The Affiliate Faculty of the CUNY Institute for Health Equity is comprised of faculty members that represent various departments and schools from across the City University of New York - CUNY-wide system. The role of the Affiliate Faculty is to offer knowledge and experience that enhances CIHE programing, support the mission of the Institute and participate of the implementation of the Strategic Plan. CIHE’s focus is on the social determinants that create disparities, applied research, community capacity building research and projects, and in the translation of evidence-based programs, interventions and policies in community-settings.
Department of Nursing
Dr. Judith Aponte is a tenured Associate Professor and Specialization Coordinator of the Community/Public Health Nursing (MS) and Community/Public Health Nursing/Urban Health (MS/MPH) Graduate Programs at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing (H-BSON), Hunter College. She is also a faculty member of the Nursing PhD Program at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Dr. Aponte is the Editor-in-Chief for the Hispanic Health Care International journal, the official journal for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). Dr. Aponte has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2016 Nurse Leader Award by the NAHN, NY Chapter, 2014 Regional NY/NJ Giving Excellence Meaning Award for Advancing the Profession; and most recently, the 2016 Suzanne Smith Mentoring Editors Award by the International Academy of Nursing Editors. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a Full Member of the Clinical and Translational Science Center and a Faculty Associate of the Roosevelt House. Dr. Aponte has published book chapters and numerous peer-reviewed articles in nursing, nursing education, and in diabetes and its risk-factors affecting the Hispanic population. She has also conducted many local and international presentations, including the 2013 keynote at the NAHN annual conference. Dr. Aponte has conducted extensive editorial work and has held many different editorial positions. Dr. Aponte received her BSN and MS from H-BSON; and was the first Hispanic to graduate with her PhD from Columbia University School of Nursing. She is a certified diabetes educator, case manager, and advanced public health nurse. Her area of research is on diabetes focused on the Hispanic population.
Department of Psychology
Mia Budescu is an associate professor of psychology at Lehman College. Her research explores stress and coping among adolescents and emerging adults. Her most recent studies have looked at the mental and physical health impacts of stigmatization based on race and homelessness among homeless youth between the ages of 16 and 24. She holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Temple University and a BA in history from Indiana University – Bloomington.
Department of Health Sciences
Kate Gardner Burt, PhD, RD is an assistant professor at Lehman College and a registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist. Her passion is improving the food environment through locally sourced food and sustainable agriculture and social justice. In addition to teaching, Kate's research focuses on exploring and improving urban food systems. Her first cookbook, The New Diabetes Cookbook: 100 Mouthwatering, Seasonal, Whole-Food Recipes, was published by Barnes and Noble in 2015 and provides seasonal recipes using whole, unprocessed ingredients with minimal added sugar. Kate received her BS in film and television from Boston University and her MS in exercise physiology and nutrition, RD, and PhD in food and nutrition policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Martin Downing, PhD
Department of Psychology
Lehman College CUNY.
His research program reflects a long-standing commitment to understanding psychosocial and contextual factors of health and well being, particularly at the intersection of sexual orientation, behavior, and prevention and treatment of HIV. Dr. Downing’s primary areas of research include sleep health disparities and adult health outcomes associated with childhood sexual abuse (CSA). He holds a Ph.D. in environmental psychology from The Graduate Center, CUNY, a MS in psychology from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a BS in psychology from Georgia State University.
Jacob Eubank, EdD
Department of Exercise Sciences and Recreation
Dr. Jacob Eubank is the Co-Program Director and Assistant Professor in the B.S. in Recreation Education, B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation, and the M.S.Ed. in Recreation Education programs in the Department of Exercise Sciences and Recreation at Lehman College CUNY.His research focus is primarily on the impact of recreation and physical activity on the college student experience in the areas of stress, well-being, sense of belonging, academic success, and motivation. His other interests include higher education institutional policy and programming, particularly related to the health and well-being of college students. He received his Doctor of Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his Master of Education with a concentration in Leisure and Tourism Studies from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Eubank has held various positions in the field of recreation and leisure such as Assistant Director of Aquatics and Fitness at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Assistant Director of Aquatics and Safety at Indiana State University.
