With only 14% of American scientists being female, women may be outnumbered in science, but this doesn’t mean that they are not making significant advances in the field of technology. Shenova aims to shine the much-deserved light to these underrepresented voices.This is the beginning feature in our series of #STEMStars : women pioneers who are changing the way we see the world.
Dr. Erica Warp is the perfect example of someone enthusiastically breaking the glass ceiling across the fields of science, art and education. And she has been doing so all her life, with work she balances as she plays the role of scientist, researcher, artist, entrepreneur and now mother. Erica is an incredibly brilliant, spirited and talented person. Here are some more reasons Erica embodies a STEMStar.
This Bay Area native has a stellar excellent academic record, powering through male dominated courses of study. With a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University, a master’s degree and a PhD in neuroscience from King’s College London and UC Berkeley respectively, her education speaks for itself. She has specialized in the nervous system - developing new ways to improve treatment for related disorders.
Erica co-founded a company called Kizoom, Inc. with the vision of making brain awareness relatable and exciting for kids. Kizoom is an interactive app that doesn’t only teach kids about matters of the brains, but more importantly aims at getting them interested in science at early age. Erica says, “I think neuroscience is a great “gateway science” to get kids excited in STEM subjects. They can relate to it directly, everyone thinks brains are cool, and neuroscience is interdisciplinary, so getting a kid excited about brain science automatically gets them interested in biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology, and applied fields like engineering and computer science.”
With intellectual horsepower superior on both the right-side and the left-side of the brain, Erica is an artist, painter and sculptor who has been creating artwork from her parents’ garage since she was a child. With art degrees (yes, on top of all her science work!) from Rhode Island School of Design and Goldsmith College, she co-founded the gallery and artist space “The Surgery” in London. “Though static pictures of cells and molecules can be stunning, looking at them through a scope is even more so – just like seeing a photo of a mountain or canyon is not the same as actually being there. You lose the sense of scale. Having had the privilege of “micro-exploring”, I use art to communicate the energy, complexity and child-like aesthetic of these worlds that I have experienced.“, Erica shares.
As if Erica can’t get any cooler, her project ‘NeuroDisco’ combines art, science… and (surprise!) music. By using a special headset attached to the brain, people can basically control music, light and sculpture therefore coming up with a finished product that reflects their unique state of mind. “I am working on in collaboration with composer (and husband) Richard Warp and neuroscientist and wearable tech designer Chung-Hay Luk. We are using the Emotiv EEG headset to measure emotional and cognitive states in the player (the “EEGJ”) which we used to curate and generate musical beats and control the lights in a giant 7 foot neuron.”, Erica explains. How amazing is this?! See and hear more about this on NPR
With her current role (another amazing feather on her hat!) as a Principal Neuroscientist at EMOTIV, Dr. Erica Warp is a truly dynamic role-model and STEMStar.
And Holly is extremely honored to have had the commission from her to make the eye catching combo of "educational and fashionable" Neuron dress for her PhD graduation from UC Berkeley. The print she made was inspired with imagery from the original 1887 illustrations of neuroscience field legend, Ferruccio Tatuferi. The experience of creating the Neuroscience inspired dress was so interesting to Holly it became the first in a series of STEM dresses. The Women in STEM collection now features all sorts of fields ranging from Red Blood Cells to Rocket Engineering to Gravitational Waves. With more to come! Sign up for our newsletter for updates.
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