AWIS Central Massachusetts Board of Directors
Snehalata Kadam, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor - Department of Physics
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Snehalata Kadam is the President and one of the founding members of the AWIS Central MA chapter. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Worcester. Dr. Kadam earned a B.S and M.S in Biology from India and her Ph.D in Animal Genetics from University of Tuebingen, Germany. She worked as a Post-Doctoral Scholar at California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), Pasadena where she studied how mechanics of cell migration affects developmental processes. Dr. Kadam joined WPI as a Physics faculty in 2014 with a goal of bridging Physical and Biological Sciences. She is passionate about creating a Physics loving atmosphere especially in female students and developing innovative learning strategies for students to adapt and apply their knowledge in diverse fields of science.
Dr. Kadam, an AWIS member since 2014 was involved in founding the AWIS affiliate group, which led to the establishment of the AWIS Central MA chapter. She currently lives in Shrewsbury with her husband and two sons. She is an active volunteer of the non-profit organization, India Society of Worcester (ISW) and helps coordinate cultural performances for the society. She is an avid dancer and loves performing the classical Indian dance style of Kathak.
Kimberly Negrin, PhD
Vice President -
Associate Sales Director
Cell Therapy, HemaCare
Dr. Kimberly Negrin is a scientist with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for building business relationships. She is the Associate Sales Director for Cell Therapy at HemaCare, where she plays a leadership role overseeing and supporting clients as they mature through research, clinical and commercial development of novel engineered and manufactured cell therapy products and applications. She previously worked at Agilent Technologies and Seahorse Bioscience.
Kimberly completed her doctoral training at UMASS Medical School in the Dept. of Molecular Medicine where she earned her PhD in Biomedical Science. She is active in the Boston area scientific community as a member of several local women’s entrepreneurial and technologically focused groups and is the Vice President of the Association of Women in Science, Central Massachusetts chapter.
Sarah currently works as a Technical Project Manager at Invoice Cloud with a focus on process optimization and high tech project management. She has previously worked as an applications engineer at Instron and founded an engineering and technical training program at IPG.
Sarah holds a certification in project management and received a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She is passionate about inspiring and mentoring others to have fulfilling STEM careers. She is committed to helping grow a society that promotes women in STEM.
Lindsey Smith, PhD
Field Application Scientist
Lindsey is an experienced neuroscience researcher with a strong background in synaptic physiology, the neuroendocrine system, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Since 2013, Lindsey’s research efforts have focused on elucidating mechanisms of synaptic decline, using preclinical animal models of AD. In her current role at Aiforia, Lindsey empowers researchers to create custom AI models that profoundly expedite data analysis for preclinical research, across a wide spectrum of human disease.
Ishani Dasgupta, PhD
Post-doctoral Associate - Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Ishani Dasgupta works as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School. Her research is focused on studying the role of mechanical tension in signaling pathways implicated in cancer, cell growth, differentiation and organ development. Prior to joining UMass in 2017, Dr. Dasgupta completed her PhD in molecular and cell biology from NTU, Singapore. During her doctoral studies, she studied the role of osmotic pressure in the regulation of cytoskeleton during mitosis. Dr. Dasgupta is interested in science communication and writing. She joined AWIS as the Events Director for the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in 2018. Besides, she also serves as a board member of Industry Exploration Program at UMass Medical School, which provides the opportunity for students and postdocs to explore careers in biotech industries and network with industry professionals.
She is a trained classical dancer and enjoys dancing, quilling and travelling when she is not doing science.
Heleen van ‘t Spijker, PhD
Membership Director - hellen.van'
Postdoctoral Associate – Molecular medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Heleen van ‘t Spijker works as a post-doctoral associate in the lab of Joel Richter at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research is focused on regulation of translation in autism models. Heleen grew up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and studied in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where she received a BA in Literature and a BA in Biomedical Sciences. She continued to study in Utrecht for an MA in Neuroscience and Cognition. She then studied the regulation of neural plasticity by perineuronal nets at Cambridge University, UK, to receive her PhD in Clinical Neuroscience in 2019. Heleen joined AWIS in 2019.
Ambily Abraham, PhD
Ambily Abraham is a senior scientist at the Global Protein Sciences division at AbbVie, Worcester. Previously she was a postdoctoral associate at the UMass medical school and worked on diverse translational projects including development of yeast microparticle based vaccine delivery platform and development of microbial crystals for the treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes. During her doctoral studies at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, she developed a novel virus-based intracellular antibody delivery vehicle. Apart from her scientific tinkering and hiking, she is interested in growing a network of curious minds and joined AWIS as a communication director in 2019.