Rowat's class. The University of California, Los Angeles
(UCLA) professor is using food to illustrate the com-
working well, with an impressive career in world-class research,
a multitude of publications, and a line up of executive chefs and
farmers waiting to be guest presenters in her classes.
stiff. To do this, we build devices that can measure cell stiffness
at very high rates, using teeny sensors to probe how the nucleus
inside of the cell deforms. Using these physical properties, we
can make and contribute to biomedically-relevant discoveries
like finding new anti-cancer drugs. This work has huge potential
to change the way we think about biology and could have a
profound biomedical impact," says Rowat. "I brought food into
the mix, as everything we eat is essentially made up of cells and
it's something we all know and love. It's been a wonderful
addition to my teaching, and has also changed the way I think
about my research."
continuing her teaching using food at UCLA. She is launching a
new course called "Science and Food: The Molecular and Physical
Origins of What We Eat." Topics include physiology of taste;
and why lettuce is crispy: examining the concepts and roles of force
and pressure in plants and food texture.
earned an arts degree in Asian literatures in addition to her
physics degree, an experience she says has helped her greatly
in her career and current job at UCLA. "That was a complete
accident but one that worked so well. While studying science,
I also discovered my love of literature and religious studies.
This has helped me greatly throughout my career. As a scientist,
it's essential that you can also explain your work in a clear way.
I appreciate the foundation I received at Mount Allison more
and more as a professor."
ingly, she is also a wonderful cook. "I love to cook. It's been a big
part of my life since a very young age. I remember spending lots
of time in the kitchen with my mother and grandfather learning
the basics. I tend to try new dishes and have rotating `favourites'
depending on where I am. In Denmark, where I completed my
in Los Angeles I am amazed at the different varieties of citrus
and avocados available. I love to bake, especially pies. Being able
to tie this into my work life, learning the physics behind what
makes a flaky pie crust, is a bonus."