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Staff Spotlight: Melanie Brickman Borchard, PhD, MSc

This series provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the people who power The New York Academy of Sciences.

Tell us what you do for the Academy.

In my role as Director of Life Sciences, I’m responsible for supervising a diverse range of scientific symposia, evening events and workshops encompassing the fields of life sciences and public health. My role involves facilitating meaningful connections between academics, industry leaders, non-profit representatives, government officials and various stakeholders to foster innovation in science through the exchange of ideas.

What has so far been your proudest accomplishment working for The Academy?

One of the most fulfilling experiences during my tenure at the Academy was orchestrating our inaugural event post-pandemic. After two years of exclusively virtual conferences, the opportunity to reunite stakeholders from across the globe for the Advances in Pain conference was truly gratifying. Being the catalyst for the resurgence of enthusiasm within the scientific community and witnessing the restoration of in-person idea exchange and networking was immensely gratifying.

Why, in general, are you proud to work for the Academy?

I take immense pride in my long-standing tenure with the Academy because we serve as a beacon for the most accomplished and innovative individuals who are dedicated to advancing science, often through unconventional pathways. We are united by a shared aspiration to champion the highest standards for the progression of scientific knowledge.

A painting of a colorful flower bouquet.

Why do you think science is so important to society?

Science plays a vital role in society as it drives innovation and technological advancements, improving our quality of life. It helps us understand and address pressing global challenges, from climate change to public health crises. Furthermore, science empowers informed decision-making, fostering a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Which scientist (or scientists) would you most like to have dinner with and why?

If given the opportunity, I would like to have dinner with Dr. Paul Farmer, who is now deceased. He was a global health hero who brought medical care to the poor and marginalized. I have been a long admirer of his work pioneering community-based healthcare and championing equity in health care.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?

I like to spend time with my family, go hiking in the desert, and paint.


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

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