Sloat honored with citation

Posted: July 15, 2013

Barbara Furin Sloat, a resident of Ann Arbor and a cell biologist at the University of Michigan whose career has focused on cellular morphogenesis in yeast and on the recruitment and retention of women in the sciences, was recently recognized for her work by her alma mater Denison University, where she is a member of the class of 1963. Denison honored her with an alumni citation, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate or friend of the college. 

Sloat is an innovative professor who teaches courses as Gender & Science, Western & Nonwestern Medicine, and Medicine & Health: West and East. She also teaches a UM Medical School seminar: Understandings of Health and Disease in the Classical Medical Systems of India and Tibet. Sloat has long volunteered at the University of Michigan Health Center, where she currently serves on the Neuroscience Hospital Advisory Committee and the Neuroscience Patient and Family Partnership Council.

In addition to her research and teaching at Michigan, Sloat was founding director of the university’s Women in Science and Engineering Program (WISE), designed to increase the number of girls and women pursing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while fostering their future success. WISE has become a model program nationwide.

Sloat also is a recipient of the Grace Lyon Alumnae Award from Denison “for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in science,” and the Sarah Goddard Power Award for “distinguished service, scholarship, and commitment to the betterment of the status of women” at the University of Michigan. She served on the national executive board of the Association for Women in Science, on the board of directors of the HIV/AIDS Resource Center of Southeast Michigan, and she is a member of the board of directors of Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center.

A lifelong interest in medicine, both western and eastern, has led Sloat to many opportunities for travel and study. She has made three treks in Tibet, including a circumambulation of Mt. Kailash in 2004. She participated in a medical expedition in Nepal, and has made several trips in India and Bhutan. Inspired by her trips to the Himalayas, Sloat studied Tibetan medicine at the Shang Shung Institute in Conway, Mass. Her travels also inspired her to study western emergency medicine, and in 1998 she obtained her paramedic license.

Sloat earned her doctorate and master’s from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a bachelor’s from Denison University.

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