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AWIS Central Massachusetts Board of Directors

Snehalata Kadam, PhD

President -

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.


Robyn Marty-Roix, PhD

Vice President -

Biosafety Associate - Environmental Health & Safety

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Robyn Marty-Roix has over 15 years of scientific research, leadership, communication, and problem solving experience in biomedical science spanning multiple therapeutic areas.  She is currently a Biocompatibility Specialist at a global medical device company ensuring patient safety while enabling early product development decisions, product design direction, product approvals, and market launch for product commercialization.  Formerly at UMass Medical School, Robyn completed her postdoctoral training in the Dept. of Medicine specializing in vaccine research, immunology and infectious disease before transitioning to Biosafety where she assisted with the management of the biosafety program for more than 400 labs while working closely with local, state and federal regulatory bodies.  Robyn encourages others to recognize their full potential, and during her postdoc, co-founded the Industry Exploration Program at UMass Med which provides the opportunity for students and postdocs to explore non-academic careers with industry professionals. To continue this outreach, Robyn is currently the Vice President for the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the Association for Women in Science.  She graduated with a degree in Biology from the College of Wooster and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from UMass Medical School.

Sarah Woodard 


HR Systems Manager

IPG Photonics

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 help grow a society that promotes women in STEM.

Emily Stackpole, PhD 


Post-doctoral Associate - Department of Molecular Medicine

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Emily Stackpole works as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.  Her research broadly focuses on post-transcriptional mechanisms in both the healthy and the diseased brain.  Emily grew up in Maine and went to Smith College in Northampton, MA where she received a BA in Neuroscience in 2007.  After college, Emily spent a year studying neurodegenerative diseases as a research assistant at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.  She then continued her education at Brown University in Providence, RI where she focused on post-transcriptional mechanisms underlying learning and memory.  She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2014.  Emily joined AWIS in 2014 and has been the Membership director for Central MA AWIS since its transition to full chapter in 2016.


Ishani Dasgupta, PhD 

Events Director-

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 -

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.

Awis profile Ambily.jpg

Ambily Abraham, PhD

Communication Director –

Postdoctoral Associate – Molecular medicine

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Ambily Abraham is a postdoctoral associate at the UMass medical school and works 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.

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