Molly Carnes |
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Molly Carnes

Physician and Researcher

  • Fellow
  • 2006
Science, Medicine

Dr. Molly Carnes joined the faculty of the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1985. Dr. Carnes did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and received her M.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She trained in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a Masters of Science Degree in Population Health.

Dr. Carnes is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Industrial & Systems Engineering where she:

  • serves as founder and director of the Center for Women's Health Research in the School of Medicine and Public Health;
  • co-founded and co-directs the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) in the College Engineering, and;
  • directs the Women Veterans Health Program at the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital advocating for all women veterans-particularly for those returning from the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While Dr. Carnes' early research was devoted to the study of rhythms of stress hormones in a rodent model, for over a decade she has been studying how to increase the diversity of leadership in academic medicine, science, and engineering, with a particular focus on gender equity. Her research focuses on decision-making processes at critical junctures in an academic career such as hiring, promotion, and competition for prestigious awards. This work has been supported by a number of sources including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Carnes recently received an NIH grant to develop and conduct "Bias Literacy Workshops" for UW-Madison departments in biological, physical and social sciences. The goal of this project is to broadly increase the awareness of implicit assumptions about gender that we all have - whether we explicitly endorse these or not - reveal to faculty how these assumptions can subvert the intent to hire the best applicant or fund the most creative science, and encourage faculty to engage in strategies to mitigate the impact of these assumptions on decision-making processes that would cumulatively disadvantage women scientists.

In addition to receiving multiple awards and having published 100+ articles to date, Dr. Carnes is a sought after speaker at other institutions eager to learn the results of her research-most recently in Rome, Italy at the invitation of the prime minister's office as part of the country's "Practicing Gender Equality in Science" initiative.

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