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School of Medicine
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on women in science
What promoted your interest in science?
ZACHARA: I was raised in a household where there were no limits based on gender. Then, as a high school student, I had the opportunity to go to the CSIRO, the Australian version of the NIH, and they gave just as many scholarships to girls as to boys. So there was a great deal of supports for women in science in my environment.
As a young woman scientist, have you ever encountered discrimination?
ZACHARA: I've definitely met people who've taken one look at me and made a judgment before I've even opened my mouth. But usually that doesn't last long. I believe I've been able to overcome it because I'm very motivated. I am good at what I do, and I have had incredible support from my family and my peers.
What about the comments by a former Harvard president, who said that family responsibilities might prevent women from reaching their full potential?
ZACHARA: It's a matter of choosing the right partner, someone who will contribute to family life. Women can do science and also have families if they have supportive partners.