Time to meet Dr. Elizabeth Delery (She/her)! Dr. Delery is a neuroimmunologist and is currently a postdoctoral scientist at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in the USA!
What kind of scientist are you?
I got my PhD in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in microbiology & immunology, but I worked in a neuroscience lab for my dissertation & all of my publications, so I like to call myself a neuroimmunologist. Currently, I am a postdoc in a Physiology Department and I use my skills and knowledge of the brain’s immune system to examine the mechanisms of alcoholism and drug addiction on the brain. I love to talk about all the cool science facts I’ve learned to get people passionate about science, and I love to fight the spread of pseudoscience leading to the anti-vaxxer movement by sharing the literature and discussing it in a way that is easy for everyone to understand.
What made you want to become a scientist?
My dad was a forensic scientist and pushed me to always ask questions and to love learning. Growing up he introduced me to microscopes, DNA analysis and fingerprints in his lab, and anytime we went to the park he’d point out different plants, animals, and even rocks and helped me explore the world around me, and that made me want to be a scientist to help solve the world’s mysteries
“I have often been told I don’t look or behave like a scientist because I’m a 6′ tall female who wears leggings/athletic clothing all the time, listens to rock music, and casually talks with anyone about anything.”Dr. Elizabeth Delery
What makes you a #UniqueScientist?
I am a unique scientist because I am down to earth and open about my love of science as well as my struggles with science that come from having ADHD and severe anxiety. I have often been told I don’t look or behave like a scientist because I’m a 6′ tall female who wears leggings/athletic clothing all the time, listens to rock music, and casually talks with anyone about anything… I think that’s cool because I like to break stereotypes and I enjoy being what people don’t expect me to be.
What’s something cool you do outside of work?
While I was in grad school I played rugby (my first time ever) for Tulane’s club team and we later went on to win D1 Nationals. I also LOVE to cook, workout, and spend time with my dogs Wishbone & Thor.
If you had one wish and could change anything in science, what would it be?
I would remove “scooping.” I hate that science is such a cutthroat field that people feel the need to put others down, pick fights, and worse, steal their research and hard work. I’d want to make it more friendly and collaborative, where more people’s hearts are in it for humanity rather than the fame and glory and funding (I’d also provide more funding to help out).
“I’d want to make [science] more friendly and collaborative, where more people’s hearts are in it for humanity rather than the fame and glory and funding”Dr. Elizabeth Delery
Who has inspired you the most in your journey to where you are now?
My undergrad professors Dr. Mattson & Dr. Houlihan who encouraged me to pursue science, and taught me the valuable lesson of questioning everything (even things they said). They both saw the value in challenging the status quo rather than just accepting the dogma because that was how true discoveries and innovations are made.
Let’s end on a high note! What’s something you’ve done this week that you’re proud of?
I started a 6 week diet/gym challenge and have made it 1.5 weeks so far without dying at a workout and/or cheating on my diet. I’m proud of my dedication and perseverance despite the fact it sucks (haha).
#WomenInSTEM, #STEMinist, #STEMAvenger