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Dr. Fortunato-Tavares received a B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, a M.Phil. and a Dr. Fortunato-Tavares received a B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences from Universidade de Sao Paulo. Prior to joining the Faculty at Lehman College, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Universidade de Sao Paulo. Dr. Fortunato-Tavares has collaborated with researchers from South America, United States and Europe. Her research interests include language development and disorders in bilinguals and children with cochlear implants, specific language impairment, fluency disorders, autism, and Down syndrome. More specifically, Dr. Fortunato-Tavares’ research focuses on the interchange among linguistic, auditory, suprasegmental, and cognitive factors on sentence processing.
Tailisha Gonzalez, PhD, MS, MPH
Department of Health Equity, Administration, and Technology (HEAT)
Dr. Tailisha González, PhD, MPH, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Lehman College of the City University of New York. Her research program examines social, behavioral, and environmental factors impacting cardiovascular health outcomes among Black, Asian, and Latino folks, including immigrants, as well as groups of U.S. women and workers. She additionally investigates risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia and related health disparities. Her research also explores the role of social determinants, including acculturation, physical activity, obesity, smoking, occupational factors, and neighborhood composition in the development of cardiovascular disease. Dr. González is the Coordinator of the Public Health program at Lehman College, actively involved in developing educational programs that address healthcare leadership gaps and reduce health disparities in the Bronx. She serves as the Assessment Coordinator for the Health Equity, Administration, and Technology (HEAT) Department, focusing on teaching excellence and student development. Previously, she worked as a doctoral fellow and Research Coordinator at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (SPH), where she managed research projects in community settings, trained and mentored graduate level research assistants, oversaw data collection and analysis, and published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journal articles.
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Mira Goral, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a professor of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at Lehman College and The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY). She completed her B.A. in Linguistics at Tel Aviv University and her Ph.D. in Neurolinguistics at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her areas of research interest include language in bilingual and multilingual speakers, aphasia, language attrition, and language and cognition in aging.
In recent years, her research efforts have been directed toward understanding language production in aphasia and toward enhancing our ability to measure treatment-related change in bilingual and multilingual individuals with aphasia. In addition, she has dedicated her time to mentoring a diverse group of students at all levels who work and volunteer in her research lab and at the Lehman Speech-Language Clinic.
Department of Health Sciences
New York City College of Technology
Dr. Katherine Gregory is an interdisciplinary scholar-practitioner with 20 years of research and social marketing experience. Currently, Dr. Gregory is an Assistant Professor of Health Services Administration in the Department of Health Sciences at CUNY/New York City College of Technology. At NYU, she was a qualitative data analysis and survey design lead for the University and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Global Public Health. Before joining NYU, she spent over five years at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as its media evaluation researcher where she oversaw concept testing and evaluation of health media campaigns and provided social marketing and public communication outreach strategies for departmental clients. She has taught in several disciplinary programs at universities in the United States. Her book, The Everyday Lives of Sex Workers in the Netherlands (Routledge, 2005), addresses working conditions, cultural practices, and social agency of transgendered and migrant sex workers.
Rahwa Haile, PhD
Health Equity, Administration and Technology
Rahwa Haile is a tenured Associate Professor at Lehman College. Her scholarly work is situated in the field of critical social epidemiology, and centers around the ways in which structural inequities produce population health inequities. Her most recent projects focus on how state violence (police violence and surveillance in particular) shapes racial inequities in health in the United States. Ultimately, her professional calling is to promote health and social equity through community-driven action research, and through working with community stakeholders in their efforts to build the community power necessary to acquire life-affirming social conditions for Black, Brown, and working-class NYC communities. She holds a PhD in public health and an MA in ethnic studies from the University of Michigan, and a BA in history from Columbia.
