Member Spotlight

Behnaz Akbari

Research Scholar
AWIS member since 2022


“If my plan works, it will lead to science production and fostering better healthcare for patients at hospitals.”

Headshot of Behnaz Akbari

What do you aspire to accomplish in your career and why?

I have a special enthusiasm for developing innovative biomedical research in mass spectrometry and quantitative imaging techniques for human surgical decision-making and clinical diagnosis. If my plan works, it will lead to science production and fostering better healthcare for patients at hospitals. I think having experience in multiple disciplines in science will potentially help me put my ideas into the practice in future.

What is your favorite word?


How do you define it?

It is a type of candle whose flame fuels our plans, aspirations, and dreams. Under no circumstance should you let anybody blow it out.

How has this word influenced or inspired your career?

I overcame many challenges as an international student in academia and the research community by lighting the flame of my candle (motivation). That is how I have been able to move forward and protect my dreams.

How does AWIS impact your career journey?

I believe it could open avenues for me to be a voice for international students and their challenges in the research community. I aim to be a representative of international students at the Department of Education in the USA and propose amendments that restore crucial protections in the research community.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I’m reading psychology books by James Hollis and Carl Gustav Jung. I listen to podcasts related to history and sociology, too.

What do you consider the best professional or personal advice you’ve ever received?

Whenever I face barriers in my academic life, I always keep one piece of advice in mind from one of my influential mentors in science: “It is about the academic journey and learning things that you never knew before.” Yes! It is a journey; we should keep going and be open to new things happening.

Behnaz Akbari received her BS in chemistry & MSc in analytical chemistry in Iran. In 2019, she joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and obtained a second MSc in chemistry (2021). To advance her career in medicine, she pursued her interests at Boston University School of Medicine and received her third MSc in 2022 in bioimaging. She also has hands-on experience with cutting-edge mass spectrometry technology. She was recently selected as a new member of the Younger Chemists Committee in the analytical chemistry division of the American Chemical Society. Her most recent publication is The role of plant-derived natural antioxidants in reduction of oxidative stress

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