Verónica A. Segarra

Associate Professor and Endowed Chair Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Verónica Segarra, Ph.D. completed her Ph.D. in Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale. As an undergraduate, she completed a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Miami. From 2015-2022 she was an Assistant Professor of Biology at High Point University (HPU), a private regional college in High Point, NC, where she earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the spring of 2022. From 2020-2022, she served as the Interim Chair of Biology at HPU. She is currently Associate Professor and the Maryland E-Nnovation Endowed Chair in Biological Sciences and Chemistry at Goucher College.

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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

The Segarra lab studies how cells activate pathways such as autophagy and protein transport in order to survive and respond to different forms of stress. Projects in the lab are driven by undergraduate researchers, and rely on budding yeast as a model organism. Lab members are supported by one-on-one mentoring as they master techniques in the lab and develop unique identities in science and research. Dr. Segarra participates in several funded projects designed to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields, particularly by uniting scientific societies to exchange promising practices and data, and by creating and implementing innovative professional development programming for early-career scientists.


External Awards, Honors, Grants

2022 Best Teacher Award, Inaugural Vanderbilt University Basic Sciences’ Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month Celebration

The purpose of this award is to honor trailblazers and important figures who may otherwise go unrecognized. Awardees were selected by an external committee composed of staff and faculty, considering nominees’ achievements in science and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America

Dr. Segarra was showcased in 2020 on Cell Mentor’s list of 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America. The scientists highlighted on this list were selected based on scholarly achievements, mentoring excellence, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The aim in assembling the list is to put an end to the harmful myth that there are not enough diverse scientists to deliver scientific seminars, serve as panelists or fill scientific positions. The list, published by Cell Press, includes scientists with careers within academia, government and biotech.

2018 High Point University's Inaugural Innovation and Creativity in Teaching Award

This award recognizes an individual who has created a unique body of research using divergent thinking, imagination and risk taking. This awardee also models innovation in the classroom by putting curiosity, problem solving, critical thinking, deep understanding and creative brainstorming at the center of the course curriculum and classroom practice.

Projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Co-Director of the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS; NSF Grant Number 1744098). This project established an alliance of five scientific societies in the life sciences to examine, assess, and disseminate best practices related to the diversification of the STEM workforce.

Principal Investigator of the LED-BIO Research Coordination Network (NSF Grant Number 2134725). This project is a collaboration with the American Society for Cell Biology and it focuses on the establishment of a Research Coordination Network focused on finding solutions to persistent cultural challenges in scientific disciplines.

Co-Principal Investigator of ACCESS+ (NSF Grant Number 2017953). This project is a collaboration with the Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN). The project aims to expand the ACCESS project to include 25+ scientific societies.

Co-Principal investigator of the project titled The Influence of Climate, Social Networks, and Cultural Models on the Retention of Women and Racially/Ethnically Marginalized Engineers in Graduate School and the Workforce (NSF Grant Number 2301217). This project follows engineering graduate students, professors, and those in industry to learn about their experiences and the climate they face in engineering, including the factors that relate to their persistence in the profession. This research explores multiple explanatory angles to understand persistence, including the knowledge and beliefs engineers have, the people whom they go to for advice and resources, and the climate they experience in engineering. This project advances scientific knowledge about the multiple intersecting phenomena that shape the engineering workforce (both industry and academia) not representing the broader U.S. population demographically. This knowledge will ultimately help craft more inclusive engineering environments and broaden participation in the field. A more representative engineering workforce can improve society in multiple ways, such as by supporting advancements in engineering practice and education made possible by diverse perspectives.

Projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Co-Principal Investigator of an Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) grant (NIH Grant Number 2R25GM116706-03). This education research project focuses on best practices in STEM workforce diversification. As co-PI, Dr. Segarra leads the Accomplishing Career Transitions program, a capacitation and mentoring program for senior post-docs and junior faculty members.

Projects funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

Principal Investigator of the ACCESS to PUIs, a Career Guidance for Trainees Program (BWF Grant Number 1072792). This program leverages well-established resources (Collaborative Teaching Fellows Program at Goucher College and Stevenson University, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching at Goucher College) to create a cohort-based model for future-faculty career exploration at primarily undergraduate institutions that can be adopted by others, especially those in close proximity to biomedical and life sciences doctoral and postdoctoral trainees at research intensive institutions.

Academic or Professional Associations

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

American Chemical Society (ACS)

American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB)

Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Honor Society)

Dr. Segarra is an elected member of the ASCB Council and editor of the ASB journal eBio.