Celebrating Women in Military Health
Did you know that women make up 40% of the nation’s physical scientists? According to a study funded by the National Science Foundation, female veterans are entering STEM fields at rates higher than males.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity to celebrate women scientists and the meaningful contributions they make to research and discovery every day. It’s a day to inspire future women scientists and consider ways to close the gender gap.
To celebrate the role of women in science, we’re featuring six women scientists at Leidos and the inspirational work they do. We also asked each woman to share why they think women in science are inspiring.
Get to know those scientists as we celebrate #WomenInScience.
Isabel Jacobson, MPH - Epidemiologist
Isabel Jacobson is an epidemiologist with Leidos at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California. After completing her Master of Public Health degree at San Diego State University, she went to work with the largest and longest-running prospective cohort study of U.S. Service members and veterans, the Millennium Cohort Study. More than 15 years later, Isabel has grown her career with the study, and has been an author on more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. She leads the health-related behaviors and women’s health research portfolios, focusing her work on understanding how experiences during and after military service are related to sleep-related health outcomes, substance use, women-specific health outcomes, and more. She supervises a team of fellow Leidos epidemiologists, all working together to promote identification of exposure and outcome relationships, and understand target points for early interventions that may help reduce adverse health outcomes among service members, veterans and their families.
Cynthia LeardMann, MPH - Epidemiologist
Cynthia LeardMann, MPH, is a senior epidemiologist with Leidos at the Deployment Health Research Department, Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, California. Over the last 17 years, she been an investigator with the Millennium Cohort Study, Millennium Cohort Family Study, and Recruit Assessment Program. Cynthia is the psychological program lead for the Millennium Cohort Study. Her research focuses on PTSD, depression, suicide, adverse childhood experiences, and sexual trauma among U.S. Service members, veterans, and their families. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications and has been awarded for her research contributions, including receiving the Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize and the Walter L. Wilkins Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research.
Vrajeshri P. Ordek - Biomedical Engineer
Vrajeshri is a biomedical engineer in the warfighter performance department at the Naval Health Research Center where she helps develop and test virtual reality environments for training and rehabilitation purposes. Her past experience in various biomedical research projects allows her to lead clinical research projects, provide technical support, and manage large clinical datasets. Working with virtual and augmented reality for over 7 years, she strives to deliver meaningful technologies to clinicians in both the civilian and military sectors.
Sabrina Richardson, Ph.D. - Research Psychologist
Sabrina Richardson is a research psychologist interested in child adaptation to military and non-military risk, with particular attention to relationship processes of resilience. Since 2016, Sabrina has worked on the Millennium Cohort Family Study, a multi-cohort longitudinal study of military families. Among her topics of study, Sabrina has focused on military spouse adjustment to, and readiness for, future deployments, marital stability among military spouses, and child maltreatment in the first two years of life among military parents. Most recently, Sabrina has been studying child behavioral adjustment to family separation from military service.
Shannon Romer, Ph.D. - Research Physiologist
Shannon Romer is a research physiologist contractor for the Naval Medical Research Unit -Dayton in the Environmental Health Effects Laboratory. Dr. Romer has a doctorate in biomedical sciences specializing in neuroscience and is also a certified clinical neurophysiologist. She has been trained in nervous system injury, neurodegeneration, and disease. Her primary expertise is in respiratory and locomotor neuronal circuits, with publications spanning from brain to muscle. Currently, Dr. Romer studies the effects of various environmental exposures on health and operational motor performance.