Elgloria Harrison, DM, MS, RRT
School of Health Sciences, Human Services and Nursing
Dr. Elgloria Harrison is an educator, academic leader, and a clinician with over 25 years of experience as a practicing health care professional with a career focused on serving historically underrepresented populations. Dr. Harrison joins us as the Dean of the School of Health Sciences Human Services, and Nursing. She had been the Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., since 2016, and recently as acting chair of the department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition at the same institution, with programs in Health Education, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology. She previously served as chair of the department for six years from 2008-2013 and subsequently became special assistant and promoted to Associate Dean to the founding dean of the College with responsibility for academic programs, assessment, program reviews, accreditation, faculty development, student support services, and online education, among others. An engaged scholar-practitioner with academic and industry experiences and a deep understanding of interprofessional health sciences and health services administration, Dr. Harrison was director of Clinical Operations at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, MD., where she managed a $10m operating budget, and had oversight for four units (Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory, and Medical Radiography). As a faculty and academic leader, Dr. Harrison has a deep bench of knowledge and engagement with campus governance and has been involved in many initiatives to advance student success outcomes and the university’s mission. Dr. Harrison received her doctorate degree in Management and a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland University Global Campus Largo, Maryland; and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Southern University, New Orleans, Louisiana. She also holds a Master of Science in Strategic Communication from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Jaye Jones, PhD
Director, Student Support Services Programs
Division of Student Affairs
Dr. Jaye Jones is currently Director of Student Support Services Programs in the Division of Student Affairs. With over a decade of dedicated service to Lehman, Dr. Jones has held a variety of administrative and teaching roles, contributing significantly to the college's academic and student support infrastructure. As a social worker and adult educator, her research and service are deeply rooted in addressing the needs of adult learners who have experienced trauma. Dr. Jones is particularly committed to creating emotionally responsive learning environments that honor the diverse backgrounds and experiences of students while fostering collective empowerment. She has authored more than a dozen scholarly and creative works and presented at over 30 regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Chicago, an M.S. degree from Columbia University's School of Social Work, an M.A. in Women's Studies from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Iowa.
Department of Social Work
Justine McGovern is the Chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Nutrition Sciences and an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work. Justine’s long-term commitment has been to improving older adult health and social wellbeing in the global context. Her funded research focuses on meeting emergent needs of changing demographics worldwide, with an emphasis on increasing health equity for older adults in the urban environment, diversifying the gerontology workforce, translating international gerontology best practices for local settings, and integrating arts-based methods into research, teaching and practice. Justine has published and presented internationally on living with dementia, LGBTQ aging, behavioral health and the life course, visual research methods, high-impact pedagogies, gerontology practice, international and interdisciplinary collaboration, and more. She teaches across the social work generalist practice curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate level, and in Lehman’s School of Education doctoral program in Organizational Leadership. In addition, she is a licensed social work practitioner. Her practice experience includes dementia care, community-based mental health, intergenerational programming, parental care consulting, and child welfare. She received her PhD and MSW from New York University's Silver School of Social Work, and her BA in American Studies from Yale University.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy & Management, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
Adjunct Professor, Department of Community Health & Social Medicine, CUNY School of Medicine
Affiliate Faculty, CUNY Institute for Health Equity
Faculty Fellow, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
Health Innovators Fellow, Aspen Institute, Aspen Global Leadership Network
Dr. J. Robin Moon, DPH, MPH, MIA, is co-founder and chief strategy officer of sana solutions LLC, a boutique health advisory consultancy. She is a Korean-American transdisciplinary scholar in social epidemiology, a practitioner and entrepreneur for health justice, and an educator in public health, who is dedicated to anti-racism work, especially the inter-ethnic/racial aspects of that work. She is a seasoned public health and executive management professional with over 25 years of experience in the private (corporate/entrepreneurial and non-profit/philanthropy) and public (government and academia) sectors. She brings her diverse experience into the domains of public health, healthcare, and social welfare system development. Her areas of expertise include health equity strategy, Medicaid and value-based payment reform, care delivery system integration, network management, business process engineering, organizational strategy development, quality improvement, evidence-based practice development, and program evaluation. She is also an entrepreneur and startup strategist in the health and wellness space – she is currently head of strategy at a cognitive fitness and movement startup ThreesPhysiyoga Method.
