Foundation Intern Holds Women in Science Webinar


Key Points

  • Intern Jackie Brenner held a two-day webinar series showcasing successful women in STEM.
  • One panel featured female leaders in the field of focused ultrasound.
  • Jackie uses her Discord platform, STEMPotential, to foster an environment to educate and mentor those interested in STEM.

Jackie Brenner, a long-time Foundation intern, has built a substantial social media following using channels like TikTok and Discord to teach the basics of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She reaches hundreds of thousands of young adults and shares STEM in an approachable way that generates discussion.

She recently used her Discord platform, called STEMPotential, to host a two-day webinar series showcasing successful women in STEM. In all, more than 600 people from around the world tuned in throughout the weekend. One panel was comprised of female leaders in the field of focused ultrasound, including:

  • Jessica Foley, PhD, Focused Ultrasound Foundation
  • Eleanor Stride, PhD, Oxford University
  • Elisa Konofagou, PhD, Columbia University
  • Zhen Xu, PhD, University of Michigan
  • Natasha Sheybani, PhD, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Stanford University

The women, who all hold PhD degrees, discussed their personal career paths and the different ways in which STEM applies to their work within the broader focused ultrasound field.

The weekend series also included webinars from graduate students, medical students, and medical doctors.

“STEMPotential hopes to create a place where STEM students and adults can come together from across the world and share their experiences, while also providing a place where students can give and receive homework help and find other students with common interests,” explains Brenner. “Through analyzing this community carefully, we identified a need for mentorship and guidance as many motivated students come from backgrounds where they don’t have anyone to turn to for advice about next steps. Questions and discussions flood the chats regarding how to pursue one’s career, what career options exist, and how to increase one’s professional network. The webinar was a huge success, and so many students reached out to tell me how all of the speakers’ stories and advice impacted them in unique ways to fulfill their dreams of a career in STEM. As I am just starting this initiative to encourage students, especially women in STEM, we hope to host more webinars in the future with anyone in the field of medicine, especially the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, to give students the opportunity to hear about new fields in medicine and stories from amazing STEM professionals.”

Jackie joined the Foundation in 2019, when she examined the effects of anesthesia with focused ultrasound in glioblastoma. She has transitioned that experience into her current internship, where she is researching the bioeffects of microbubbles with ultrasound to induce vascular shutdown, sonodynamic therapy, and other immunotherapy projects under the guidance of Frédéric Padilla, the Foundation’s Director of Applied Physics Research.

See Recordings of the Webinar Series >

The Foundation also recently established a Women in Focused Ultrasound Interest Group to unite, support, and advance women and allies in the focused ultrasound community. This group is open to everyone who is passionate about bringing equity, diversity, and inclusivity to our field! It is not exclusive to women and, in fact, we welcome participation by men. Join us today by expressing your interest and completing a brief registration form to join the group and receive notifications about meetings and other activities.

Join the New Women in Focused Ultrasound Interest Group >