Barbara Natalizio

I am a biomedical research scientist with expertise in molecular genetics, microbiology, and cell and developmental biology who has developed a personal and professional commitment to improving higher education policy. My passion is to support and inspire scientists to empower themselves and take ownership of their lives to design their most fulfilling futures.  

My current interests are in the areas of career and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars; effective science communication; building collaborative, cross-disciplinary communities; and strengthening science policy to better benefit society. My work with the National Postdoctoral Association allows me to support the postdoctoral community by advocating for improved local and national postdoctoral policies. For many years, I have been deeply invested in promoting effective science communication, having been a participant in one of the earliest summer institutes at the Alda Center for Communicating Science. My dedication to science communication continues through my engagement with the Cultivating Ensembles community, which I have had the distinct honor of being a part of since 2013. Currently, I am helping to advance key work for several efforts exploring approaches to confront the myriad challenges that have emerged in the culture of higher education.

I am a Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Postdoctoral Association, the Co-Chair of the 2021 Cultivating Ensembles conference, the founder of the Scientists with Improv Skills (SWIS) Affinity Group, and Vice President for Finance for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) DC Metropolitan Chapter. Formerly, I was a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow serving in the Division of Graduate Education, Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation.

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