She was Senior Director of System Integration at Bronx Partners for Healthy Communities, where she played a key role in delivery system integration and network management in the Bronx for the NYS Medicaid transformation demonstration. She was Chief Operating Officer at Grameen PrimaCare where she helped create modified universal healthcare for immigrant women in Queens borough. She has also served the Bloomberg Administration as the Mayor’s senior health policy advisor. Prior to her public health career, she worked in non-profit management, philanthropy, and management consulting in Corporate America. Dr. Moon has led various domestic and international research and evaluation initiatives for public health, and developed tools and programs to measure health, economic and social impact. She has spoken at multiple conferences, convenings, and media outlets, on topics of health and non-health alike.
Dr. Moon holds a Doctor of Public Health from Harvard University, a Master of Public Health and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Chicago.
John Orazem, PhD
Adjunct Professor and Biostatistician
Department of Health Sciences
Dr. John Orazem is an adjunct professor with the Department of Health Sciences and serves as a statistical consultant within the School of Health Sciences, Human Services and Nursing at Lehman College. He received an MS and PhD in Biostatistics at Columbia University, and has worked for 30 years as a statistical scientist in the pharmaceutical industry and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Orazem has contributed to clinical drug development in diverse therapeutic areas, incorporating specialized adaptive designs that permit early termination, innovative simulation-based approaches to sample size determination, and novel methods to assess the robustness of analyses in the presence of missing data. He also designed complex models to investigate medical record databases and to assess causality within observational studies. His current work is focused on analyzing complex secondary data sources (e.g., NHANES) within the public health and exercise science domains.
Joseph Quiñones, PhD, LCSW
School of Health Sciences, Human Services & Nursing
Department of Social Work
Lehman College, CUNY
Dr. Joseph Quiñones is currently an Assistant Professor at Lehman College in the Department of Social Work. He holds an MSW from Fordham University and obtained his Ph.D. from Adelphi University. With teaching experience at both undergraduate and graduate levels, Dr. Quiñones has taught various courses such as social work practice, human behavior and the social environment, and clinical assessment and diagnosis.
Throughout his career, Dr. Quiñones has gained valuable experience in different areas, including early childhood intervention, community mental health care, crisis intervention, care coordination, and managed health care. He has also served as the Program Coordinator for the In-Home Geriatric Mental Health Program at The Visiting Nurse Service of New York and worked as the Social Work Development Specialist for VNSNY's CHOICE Program.
For his doctoral dissertation titled "The Experience of Older Latino Gay Men," Dr. Quiñones focused on exploring the unique perspective of this marginalized population. This research aimed to gain a better understanding of the experiences of older Latino gay men and shed light on their challenges and needs.
Director, Healthcare Policy and Management Bachelor of Science
Department of Health Sciences
City Tech (NYC College of Technology)/CUNY
Dr. Rodríguez, Assistant Professor, is the originator and the director of the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Policy and Management degree program in the Department of Health Sciences at City Tech. She has taught health management courses for nearly 20 years at CUNY, including Hostos Community College and the CUNY School of Professional Studies (undergraduate and graduate-levels). Dr. Rodríguez has experience in both public health and health care. As a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, she led and supported internal and external projects to improve agency processes and to facilitate collaboration with other City agencies (e.g., employee breastfeeding policy and protocols to accommodate lactating mothers return to work, a departmental confidentiality policy, and cold blue protocols for the City’s homeless population). She has engaged in research with the Section on Health Choice, Policy, and Evaluation in the Department of Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine. Key projects included understanding the food environment in low-income neighborhoods, food retailers’ challenges with healthy food retail, and food shopping behaviors among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries. Within the healthcare sector, Dr. Rodríguez has worked on quality assurance projects at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and at the San Juan De Dios Hospital in Barcelona, Spain.
