Picture a Scientist film guided panel discussion

Panelists to include Dr. Martine LaBerge, Chair, Clemson Bioengineering; Dr. Lucia Pirisi-Creek, former SC INBRE Program Director; and Dr. Takita Sumter, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Winthrop University.

Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But there is a growing group of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists, exposing long-standing discrimination, and leading the way in making science more inclusive. A biologist, a chemist, and a geologist lead viewers on a journey through their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from outright harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, scientific visionaries, including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists, provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

You are encouraged to view the film prior to this discussion session. The film is available for viewing for free on the PBS NOVA website.


Dr. Martine LaBerge
Dr. LaBerge is SC INBRE's institutional PI at Clemson where she has been the Department Chair of Bioengineering since 2002, making her the longest-serving chair in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. LaBerge has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including president of the Society of Biomaterials, member of the Biomedical Engineering Society Board of Directors and chair of the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering in the US and Canada. At Clemson, her leadership positions included seven months in 2013 as acting dean of what was then the College of Engineering and Science.
In April 2021, Clemson University Commission on Women named LaBerge its inaugural Gender Equity Champion. Her advice to young women is, “You have invested so much and now you have to give back to others. These are two essential elements of leadership: perseverance and persistence. Don’t ever believe it if someone tells you cannot do it.”

Dr. Lucia Pirisi-Creek
Dr. Pirisi-Creek was the past Program Director of SC INBRE where she spent well over a decade working tirelessly, often without support staff, to build the SC INBRE Program to what you see it as today. She describes herself as "a physician by training and a scientist by trade." Pirisi-Creek obtained her MD degree in Italy, in 1983, and moved to the USA in 1985 to pursue a career in biomedical research at the National Cancer Institute. From 1988 until her retirement in 2109, she taught Pathology and Microbiology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, SC, where she also directed a research laboratory that studied the role of human papillomavirus in various forms of cancer. She is also an author. You can find the Kindle-only version of her book,
Piano Music, her first foray into the world of fiction on Amazon.

Dr. Takita Felder Sumter
Dr. Sumter has had a long-time association with SC INBRE. She is the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and is also a professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology at Winthrop University. She received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of South Carolina and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine prior to joining the faculty at Winthrop. Sumter has taught courses in the general chemistry and biochemistry sequences and enthusiastically mentors undergraduate research. Her research focuses on understanding the role played by the High Mobility Group A (HMGA) Family of proteins in cancer initiation and progression. Sumter's professional commitment to fostering the interests of minorities in science is seen in her service on the Minority Affairs and Undergraduate Affiliate Network committees of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Sumter hopes that her student-centered research and teaching and her active involvement in ASBMB will foster the interests of students, especially minorities and women, in science.

Since we do not have a single speaker this month, our “mixologist” and Program Manager John Clarkson has chosen a summer-y type drink traditionally made with rum and citrus. Writes John:

“Duppy” is a colloquial term for ghost in the West Indies. The myth was that the Duppy was quite fond of rum and pouring a bit on the ground or maybe leaving a little shot out on the table was enough to satisfy the Duppy’s thirst and it would leave you alone. With a multitude of delicious tropical fruits and styles of rum (dark, aged, spiced, white — or “over-proof”), its no wonder why the Duppy cocktail is quite different throughout the West Indies. In Jamaica, one of the more famous Duppy cocktails is made at the Devon House in Kingston — consisting of mangoes, nutmeg and dark rum. But the common ingredient is and will always be — rum — it’s the Duppy’s favorite!

For my grandfather, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, he preferred his Duppy as simple as an martini. He was a equipment salesman for Texaco, Inc. and when he would entertain clients for dinner or for cocktail parties — he wanted to make a simple delicious drink that was easy to prepare, easy to drink and easy to ask for another (a salesman for sure!). His Duppy is very similar to the traditional daiquiri (rum, simple syrup and lime juice), but he added one more ingredient: fresh grapefruit juice! His backyard was filled with fruit and citrus trees and he had plenty of limes and grapefruits. Here is the mocktail recipe for my grandfather’s “Duppy.”

Since this is a mocktail, we will remove the rum — all of the other ingredients provide plenty of that tropical flavor and we will not have to substitute a non-alcoholic version of rum.


Cocktail Shaker
Fine strainer (bartender’s strainer)
Crushed Ice
Martini or Cocktail glass

Mint leaves -or- Grapefruit wedge -or- fine ground salt

1 oz. Simple syrup
2 oz. Fresh squeezed Ruby-red Grapefruit juice (fresh is best!)
1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed Lime juice

Store-bought simple syrup is fine but to really get great flavor—make your own:
Combine 1 part water to 1 part sugar in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir until all sugar has dissolved. Let cool, then pour into a glass jar and seal tightly with a lid.
Now for the flavor: use coconut water instead of tap water and if you can find it — use turbinado or organic pure cane sugar. Turbinado sugar comes from the first pressing of the sugar cane and contains more of the plants natural flavor (just like rum).

Store martini glasses in the refrigerator prior to preparation (cocktails in martini glasses are meant to be served very cold — so cool down the glasses as well).
If serving with a martini glass, the drink is served “neat” (without ice).
If serving with highball or cocktail glassware, the drink is served “on the rocks” (with ice).

Fill shaker with crushed ice.
Add all software to shaker, cover and thoroughly shake.
Pour ingredients through strainer into your chilled martini glass.
Garnish with grapefruit wedge or mint leaf.

To add a contrast to the flavors of grapefruit — line the rim of your glass with fine ground salt. Simply dip the rim of your glass onto a small plate with a little bit of simple syrup to coat. Then dip the glass onto a small plate with the salt. The syrup will allow the salt to adhere to the rim.