Bwog Science brings you the second installment of Science Research Spotlight, a series in which we highlight some of the cool, radical, mind-blowing science research happening at our institution. We hope that you’ll find something that sparks your interest, and which you’ll aim to learn more about. Click here for the first installment in this series.

Scientist: Nabila El-Bassel
Why She’s Significant: A world-renowned expert on prevention and treatment for HIV, drug use, and gender-based violence; developed a couples-based HIV/STI prevention intervention
Years Active at Columbia: 1985-present
What She Did at Columbia: Dr. El-Bassel spent the vast majority of her career at Columbia, where she now heads the Social Intervention Group, which focuses on “developing and testing prevention and intervention approaches for HIV, drug use, and gender–based violence.” Dr. El-Bassel became a University Professor this year!

Scientist: Edwin Armstrong
Why He’s Significant: Invented wide-band frequency modulation (FM), now used in FM Radio
Years Active at Columbia: 1909-1954
What He Did at Columbia: Professor Armstrong designed the audion tube (later became the radio amplifier) when he was a third-year undergraduate in SEAS! Later, he designed FM in his lab in Philosophy Hall, to minimize the static interference that bedeviled AM.

Scientist: Ruth Benedict
Why She’s Significant: Helped establish the field of modern anthropology
Years Active at Columbia: 1924-1948
What She Did at Columbia: Criticized trends of racism and ethnocentrism in anthropology; did fieldwork with Native Americans, studied European and Asian cultures, developed concepts of cultural configuration and national character. First female to be appointed to a full-time faculty member!

Scientist: Virginia Cornish
Why She’s Significant: Developed yeast-based tool for worldwide pathogen detection; pioneering the field of synthetic biology
Years Active at Columbia: 1999-present
What She Did at Columbia: Dr. Cornish became the first female graduate of Columbia College to become a tenured professor here. At Columbia, Dr. Cornish has been developing biomedical applications for directed evolution and chemical synthesis.

image via wikicu