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#IAmNYAS: Yana Zorina

The Academy community represents one of the most dynamic and diverse groups of STEM professionals and science enthusiasts and supporters around the world, with more than 16,000 Members across 100 countries.

Academy Members are building STEM careers, overcoming the challenges associated with cutting-edge research, putting science into practice, influencing policy, and supporting future generations of science leaders.

We invite you to get to know your fellow Academy Members and learn about new opportunities to interact and get involved!

Yana Zorina

Yana Zorina, PhD, is currently working as a cell biologist at Acorda Therapeutics, a biotechnology company located just north of New York City that focuses on developing treatments for multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.

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.

Expand Your Network!

Inspired by the passion, expertise, and unique perspectives of your fellow Members? Tap in to the incredible network the Academy offers through our mentoring programs.

We’re thrilled to offer you access to a new opportunity to get involved and interact: Member-to-Member Mentoring. The program matches you with a mentor—or a mentee—who is a fellow STEM professional and Academy Member. Depending upon your experience level and needs, you can request a mentor, become a mentor, or both.

Interested in mentoring students? We also offer incredible mentorship opportunities through the Academy’s Global STEM Alliance, which delivers education programs that can help you develop your teaching and communication skills, while paying it forward to the next generation of scientific innovators. The Junior Academy and 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures are recruiting new mentors this June.

Peruse our mentorship opportunities, and sign up today!


Academy Staff
This article was written by a member of the Academy staff.

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