2017-2018 Chapter Officers


President: Susan Lyons, Ph.D.

Susan received B.S. degrees in biological sciences and journalism from Ohio University. She then received a Ph.D. in the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. There, she investigated behavioral and neuroplasticity in songbirds. Susan currently works as a science curriculum designer at IXL Learning, a K-12 EdTech company. She is also the current GWIS Research Triangle treasurer. Susan is passionate about education, public outreach, and science communication. She loves that GWIS Research Triangle provides Triangle-wide networking and public outreach opportunities, and she wants to continue to help facilitate those opportunities.


Vice President: Emily A. Woolard

I recently graduated from Meredith College where I earned a BS in Biology and Public Health and a BA in Psychology. When I started college, I was heavily involved in social psychology research, but soon began pursuing biology following an internship in a Danish MRI research hospital. I have since been doing research at the US Environmental Protection Agency for about a year and a half, starting in an animal behavior lab and now working as a post-bac on in vitro assay development. I am looking to apply for umbrella biology PhD programs this fall. I greatly enjoy service projects that involve bringing science to children in the community and have experience implementing several successful projects in the Raleigh area.

Photo courtesy of Meredith College


Secretary: Aminah Wali

I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and I am currently finishing up my Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I study cancer drug discovery approaches and small molecule compounds that alter the chromatin structure and growth of cancer cells. In addition to lab work, I’m also involved in the UNC Science Writing and Communication club (SWAC), and I write for their blog The Pipettepen. I like working with others and talking about science, and I am passionate about translating research findings into more effective disease treatments. In my spare time, I enjoy DIY projects, animated movies, and spicy food.


Treasurer: Jessica LeRoy

I currently work at the Center for Integrated Pest Management on the Global Pest and Disease Database. I provide background information on pests of concern to help the USDA PERAL lab complete pest risk assessments. I am also a contributing member on the USDA PERAL weed risk assessment team. I have been volunteering with GWIS for over a year and would like to continue helping out the organization (either in a position or as a volunteer). I am also a member of the North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals. I have experience working in various scientific fields and with dealing with different levels of government. For fun I like to go mountain biking with my husband and take our dog hiking. I also love to bake and decorate sugar cookies.


Liaison: Anita Rana, Ph.D.

Currently as postdoctoral fellow in Bio-informatic and Genomics Department with four years experience.





Membership Secretary: Kony Chatterjee

I’m pursuing my PhD in Fiber and Polymer Engineering at North Carolina State University in picturesque Raleigh. I am also about to receive my Master’s degree in Textile Engineering from the same institute. My undergraduate​ degre in Textile Engineering was from Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India. As a young undergrad I loved being involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities involving student bodies and therein lies my passion for engaging with women and men in various scientific backgrounds. GWIS inspires me everyday to work hard for my success and hopefully I can contribute to the growth of GWIS . In my free time I enjoy going on hikes with my dog – and the triangle does have some amazing hiking trails, engaging in yoga and weight training.


Dr. Jennifer Ingram, SDE/GWIS National Past President, Chapter Adviser

Jennifer IngramJennifer L. Ingram grew up in Princeton, North Carolina and attended Peace College, a women’s junior college, where she earned her Associate of Arts Degree before transferring to North Carolina State University. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology with a minor in Genetics. She continued her education at NC State by earning a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2000. Her Ph.D. research focused on chromatin structure and transcriptional regulation in plants. Following graduate school, she continued her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the CIIT Centers for Health Research. Her postdoctoral research focused on understanding pathogenic mechanisms of fibrotic lung diseases resulting from environmental insults (allergens, metal oxides pollutants, etc.). Dr. Ingram’s current position is Assistant Research Professor at Duke University in the Duke Asthma, Allergy, and Airway Center, where her work focuses on understanding the molecular pathways that lead to airway remodeling in asthma. Dr. Ingram has been a member of Graduate Women in Science since 1995, and had been a member of the GWIS Fellowships Committee from 2003-2008. Dr. Ingram currently serves as SDE/GWIS National President.


Dr. Kathleen McCann, Chapter Past President, Chapter Adviser


Kathleen received her B.S. in biological sciences with a minor in technical writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University. She is currently an IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She has mentoring, teaching, science outreach, event planning and writing/communications experience. Her goal is to make science more accessible by bridging the gap between scientists and the community.



Dr. Sarah Council, Chapter Past President, Chapter Adviser

Sarah Council is a postdoctoral fellow in the Genomics and Microbiology Lab at the Nature Research Center in the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and in the Biology department at NC Central University.  When she is not teaching undergraduates about biodiversity and genetics at NC Central, she is investigating the skin microbiome of primate species and studying the interactions among bacteria at the museum. Sarah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her PhD in Oral Biology, studying an oral anaerobe in the context of cystic fibrosis lung infection.  Before that, she received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from NC State University, obviously the cooler of the two universities. When she is not in the lab she enjoys coaching tennis, hanging out with friends and enjoying good music.