Science Advisory Board

Dr. Adrianne N. Edwards received her B.S. in Genetics at the University of Georgia and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Emory University. She currently serves as research faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University.

Adrianne’s current research focuses on how the anaerobic bacterium, Clostridioides difficile (also known as C. diff), causes severe diarrheal disease and survives outside of humans and animals. As a mom to three young, curious kids herself, Adrianne is passionate about imparting the joy and wonder of science and the natural world to children.

Dr. Adrianne N. Edwards

Shamika Danzy Bedoya

Ms. Bedoya is a Gates Millennium Scholar alumni who has a B.S in  Biology, from Clark Atlanta University, and an M.S in Applied Biology from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a senior research scientist at Emory University and has worked there for 15 years. She has extensive research in influenza virus studies and has co-authored many scientific papers including Characterizing Emerging Canine H3 Influenza Viruses.

Martinez-Sobrido L, Blanco-Lobo P, Rodriguez L, Fitzgerald T, Zhang H, Nguyen P, Anderson CS, Holden- SM, Sakamoto K, Jones CA, Steel J, Lowen AC, Danzy S, Tao H, etc.

PLoS Pathog. 2020 Apr 14;16(4):e1008409. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008409. eCollection 2020 Apr.

Dysregulation of M segment gene expression contributes to influenza A virus host restriction.

Calderon BM, Danzy S, Delima GK, Jacobs NT, Ganti K, Hockman MR, Conn GL, Lowen AC, Steel J.PLoS Pathog. 2019 Aug 15;15(8):e1007892. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007892. eCollection 2019 Aug.Ms. Bedoya always had a love of science since childhood and wishes to transfer that love to her own preschooler and give other kids the opportunity to high-quality early STEM education.


Dr. John is a professor at Gateway Community College where she teaches psychology. She is one of the original research scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) STEM Education Center that helped to develop the Seeds of STEM curriculum. She has a BA in Psychology from City University in New York, as well as an MA and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut. 

Dr. John has substantial teaching experience in social, developmental, and adolescent psychology.

She has received many recognitions and honors for her work including the National Science Foundation STEM of All and teaching award nominee at WPI.  She has co-authored many academic research papers on STEM education, curriculum development, and psychology including:  

John, M.S., Sibuma, B., Dubosarsky, M., Anggoro, F. & Wunnava, S. (2018). An Iterative Participatory Approach to Developing an Early Childhood Problem-based STEM Curriculum. European Journal of STEM, 3(3), 7-12.

Klein, R.A., Vianello, M., Hasselman, F., Adams, B.G., Adams, R.B., Alper, S., John, M.S…& Neijenhuijs, K. (2018). Many Labs 2: Investigating variation in replicability across samples and settings. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1(4), 443–490.

Sibuma, B., Wunnava, S., John, M., Anggoro, F., & Dubosarsky, M. (2018, March). The impact of an integrated Pre-K STEM Curriculum on teachers’ engineering content knowledge, self-efficacy, and teaching practices.  In Integrated STEM Education Conference (ISEC), 2018 IEEE (pp. 234-237).

She has presented her academic research at national and international conferences including:

Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.

Dr. Justine Liepkalns

Dr. Justine Liepkalns was born in France, where she was raised in a bilingual household in the countryside, and immigrated to the US after high school. She attended Eckerd College in Florida for undergraduate then moved to Boston for her Master’s Degree in Biology from Tufts University and later completed her Ph.D. at Emory University, in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis. Her thesis research was based on incompatible transfusions of red blood cells. Later she joined the Immunization and Respiratory Diseases branch of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the immune reactions to influenza and vaccines in mice and humans. Her passion for teaching, learning, and research led her to become an NIH IRACDA fellow where she was trained concurrently in teaching at Clark Atlanta University alongside her academic research.
She is currently an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. She’s an educator and an immunologist with a specialty in virology and red blood cell immunology. She has taught since 2008 and aims to form communities within her classrooms, outreach opportunities, and igniting projects of interest. One of those projects included supporting Freshmen students to use crowdsourcing to designed a detection method to help screenings during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Her current research goals include teaching immunology through core concepts, developing student communities, and skills by linking classes to student career development.

Dr. Bair received a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of Anice Lowen at Emory University studying the subversion of the innate immune response by influenza viruses. As a father of five children, Camden strongly believes in empowering children with tools to creatively learn and explore the world. Camden enjoys hiking, backpacking, and spending quality time with his family.

Dr. Camden Bair

Dr. Lou-Ella George-Alexander

Dr. George-Alexander’s scientific training began in the Netherlands at the Saxion University of Applied Science Enschede, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Laboratory Research. This program entailed extensive training in laboratory techniques through immersion into the various types of laboratory techniques. Here is where she discovered the area of research, which is diverse and forever evolving and is the backbone of understanding and treating diseases.
With interest in aiding with the development of treatment modalities, Dr. George-Alexander joined the Medical Biology Masters program at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. This program allowed her to gain a better understanding of the many types of afflictions to the human body, their cellular and molecular underpinnings, and treatment strategies. The additional internships in research laboratories during this time revealed Dr. George-Alexander  interest in understanding immunological afflictions.
Subsequently, she joined the Cancer Biology Ph.D. program at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, FL where she studied the role of the transcriptional elongation ELL3 in B cell lymphoma proliferation and survival.
Currently, Dr. George-Alexander is a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where her research focuses on understanding the role of the histone methyltransferase G9a in B cell proliferation and differentiation through deletion in animal models and assessment of molecular changes through bioinformatics.

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