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Executive Board

We work Together with a Common Vision


Dr. Gauri Kulkarni


Dr. Kulkarni is a Regenerative Medicine Scientist at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, NC.  Her expertise and specialized Research areas include tissue engineering, stem cell therapy, organ-on-a-chip devices and drug discovery to repair damaged or diseased tissues and organs to make patients lives better. She also has an experience in Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization. Dr. Kulkarni is a Chair of Women Postdoctoral Scientists' events and is a member of Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) at Wake Forest School of Medicine.  Besides research, She is an International Space Station Ambassador, actively engaged  in enriching young minds through STEM education, mentoring, professional development and community outreach. She is also a visual artist and has exhibited her Science inspired paintings in the professional art galleries to bring social awareness.

"Be the Changemaker"


Dr. Tracy Criswell


Dr. Criswell is an Associate Professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) and is also affiliated with the Wake Forest Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS), the Wake Forest Sticht Center on Aging and the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (BMES).  Her specific research interests are focused on exploring the interactions between cells and the local micro-environment that mediate cell survival, growth, and differentiation and how these interactions change as we age. In addition to research, Dr. Criswell is actively involved in STEM education, mentoring, professional development, and community outreach. She currently serves as co-chair of the WFIRM Education Committee, Chair of the WIMS Research and Education subcommittee, Co-Chair of the Wake Forest Graduate School Biomedical Sciences Committee on Race and Equity, and Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society.

Allyn Howlett.jpg

Dr. Allyn Howlett


Dr. Howlett is a Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest  School of Medicine. She is a biochemical neuropharmacologist, whose expertise is on cannabinoid receptor signal transduction. Dr. Howlett is Assistant Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Director, Office of Postdoctoral Education, Wake Forest University. She is actively engaged in promoting professional development of postdoctoral scientists.


Dr. Tadenka Boko

Interim Secretary (August 2022-Current)

Dr. Boko is an Assistant Professor in Biology at Forsyth Tech Community College.  She  has an extensive background in STEM student support, through mentoring and advising underrepresented students, women and veterans along their educational and career pathways. Being an active member of AWIS-NC, Dr. Boko believes to empower women in STEM being an advocate for oneself, intentionally identify and accept mentors, allies, connectors and cheerleaders in order to utilize all of your resources to overcome hindrances.


Dr. Laura Watts

Former Secretary (August 2021-August 2022)

Laura Watts is an associate professor of biology and co-director of the Health Science Program at Salem College. She holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her research interests include analyzing the impact of environmental contaminants, including coal ash, on soil microbes. She is also a member of the Tiny Earth network of instructors.

Executive Board: Meet the Team
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