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Bold Woman of the Month

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

Chemistry graduate student and BWIC member Jenny Flanagan is a rising fifth-year graduate student in physical chemistry. Recently, she had an article published on the front cover of the Biophysical Journal, a leading scientific journal for biophysics and biophysical chemistry. The paper summarizes a project she has been working on to study how protein molecules interact with cell membranes, and how these interactions can be used as tools in medical applications. She has spoken about this work at several conferences, including the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in 2018, and the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Biophysics Society in Saõ Paulo, Brazil, where she was invited to attend a two-week short course on biophysical methods before her presentation.

Jenny pictured with her front cover article in the May 2019 Biophysical Journal

Outside the lab, Jenny is one of the founding members of BWIC, is passionate about K-12 science outreach, and is the project leader of Fun with Chemistry’s “Virtual Presentations,” a program in which chemists at UT can visit K-12 classrooms worldwide to perform fun chemistry demonstrations and talk to young students about life as a chemist. This summer, she is also a research coordinator for the Welch Summer Scholars Program, a five-week research experience for top high school students from Texas to gain chemistry research experience at major universities in Texas.

With my outreach programs, I never go into it with the goal of turning people into scientists. I just don’t want to let anyone be scared away by something because they think it’s too hard, or it won’t be fun, or they’ve never seen someone like them doing it. My only goal is to be a positive role model when I have the chance, and to empower people to be who they are.” -- Jenny

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