Featured SEBM Scientists

Holly Lavoie, PhD

University of South Carolina School of Medicine, SEBM Member since 1996

I am a Professor in the Dept. of Cell Biology and Anatomy at University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  I teach and do research and do a variety of service inside and outside the university.  Outside the University this service is mostly peer-review of grants and scientific journal articles. 

I went to college I thought I want to be a physician.  In high school, I volunteered at a hospital.  This made me realize that I did really not want to work with patients, yet I still wanted to do something medically relevant.  I realized when I went to college that there were other options like teaching and research.  I got the opportunity to be a teaching assistant as a graduate student and loved it.  I became very interested in Endocrinology and Reproduction.  I loved the feedback loops and signaling cascades and chose to pursue this line of study and set my goals on becoming an academic researcher and teacher.  

I think it is so important to educate the public about what we do---in a simple way.  I also feel that when we do this education the facts need to be accurate. 

If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing.  Each step has been a learning experience that has made me a better person and who I am today.

Read Holly's Full Interview Here

Shelly Lu, MD

Cedar Sinai Medical Center, Keck School of Medicine, SEBM Member since 2006

I'm the Director, Division of Gastroenterology.  I run an academic division with over 20 full-time clinical and around 15 Ph.D. faculty members.  I also direct a busy research lab funded by 5R01s.  I am a physician scientist who still sees patients.  I do feel it is important that what we do in the lab has clinical relevance and can help improve patient care ultimately.  It is important to be able to explain in lay terms what we work on

My philosophy is to leave as many doors open as possible and to never ignore unexpected results.  They are often clues of something more novel.  What I did right was to have a great mentor in the beginning of my career.  Subsequently I met my close collaborator and our collaboration helped further both of our careers.  In academia there will always be times when things don’t work out (more often than the other way around) but perseverance is key.  At the end of the day, if this is something that excites you then you stay with it.  If not, think about another track.  You only have one life to live.

Read Shelly's Full Interview Here


Rashid Bashir, PhD

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I am the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and faculty in Bioengineering with courtesy appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. I am the department head of Bioengineering at UIUC.

When I was a kid I knew I liked science and engineering. i studied electrical engineering for BS through PhD. I love being a professor and i love academia but if I did not do that I would have been a physician. Well, I was part of team that conceived the idea and part of the team that is starting the first Engineering Based Medical School at UIUC – so that dream could also become a reality in an indirect way.

All my education was in Electrical Engineering. In the last semester of my PhD I took bioengineering courses and many light bulbs went on! That’s what I want to be doing. Then i worked in the semiconductor industry for 6 years and during that time went back to school to take biology, organic chemistry and various wet labs. And then went back to academia to be a professor. I was at Purdue for 9 years and then move to UIUC and have been here for for 9 years.

Read Rashid's Full Interview Here