Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam

Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam

The Social Impact Abie Award recognizes a woman whose work is making a positive impact on women, technology, and society. This year’s winner is Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam, a Robert J. Carr Professor of Engineering who directs the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies at Duke University. There, she empowers trainees at the school and beyond to create impactful solutions to improve the lives of women and girls globally.

Dr. Nimmi Ramanujam has a mission to develop technology to have wide reaching impact in women’s health. Her research on women’s cancers focuses on designing innovations that enable complex services to be accessible at the primary care level for cancer prevention. Her research also helps with the development of tools that will make cancer treatment more effective and efficient.

She and her team developed the Pocket Colposcope, which has the potential to revolutionize cervical cancer screening in low resource communities by enhancing the effectiveness and scalability of the screening process, reducing loss to follow up and guiding effective treatment decisions.

Her idea for the Pocket Colposcope was borne out of sociocultural barriers to cervical cancer prevention. While Western cultures are accustomed to the world of modern gynecology for early cervical cancer screening, women in many parts of the world do not undergo a gynecological exam until they are symptomatic. Their first experience with the metal speculum is intimidating and painful. In fact, it is well documented that the speculum is a significant barrier to cervical cancer screening, regardless of geography. What’s more, while high resource settings have access to an expensive colposcope for magnified visualization of the cervix, low-resource communities often use the human-eye, which is not an objective or consistent method.

She has received recognition for her work through the TR100 Young Innovator Award from MIT, the Global Indus Technovator award from MIT, Era of Hope Scholar awards from the DOD, the Stasnell Family award from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, and the Emerging Leader in Global Health Award from the Consortium of Universities in Global Health. She is a fellow of several optical and biomedical engineering societies, including OSA, SPIE AIMBE. She has also been elected to the National Academy of Inventors. She is Co-editor of the Handbook of Biomedical Optics, and has presented the global impact of her work at the United Nations.

Meet Nimmi at GHC 19 during our Speaker’s Corner session, Friday, October 4, 12—12:45 p.m., AnitaB.org booth.

See Nimmi’s session «Empowering Women to Improve Women’s Health Through Tech, Education, & Engagement» on Thursday, October 3, 11:15 a.m.—12:15 p.m., OCCC W300.

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Roe v. Wade Has Been Overturned. You Have Every Right to Be Upset. Here’s how to take action

We at AnitaB.org, are disheartened and dismayed by the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that enabled the right of an abortion to people around the nation. AnitaB.org brings together allies and champions across every sector to advance intersectional gender equity in technology. The technologists we support are also people impacted by targeted oppressive and unjust laws including laws that restrict reproductive rights. Not only do we empower technologists through our year-long programming but, we also advocate for better systemic solutions for the workforce and for their humanity. 

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, we are joining to elevate the calls to action of our social justice colleagues and community partners. 

If you feel called to do something today or in the next coming days, here are some action steps:  

  • Support and donate to Repro Legal Defense Fund, which is a national organization that covers bail and funds strong defense for people who are investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for abortion. Because no one should be behind bars for ending their pregnancy or helping someone else do so.
  • Support and donate to Plan C, an educational resource for learning about how people in the US access abortion pills.
  • Support and donate to your local Planned Parenthood, independent abortion clinics, and abortion funds.
  • Go to the streets and join a protest near you. Most protests are happening today at 5 PM at the federal courthouses or state capitols.

AnitaB.org is also launching a political advocacy series, Power to the People, with our first event on July 20th. The first event of this series, Power to People: Abortion Rights and Digital Privacy, will elevate the voices of abortion advocates and the risks emerging with digital rights and privacy. This event will empower you to take additional action regarding abortion rights and data privacy. Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming event. 

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