Dr. Giselle Y. López Receives AWIS Spark Award for EDI Advocacy and Leadership

Giselle Y. López, MD, PhD, received the Spark Award from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), in recognition of her strong leadership skills and for her vocal advocacy for diversity and inclusive scientific practices.

The other two 2023 recipients of the Spark Award, which is given to students or early career leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), were Julie Yuk Wah Huang, PhD, Staff Scientist, Alector Inc., and Leigh-Ana Rossitto, PhD Candidate, Xu Chen and Rich Daneman Labs, University of California San Diego.

“These women epitomize the values of AWIS,” said Meredith Gibson, AWIS CEO. “We recognize that diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds are critical to driving innovation and progress in scientific fields, and we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. AWIS is thrilled to recognize these members and appreciate the contributions of all our nominees.”

López is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Neurosurgery at Duke. She’s a physician scientist, combining clinical practice in surgical neuropathology with a research laboratory focused on identifying new biomarkers and treatments for oligodendroglioma, a kind of brain tumor.  

She was a founding member of the Latino Honors Caucus at the University of Maryland, College Park. Since then, she has shown an unwavering commitment to supporting diverse trainees. As a clinical and research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, she headed the Mentoring Committee for the Diversity Advisory Group for Graduate Medical Education.  

Now as a Duke faculty member, she has co-Chaired the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Pathology PhD Program and the “Getting Back to Basics” Program which provides programing and support to research faculty at Duke from under-represented backgrounds.  

During the pandemic, she launched a virtual shadowing program in pathology, targeted to address inequities in access to clinical shadowing opportunities and building pathways into medicine and science for students from diverse backgrounds. She actively recruited students from historically excluded backgrounds into the program. In recognition of her efforts, both on the research and diversity fronts, she was recently recognized as one of the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s 40 Under Forty. 

Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in STEM to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. Read more about AWIS here.