Name: Lindsey Fitzsimons, M.S.
Title: Biomedical Scientist
Location: Portland, ME
School/Program: University of Maine, Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering
Currently Wearing: The Vandi Athletic Fit Lab Coat
Why did you choose your profession?:
I didn't set out to be a scientist. In fact, I spent many years struggling between my love for the visual arts and a passion for working with and helping people. My path into science was entirely indirect, and was eventually determined because of an incredible mentor who encouraged me, challenged me and took the time to help me foster an inherent level of curiosity for the science of what is going on underneath the skin.
Current Passion Project:
My biggest passion project, and the purpose behind starting my instagram (earlier this year), was to set out to help redefine what people think of, when they think of "a scientist." Being a woman, and especially a younger mother in the field of biomedical research (and especially in the cardiovascular sciences) has been incredibly challenging for me with a consistent lack of support and good mentorship. As the only female anatomist at my institution, I often experience isolation and feelings of descrimination. Through my instagram and my hashtag "#mamasinscience", I have become invovled with international organizations like Mothers In Science and with Her Stem Story Podcast as a way to help broadcast the success stories of women and mother scientists. Finally, I am very passionate about promoting/funding for congenital heart disease research. As someone who personally studies these diseases, I feel personally responsible for communicating this research to the public and sharing the critical importance of public and private funding for these projects.
Who was/is your inspiration?
My Mom. I was raised by a single mom who spent my early childhood years finishing her own PhD in Psychology. As the first woman in our family to pursue and complete a doctoral degree (especially as a single parent), she sacrificed so much in setting an example for me of what is possible, but also through her endless encouragement, through all the ups and downs, as I take on this challenge myself.
Fun Fact 1:
I can wiggle my ears!
Fun Fact 2:
I was a competitive tap dancer and won several national awards when I was growing up.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field?
Keep your chin up and stay true to who you are. It can be difficult to find a good mentor, but when you do, it will be worth the wait. Your integrity, persistence and passion for your work is what will really distinguish you in the end!