Neha Pankow is a 2018-2019 AAAS fellow working in the Office of Integrative Activities. Her academic background is non-traditional and highly cross-disciplinary. She received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering (India) after which she moved to the U.S. for graduate work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a Graduate student, Neha used her foundation in engineering to build custom microscopy setups for single-molecule experiments and studied the biophysics of transport in cells. To further pursue her scientific interests in the context of cancer, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow sponsored by the American Cancer Society at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Neha enjoys working closely with people from different backgrounds and believes that diversity contributes strongly to innovative thinking. Starting in high-school, she has been constantly seeking means to give back to society. Both in India and the U.S., she has volunteered through non-profit organizations in areas including sanitation, mental health, STEM outreach, gender equality and prevention of child abuse. These outreach experiences in addition to her several years in various STEM environments have left her eager to work on policy issues addressing STEM education, outreach and diversity.