a role model, the more opportunities I can create for other women scientists to take leadership. the roles.”

Media contact

Lauren Porta, Keck Graduate Institute, 9096070931, [email protected]

THE SOURCE Keck Graduate Institute


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