Purdue announces inaugural Distinguished Women Scholars

February 23, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue alumnae have been named as the university's inaugural Distinguished Women Scholars.

This year's recipients are M. Eileen Dolan, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago; Nancy Ann Monteiro-Riviere, professor of investigative dermatology and toxicology at the Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University; and Mary Jean Wirth, the W. Brooks Fortune Professor of Chemistry at Purdue.

Mary Jean Wirth

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The awards program, led by Purdue's Office of the Provost in partnership with Discovery Park's Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, honors alumnae who earned a Purdue doctorate and have made significant scholarly contributions to their academic communities.

"These three women are indeed distinguished scholars. They make Purdue proud," said Beverly Davenport Sypher, vice provost for faculty affairs and the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair for Leadership Excellence. "Each of these women is a role model to all of our scholars in the making, especially women students in STEM disciplines where they are most underrepresented. They also are a testament to the outstanding Purdue faculty advisers who mentored them through graduate school and helped launch their careers."

Purdue will honor Dolan, Monteiro-Riviere and Wirth on March 3-4 as part of the West Lafayette campus celebration of Women's History Month. A presentation is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 3 in Stewart Center, Room 206. The trio will discuss their career achievements, describe how their mentors helped them and offer advice to young scholars. To register, go online to http://www.purdue.edu/dp/sbbcle

"We believe these women have unique insights to share with their academic peers, graduate students who aspire to academic careers and undergraduates who may not have considered graduate school or research careers," Sypher said.

M. Eileen Dolan

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Dolan, one of the nation's leading cancer researchers, received her doctorate degree in medicinal chemistry from Purdue in 1983, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State University. She has been a faculty member at the University of Chicago since 1989 and is currently a tenured professor of medicine.

Dolan is chair of the Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics, a program that trains clinical and post-doctoral fellows in the field of personalized medicine, new drug development and clinical pharmacology. She also co-leads the Pharmacogenomics and Experimental Therapeutics Program within the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Monteiro-Riviere also is a professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill/NCSU and research adjunct professor of dermatology at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is a Fellow in the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and in the American College of Toxicology. She serves as associate editor for Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews in nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, and on six toxicology editorial boards.

Nancy Ann Monteiro-Riviere

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She has a bachelor's degree in biology from Stonehill College and master's and doctorate degrees in veterinary anatomy from Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine. Monteiro-Riviere completed a postdoctoral fellowship in toxicology at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (now Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences) in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Wirth's research focus is the separation and isolation of biomarker candidates in blood for early detection of cancer, and her teaching focus relates the principles of chemistry to current issues in the real world. She has received several honors including the ANACHEM Award, the Gold Medal Award in analytical spectroscopy; and the Spectrochemical Analysis Award of the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Wirth also has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 1974 and a doctorate in chemistry from Purdue in 1978 under the direction of professor Fred E. Lytle.  Since then, her career has taken her from coast to coast before returning to Purdue as a faculty member in 2009.
Writers: Sharon Martin, 765-494-6801, sharonmartin@purdue.edu
                Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources:  Beverly Davenport Sypher, 765-494-9709, bdsypher@purdue.edu
                   Nancy Ann Monteiro-Riviere, 919-513-6426, nancy_monteiro@ncsu.edu
                   M. Eileen Dolan, 773-702-4441, edolan@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu
                   Mary Jean Wirth, 765-494-5328, mwirth@purdue.edu