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National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
APS houses the largest collection of international physicists. Within this framework, I value the opportunities to present my research and complete service. As an active member, my focus has been on physics as a crucial component of interdisciplinary topics related to biology and medicine. In this capacity, I have organized scientific sessions within APS, regionally and more formally through the Aspen Center for Physics. Currently, I am a tenured group leader at the NCI. I also co-direct a trans-disciplinary center between the department of Physics, UMD, and the NCI. I have also been fortunate to serve as an elected official of both the division of DBIO within APS and the Biophysical Society. If I am fortunate enough to be elected to the General Council, I hope to engage the APS community in three areas, 1) Scientific outreach and advocacy, and 2) Promotion of BIPOC Physicists, 3) Advocacy for visa protection of international students and scientists in the US. Recent events have highlighted the need for widespread scientific literacy. Unfortunately, this issue has had a deleterious impact on issues related to human health. Thus, the Society should aggressively educate via outreach. This can range from locally-focused social interactions to more formalized outreach to 1) elected officials, 2) public, and 3) K-12 and college-age. One idea is for the society to provide guidance/training for members for effective advocacy. Sustained innovation requires a diversity of opinions. To maximize scientific discoveries, it is critical that scientists at all academic levels reflect underrepresented minorities in numbers that reflect the general population. Drawing from my own experiences, this requires active promotion. It is insufficient to promote recruitment from specialized groups such as the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) to bolster the numbers of trainees. The society must make a concerted effort to ensure that these trainees advance and thrive in advanced positions. One idea is to enforce and highlight the scientific contributions of the BIPOC community in the APS mainstream.
Finally, recent events have highlighted the need for the society to be proactive in immigration and visa issues, especially related to matriculation and temporary visits of international physicists. I am personally aware of the adverse effects related to uncertainty due to the precariousness surrounding student/work visas as an international student studying in the US. Admittedly, this is a difficult matter, but one idea is to have a task force for strong, continued, proactive Society advocacy with elected officials is needed to protect this vulnerable population of the APS community. I believe that my unique trajectory as a physicist coupled with my experience in leadership positions can provide insight to successfully tackle these goals.