Erika Lyn Deppenschmidt

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Ph.D. Candidate at Stony Brook University


Know how to ask for help when you need it and to gain as much experiential knowledge as possible.

What do you do?

I perform research on muscle stem cells in culture to analyze the impact of muscle stem cell quiescence and activation in aged muscle and dystrophic muscle.

Why did you choose this field?

I was diagnosed with alopecia at the age of two, which is through to be an autoimmune related disease. Initially, this was the reason I was invested in science since I was a child. My disease is incurable and if I can help other children suffering from a disease, I would love to.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Becoming a co-founder of a mentorship program through my high school in Philadelphia. I love that I am in a position now in life where I can give back to the places that fostered my growth.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM because I have always been very curious and drawn to the sciences and research, both basic and clinical research. I love waking up to know that I am changing the future and working towards finding a cure or potential therapy other than steroids for people suffering from muscular dystrophy.

Best advice for next generation?

Knowing how to ask for help when you need it and to gain as much experiential knowledge as possible. Also, your voice is so powerful and you need to use it. Do not deter from your core values or internal natural strength to assume the "female" role in a room full of STEM associated men. YOU are your own leader. Own it.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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