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Health & Science

My Northwestern Direction

On Board with STEM

Summer 2019
When tutoring, I realized that the students and I lived different lives. They did not have access to a resourced, tight-knit suburban community as I did, one whose caring adults used city parks and classrooms to provide the extracurricular opportunities that kept my friends and me busy while strengthening our ability to lead, persist, collaborate, problem solve and celebrate others’ successes.

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nichole pinkard
Lake Michigan, the immense body of fresh water whose shimmering beauty convinced Northwestern’s founders that this was the place to build the University, has been under threat since the early 20th century. Northwestern researchers, students and alumni are discovering solutions for water quality issues and climate change challenges in the Great Lakes region.

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lake michigan sunrise opener
Brent Chase knows the pain and helplessness of watching a loved one go through a physically and emotionally damaging autistic meltdown. Chase’s younger brother, Alec, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 3 years old.

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brent and alec chase gaia wearables
South Asians account for 60% of the world’s heart disease patients, and that trend continues for the 5.4 million South Asian immigrants in the United States. South Asians — the second–fastest growing minority group in the country — have the highest death rate from heart disease compared with other ethnic groups.

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indian food
Genetic mutations — inherited from our parents and carried from birth — can increase our risk of developing diseases from schizophrenia to cancer. But environmental factors also play a critical role in determining who develops certain maladies and who doesn’t.

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simpson querrey ali shilatifard epigenetics lab
Last summer international aid workers began descending from Soviet-era helicopters into the forests, mountains and villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu region, setting up treatment centers and laboratories, and donning hazmat suits as they treated people sick with the Ebola virus. The workers brought computers, lab equipment, vaccine doses and anything else that supported epidemiology, data and patient management, and infection prevention and control.

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ebola clinic
Northwestern professors Brian Uzzi and Adam Waytz and alumnus Mark Knickrehm weigh in on the promise and peril of artificial intelligence.

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sound off toc3
Champion triathlete and medical researcher Jacquie Godbe is helping develop and improve stem cell treatments.

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jacquie godbe 2018 chicago triathlon
Rosanna Hertz, author of Random Families, interviewed more than 350 children, their parents and gamete donors to explore how they used cultural narratives about genes and genetics to understand their relationship to their immediate families and donor networks.

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random families cover
Northwestern psychologist Vijay Mittal says human behavior is made up of three primary components: emotion, cognition and motor activity. By examining motor behavior as both an early signal and a treatment tool, Mittal hopes to stop psychosis in its tracks.

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Vijay Mittal Psychosis Main