International Women’s Day in the Division of Science

To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020, we spoke to some of our fantastic faculty to find out more about their work and what inspired them to become the scientists, researchers, teachers, leaders, and role models that they are today.

Dean of Science Marta Losada was part of a legendary research team that made one of the most exciting and impactful discoveries of our time. She now brings decades of experience to NYU Abu Dhabi. Research Writer Naser Alwasmi spoke to Marta to find out more about her career as a scientist and an academic leader.

Tell us a bit about your research and what inspired you...


My research focuses on identifying painting forgeries and understanding the crystalline structure of drugs. I was inspired by my grandmother who was a very strong and confident woman and always encouraged me and believed in me more than I believed in myself, and my mother, whose curiosity about the world instilled in me the wish to understand how the world works.

Maria Baias, Heritage Scientist

My research focuses on designing tools that help us derive insights from data. My work is inspired by Richard Hamming’s famous saying “The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers."

Azza Abouzied, Computer Scientist

My research focuses on the contexts in which children develop, particularly in the home and at school, and how these contexts shape an individual’s development, with a focus on similarities and differences in developmental trajectories across cultures. I was inspired by parents and teachers whom I had the pleasure to work with during my time as a school psychologist, seeing how much they invested in optimizing children's development.

Antje von Suchodoletz, Developmental Psychologist

My research focuses on cyber security and privacy and how to protect systems, networks, devices, and data from digital attacks. I am inspired by the intellectual challenges, beauty of cryptography and real-world relevance of my field!

Christina Pöpper, Computer Scientist

My research focus has been pedagogy - how we can better teach, and what helps students to learn, mathematics. My inspiration came from my headmaster in primary school - in special one-on-one 'classes' - he introduced me codes. He told me stories of the great minds who broke codes during the second world war (I now know one, at least, was Bletchley - and that it depended on the minds of many incredible, almost always unsung women).

Susan Crawford, Mathematics Lecturer

My research focuses on the intersection between development, regeneration and cancer. I was inspired by the amazing physician scientist who gave me my first opportunity to work in a lab when I knew virtually nothing about research or biology.    

Kirsten Sadler Edepli, Geneticist and Cell Biologist

My research focuses on applications of mathematics to medical imaging, geophysics, and seismology. I was inspired by the impressive effectiveness of the mathematical modeling of Electrical Impedance Tomography, a noninvasive medical imaging technique.

Elena Beretta, Mathematician

My research focuses on studying cellular plasticity and organ physiology from a biophysical perspective. I am inspired by Enrico Gratton, the father of generalized polarization measurements in artificial systems and live cells.

Bakiza Noutsi, Biophysicist and Physiologist

My research focuses on how the human brain perceives and understands the visual world, and how such processes are influenced by experience and learning. I am inspired by the complexity and plasticity of the human brain.