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Medical researcher honored at luncheon

The Parthenon

Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011 22:02

An associate professor for the department of biochemistry and microbiology was honored yesterday at a luncheon hosted by the Women in Medicine and Science program.

Professor Elaine Hardman was recognized for her achievements throughout her career and was asked to speak about her success as a woman in the medical and science field.

The program is hosted about four times a year and features guests who speak to a collective group of women about their achievements.

"She is a very accomplished researcher not only in the area, but nationally," said Professor Darshana Shah, the associated dean for professional development in medical education. "So I think that it would be a great opportunity for young people to look up to her and to see how she has gone the path she did."

Professor Shah is in charge of the program and said that its purpose was for students to learn by hearing her success story.  

Professor Hardman has been working in the area of nutrition and cancer research for about 20 years.  Currently, her research about the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on breast cancer has received six externally funded grants, including large grants form the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

"She has a love of knowledge and she imparts that onto her students," said Anne Silvis, a graduate student and Ph.D candidate for cancer biology. "She gets them excited about research and excited about the world of science."

As she spoke to the collective group of women, who were not only graduate students but also professors, she said that she always knew what she wanted to do with her life and that was science.

Professor Hardman completed three years of her undergraduate degree by the time she turned 18 and then married. She raised her family and went back to school to finish her degree and later earned her master's.

While she was a graduate student, she received her first funding grant and has received funding ever since.

"There is always a overriding importance for what she does and that is always apparent when you are talking to her about anything in her research," Silvis said.

One of the graduate students in attendance said she found her story to be not only interesting, but also inspiring.

"I have three young children myself and had also married young and returned to school," said Tamara Trout, graduate student for the medical science program. "I always thought ‘how am I going to do it?' but then you meet someone like Professor Hardman and it shows that you can do it."

Chrystal Phillips can be contacted at

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