Rommie Amaro has received the nation’s highest honor for young scientists and engineers. She and Laura Mustari of Pacific Beach – CEO of Home Start, a 35-year-old organization dedicated to ensuring the wellbeing of children while focusing on child-abuse treatment in San Diego County – were runners-up to the eventual winner, Betty Peabody of Point Loma. Peabody is known for her longtime, high-profile volunteerism benefiting Balboa Park.
In 2011, UCSD bioscientist Amaro was selected by President Obama for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers.
“I am very honored to be among those nominated for the woman of the year award,” said Amaro, whose work involves computational modeling and simulation of biological systems. “We have been particularly interested in using computational simulations in researching experimental methods for targets in cancer, influenza and neglected tropical diseases. We are also developing new multi-scale simulation approaches so that our simulations are more biologically accurate that ever before.”
Amaro’s research has been lauded for her use of cutting-edge computational methods to help discover new drugs and to explore and shed light on the complex machinery of life at the microscopic level. Amaro is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the Hellman Fellowship and the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award. Her laboratory is broadly concerned with the development and the application of state-of-the-art computational and theoretical techniques to investigate the structure, function and dynamics of complex biological systems.
The three women will soon be recognized in a formal ceremony by the state legislature in Sacramento. They were nominated for the Speaker’s Women of the Year project for Women’s History Month in March.
Every year, one woman from each state assembly district in Sacramento is honored for her achievements. This year, outstanding women in 10 different communities around San Diego were nominated to be honored along with Peabody at a private luncheon in mid-March.
Nominees and winners were chosen and evaluated based on their history of community engagement and whether their work has made a positive impact on San Diego.