Infectious Disease Researcher a Champion for Women Scientists

By: Graduate Studies on

Mollie JewettMollie Jewett, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, instructing undergraduate, graduate, and medical student courses focused on Microbiology. Dr. Jewett’s research laboratory explores the molecular mechanisms of infectivity and pathogenesis of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease.

Dr. Jewett says the most rewarding aspect of her job is teaching and mentoring students. “I believe that training the next generation of young scientists is vital to the growth and success of a research laboratory,” shares Dr. Jewett. “It is my great pleasure to guide young scientists towards scientific discovery.” She also aims to increase the number of women scientists in her field through mentoring outstanding female students and supporting university programs that foster the advancement of women in science. “As a woman scientist, I believe it is my responsibility to advocate for the success of other young women in science.”

Dr. Jewett cherishes her favorite UCF memories – the looks on her students’ faces when they come to her office with a new and exciting research finding. “I know how the thrill of scientific discovery makes me feel and to see my students with that same feeling makes me extremely proud as a mentor and a scientist,” she says.

With her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Jewett’s research creativity and innovation has been recognized via the National Research Fund for Tick-borne Diseases pilot grant, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Research Project Grant, and others. Her lab’s work on Lyme disease has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Infection and Immunity, and Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

Her future career plans are to “continue to build my research program, to train and mentor students in my laboratory, and to promote the enthusiasm and success of undergraduate STEM majors in my courses.”

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