Each month, Look Who’s Talking features voices from across BWH answering the same question. In honor of Women’s History Month, this month BWHers answer: Which female innovator inspires you? If you would like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment at the bottom of the page.


“The female innovator that inspires me most is Amy Wagers, who is a Harvard professor and a scientist at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Wagers as a research trainee. Although she has made multiple, substantial contributions to our knowledge of skeletal muscle and its regenerative potential, many of which are directly translatable into clinical therapies, Dr. Wagers remains approachable, humble and earnest.  Numerous other trainees and I are better scientists and mentors for having spent time with her.”

– Indranil Sinha, MD, Associate Director, Trauma and Burn Center


“It’s hard for me to pick just one female innovator. First, there’s Clara Barton, a pioneering nurse who founded the American Red Cross. Her vision for delivering care to those who needed it during times of war and conflict was an innovation that has stood the test of time. Then there’s Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who worked together on issues related to women’s rights. The groundbreaking work that these women did on behalf of all people was innovative and remains inspiring. But I guess if I had to pick just one, then it would have to be Florence Nightingale. She was a nurse, and a scientist (like me!).”

– Katherine Gregory, PhD, Nurse Scientist, Pediatric Newborn Medicine


“The female innovator I admire the most is Rosalind Franklin, a chemist who played an integral role in our understanding of DNA. Though Rosalind’s contribution was never formally recognized during her lifetime, she dedicated a significant chunk of her short life to the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is because of Rosalind’s important work that we know as much as we do about genetics. I admire those who strive to improve situations without expecting much in return and being content with the satisfaction of knowing they were a part of something important to society. “

– Sumaira Ahmed, Marketing and Business Development Manager, STRATUS – Center for Medical Simulation


“Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Retail at Apple, inspires me because of her innovative spirit, ability to execute on bold, forward visions, while also exemplifying the core values of humility and compassion. Quickly rising to the top of the fashion industry, she helped transform Burberry into an iconic, global brand. Now, Angela leads the evolution of Apple’s retail experience for the next generation, leveraging technology and innovation to marry the physical and digital realms.”

– Chen Cao, MPH, Innovation Analyst, Brigham Digital Innovation Hub


“One of the most influential and impressive innovators ever was Florence Nightingale.  Besides being widely considered the creator of modern nursing—she founded the first professional nursing school at St Thomas hospital in London, she also revolutionized how data could be used for understanding clinical care and outcomes.  Much of how evidence-based and patient-centered medicine is delivered today can be traced back to Florence Nightingale’s innovations in this space.”

– William Gordon, MD, Hospitalist, Department of Medicine