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New PhD Grad Finds Camaraderie Among Women in Science

For Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin, the Johns Hopkins Women's Health Research Group served as a home base to connect with mentors, colleagues and collaborators.


Morgana Mongraw-ChaffinMorgana Mongraw-Chaffin, a 2013 PhD graduate in Epidemiology, has nothing but praise for the school’s collegial atmosphere, stellar teaching and faculty mentorship.

“The priority on mentoring has been better than anywhere I’ve ever been,” says Mongraw-Chaffin, now a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California at San Diego. “The faculty are very serious about training the next generation of researchers.”

Beyond the classroom and the lab, she found additional support at meetings of the Women’s Health Research Group (WHRG), where she became a regular participant.

The monthly gatherings offer a forum for women scientists from throughout the Hopkins medical campus—across the schools of public health, medicine and nursing—to swap shop talk, network and collaborate on women’s health and sex-differences research.

Mongraw-Chaffin is investigating the difference in body fat composition between men and women  and how that influences the symptoms and risks of heart disease. The WHRG connected her with faculty who share her interest in sex-differences research. She also collaborated with group members on papers on other topics.

Mongraw-Chaffin credits her group affiliation with helping her to land her current postdoc position.

“I think having a background in women’s health, in addition to epidemiology, gave me a tremendous advantage,” she says.