Molecular biologist Jill Bargonetti-Chavarria '85 (biology) is a renowned cancer researcher, Hunter College professor, winner of many awards and innovator in the education of minorities in science,. Jill is currently researching aspects of DNA damage cause by chemotherapeutic drugs. She has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Following her years at Purchase, Jill went on to complete her M.S. and Ph.D. at New York University, followed by her Postdoc at Columbia University. She was profiled by Working Mother magazine In December 2004 as one of the nation's "Stellar Moms."
Her awards include: a Young Investigator Award (given by the mayor of New York City); the 1998 New York Voice Award (given to those who have made a significant improvement to the quality of life in New York City); the 1997 Kathy Keeton Mountain Top Award from the New York branch of the NAACP; Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Bill Clinton in 1997; New York City Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology; an Outstanding Woman Scientist Award from the Association for Women in Science; a Breast Cancer Research Foundation Award; and the 2005 NYU Graduate School of Arts & Science Alumnae Achievement Award.
Of her experience as a Black woman in science, Jill has said, "you are in a significant minority in your workplace. During graduate school, I did not have a Black woman 'biologist' role model to talk with. But, I did always remember that there was one Black woman biology teacher at Bronx Science (although she never taught me). This helped me to see the career possibility."
To learn more about Jill's current lab work, visit her faculty page.
It should also be noted that Jill is an excellent dancer. She studied dance at purchase before switching switching to biology. She also danced with a Harlem-based dance company called Diane McIntyre's, Sounds in Motion.