Dr. Rodríguez has a Master of Public Administration with a focus on health policy from the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Doctor of Public Health in health policy and management from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Her research focuses on policy and health equity with attention to childhood obesity and nutrition outcomes among low-income children utilizing complex national secondary datasets (e.g., FoodAPS). Other research interests include equitable access to nutrient dense foods, the influence of the community food environment on food acquisition and health outcomes, medical interpretation education and its implementation in healthcare settings, and assessment in higher education.
Maria Isabel Roldós, DrPH
Director, CUNY Institute for Health Equity
Department of Department of Health Sciences
Dr. Maria Isabel Roldós holds a Doctor in Public Health (DrPH) degree from the University of Georgia (UGA) awarded in 2012, in addition to two master’s degrees, one in Public Administration from New York University (NYU) and another in Public Policy and Economics from Georgia State University (GSU). Her experience includes: CDC’s National Center for Injury and Violence Prevention; the NIH’s National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)’s Office of Science Policy, Strategic Planning, Assessment, Reporting and Data (OSPARD) and multiple global health appointments including: USAID; associate dean of Universidad San Francisco de Quito-Ecuador and as the highest ranking public health official in the city of Quito-Ecuador – as Health Commissioner.
Her research and practice focus are in data science and in the applications of economic evaluations in health policy to improve minorities’ health and reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. She has conducted prevention effectiveness studies on topics of violence prevention, unintentional injuries, health services and women’s health, for example: estimated the economic burden to intimate partner violence (IPV); a population based willingness-to-pay study on child maltreatment (CM); developed an econometric model to measure the effect of drug abuse on labor productivity among Black young adults in Iowa and Georgia; conducted delphi panels amongst medical personnel to diagnose and treat HPV, among others. Currently her focus is in the use of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) analyses to characterize populations that experience health disparities and in developing innovative methods to improve minorities’ participation in research, practice, and programs.
Amanda Sisselman-Borgia, PhD, LCSW
Department of Social Work
Dr. Amanda Sisselman-Borgia is a licensed social worker and Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Lehman College, City University of New York. Dr. Sisselman-Borgia teaches across the social work curriculum in the classroom, and has experience using online and hybrid teaching modalities. Dr. Sisselman-Borgia’s direct practice and research interests have focused on homelessness, poverty, and trauma and the impact of these issues on at-risk youth and families. Most recently Dr. Sisselman-Borgia has been focused on the impact of discrimination in the form of micro-aggressions on the health and well-being of at risk and homeless youth. Dr. Sisselman-Borgia is also working to develop and adapt interventions that provide better access to care, reduction in trauma skills, and improved life skills for homeless youth. Finally, Dr. Sisselman-Borgia is working with a team at Lehman College to develop a proposal that would study the impact of green housing and reduced environmental toxins on parenting and child outcomes.
William Suarez II, PhD
Health Equity Administration & Technology
Dr. William Suarez II is an agrifood scientist with over 15 years of professional experience and NGO leadership positions in Puerto Rico and abroad. I am highly familiarized with small economies agrifood systems, sustainable development, & non-tariff measures affecting the right to food. Former advisor-member of the PR's Delegation on Agricultural Matters of US-CAFTA-RD. I have conducted mixed methods research on and some publications about food insecurities in SIDS and health issues among migrant farm-workers.
Bachelor in Agricultural Science (BSA) and master (MSc) in Digestive Physiology & Nutrition, respectively at Mayaguez-Campus, University of Puerto Rico. Postgraduate studies in Education Leadership & Supervision, AGM University; Innovation Entrepreneurship at London School of Business & Finance, United Kingdom (UK); & in International Supply Chain & Logistics in Rotterdam University of Applied Science in the Netherlands. He received a PGRes diploma (MRes) in Social Science Research & and PhD in International Development & Economics Studies, from the University of Bradford, UK.
