8th Annual
WISE Luncheon
View 2017 Gallery

2017 Honorees

Houston is home to some of the most talented and successful women in energy, aerospace, engineering, information technology, medicine, biotechnology and beyond.

Barton, Ph.D.

Professor, Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis; and Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Meet Michelle

Braam, Ph.D.

Wiess Professor and Chair, Department of BioSciences, Rice University

Meet Janet

Heslop, M.D., D.Sc.

Director, Cell and Gene Therapy Center, Baylor College of Medicine

Meet Helen


Vice President, Core Laboratories

Meet Evelyn

Past Honorees


Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D.

Astronaut, Director of Johnson Space Center

Meet Ellen


Ellen R. Gritz, PhD

Professor, Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Meet Ellen


Claire Farley

Member, Energy and Infrastructure, KKR

Meet Claire


Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D.

Astronaut, Professor, Director of Aerospace Engineering and Director of STEM Center at the University of Houston

Meet Bonnie


Lynn Elsenhans

Former Chairman and CEO of Sunoco, Inc. and non-executive director for GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Baker Hughes Incorporated; member of Rice University Board of Trustees and board member of Texas Medical Center

Meet Lynn


Mary Estes, Ph.D.

Baylor College of Medicine, Professor of Molecular Virology, Microbiology and Medicine-GI

Meet Mary


Gigi Lozano, Ph.D.

Gigi Lozano is the eldest of six children born to parents who emigrated from Mexico to Chicago so her father could work in a steel mill…

Meet Gigi


Annell Bay

Annell Bay was born in Midland, Texas—so you might not be surprised to learn that her father was a geologist with Shell. When Annell…

Meet Annell


Janet Butel, Ph.D.

Janet Butel was born on a farm near a small town in Kansas. She attended grades one through eight in a one-teacher, one-room schoolhouse…

Meet Janet


Naomi Halas, Ph.D., D.Sc.

At a young age, Naomi Halas was deeply inspired by her parents. Her mother went to night school to get her degree while working and…

Meet Naomi


Lydia Kavraki, Ph.D.

Lydia Kavraki was born and grew up on the island of Crete in Greece where her father was an electrical engineer. From an early age…

Meet Lydia


Sara Ortwein

Sara Ortwein grew up in Houston and was born into a smart, forward-thinking family. Both of her parents went to Rice University…

Meet Sara


Dianna Milewicz, M.D.

Dianna Milewicz had an on-the-move childhood. Her father was a geologist with Texaco, and moved around frequently from place to place…

Meet Dianna


Renu Khator, Ph.D.

Renu Khator was born in a small town in India to a traditional and supportive family. Her mother was her first mentor, teaching her…

Meet Renu


Susan Cunningham

Susan Cunningham grew up surrounded by medical physicists. Her family is filled with Ph.D. degrees in the science and medical fields…

Meet Susan


Margaret Kripke, Ph.D.

Margaret Kripke was born in a small town in California, but soon went on to do very big things. She got her Ph.D. from the University…

Meet Margaret


Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.

Rebecca Richards-Kortum was born in Nebraska and quickly showed a strong interest in math and science as a child…

Meet Rebecca


Peggy Whitson, Ph.D.

Peggy Whitson grew up on a farm in Iowa and has never forgotten her roots. Her love and interest in flying sparked from her dad getting…

Meet Peggy


Nancy Chang, Ph.D.

Nancy Chang was born in Taiwan in the dramatic time following World War II when Chiang Kai Shek was establishing the country’s new…

Meet Nancy


Pam Darwin

Pam Darwin was born in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts in a town of 5,000 people. She was naturally interested in science and…

Meet Pam


Kathleen Matthews, Ph.D.

Kathleen Matthews was exposed to chemistry at a very early age and has been exceling in the field ever since. Her father was an organic…

Meet Kathleen


Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D.

Renata Pasqualini grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil where girls didn’t usually choose to study science. She was very interested in biology…

Meet Renata


Melody Meyer

Melody Meyer started paving her own way even from an early age. Not many of her high school classmates went on to college then, but…

Meet Melody


Jessica Zenker Nasseri

Jessica Zenker Nasseri grew up in El Paso and went on to attend college at Rice University, where she double-majored in Biology and…

Meet Jessica


Jennifer West, Ph.D.

Jennifer West originally wanted to be a veterinarian when she was younger, but after being convinced to visit MIT by her father, she…

Meet Jennifer


Huda Zoghbi, M.D.

Huda Zoghbi grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and wanted to study literature when she was a young girl. Her mother convinced her that she…

Meet Huda