Mohan Vinjamuri, Ph.D., MSW
Department of Social Work
Dr. Mohan Vinjamuri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he teaches in both the BA and MSW programs. He is the former President of the New York State Social Work Education Association (2019-2023). Dr. Vinjamuri teaches courses in social work practice, social welfare policy, research methods, and an elective on social work with LGBTQ+ communities. Dr. Vinjamuri has been an educator for over thirty years. His research and scholarship have centered on pedagogy and teaching in social work, and social work practice with LGBTQ+ communities. Dr. Vinjamuri is the co-author of A Guide for Sustaining Conversations on Racism, Identity, and Our Mutual Humanity (Cognella).
A common thread throughout Dr. Vinjamuri’s work is the importance of cultivating self-reflection and genuine dialogue and creating truly inclusive spaces in the classroom and in institutions. Dr. Vinjamuri sees teaching and teaching social work, in particular, as an opportunity to promote social justice – by challenging norms of what constitutes valued and legitimate knowledge and ways of knowing; by creating spaces where those who have felt silenced can speak and be heard; and, by discovering our mutual humanity as we take risks to learn more about ourselves and others.
As a social worker, Dr. Vinjamuri’s primary area of practice has been child welfare. He has worked in various capacities in different social service agencies, including a child welfare agency for medically fragile children, a residential program providing substance abuse treatment for adolescent boys, and a group home for gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents in foster care. Dr. Vinjamuri has provided training and consultation to child welfare agencies and other agencies serving youth and adolescents. He is currently working on a book about compassionate teaching in higher education and is assisting with the development of a DSW program at Lehman College.
Eleanore Wurtzel, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Biological Sciences
Biology and Biochemistry PhD Programs
CUNY Graduate Center
The Wurtzel laboratory conducts basic research on provitamin A carotenoid biosynthesis which is enabling sustainable solutions to global vitamin A deficiency for meeting the challenges of food security in the face of climate change. Most recently, the Wurtzel laboratory discovered a new enzyme which is essential for biosynthesis of all plant carotenoids, including provitamin A carotenoids. This breakthrough led to discovery of a new prototype function for heme proteins, uncovered a novel means for regulating carotenoid biosynthesis in plants, and redefined the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in plants. In 2006, Dr. Wurtzel was elected a AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and “honored for pioneering research on provitamin A carotenoid biosynthesis and for organizing the first Gordon Research Conference on Plant Metabolic Engineering”. In 2012, Dr. Wurtzel was awarded Fellow of ASPB by the American Society of Plant Biologists for “distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology.” Dr. Wurtzel was honored in 2017 by The International Carotenoid Society as a Fellow of ICS “which recognizes members whose consistent contributions to the Society, the scientific community, and the general public demonstrate a commitment to excellence, leadership, and sound ethics”. Dr. Wurtzel has served as advisor for the provitamin A carotenoid improvement program “BioCassava Plus” at the Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO which is funded by the Gates Foundation. Dr. Wurtzel has served on the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) Board of Trustees (2012-2018) advising in the area of plant biology in addition to advising generally in biology and chemistry. Dr. Wurtzel is serving a second term as Monitoring Editor of Plant Physiology, the most highly cited journal in plant biology. Dr. Wurtzel is active in promoting diversity and gender balance in the scientific community, expanding opportunities for young scientists and facilitating growth of emerging fields of science. For example, Dr. Wurtzel serves on the Gordon Research Conference advisory committee for developing programs at GRC conferences that address challenges women face in science and engineering. She has also served on the Women in Plant Biology Committee of the American Society of Plant Biology (2013-16) and previously served on the Minority Affairs Committee (2004-10). Dr. Wurtzel founded the GRC on Plant Metabolic Engineering in 2005 and the associated GRC Seminar on Plant Metabolic Engineering for early career scientists. Dr. Wurtzel served as Vice Chair and then chaired the GRC on Carotenoids and founded the Seminar on Carotenoids (2013) for early career scientists. Recently, Dr. Wurtzel organized a Banbury meeting at Cold Spring Harbor laboratory to discuss the potential of applying synthetic biology to agriculture to solve global food demands, which led to a Perspective article in Nature Plants. Dr. Wurtzel has been awarded >$7 million in funding of research which has produced multiple patents and has been published in many high impact journals.