Member Spotlight

Dr. Gauri Kulkarni

Regenerative Medicine Scientist
Wake Forest Institute For Regenerative Medicine
AWIS member since 2021


“Be the voice, break the stereotype, and be the changemaker!”

Headshot of Dr. Gauri Kulkarni

What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

Be the voice, break the stereotype, and be the changemaker!

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or milestone?

Earning my PhD degree with patience, perseverance, and enormous hard work in extremely challenging conditions.

What do you aspire to accomplish in your career?

Becoming an inspiring leader to make a positive impact in the world.

Describe an amazing opportunity in your STEM career.

I was invited and awarded a fellowship to present my PhD research at an international conference in Spain. This was my first air travel experience and I was thrilled to meet eminent scientists in my field during the conference.

How was AWIS helped you professionally and/or personally?

AWIS offers many resources for professional development as well as a huge network of powerful women role models. In re-establishing the AWIS-North Carolina chapter, I have had the opportunity to build my leadership skills and to expand my vision to engage, encourage, and enrich aspiring minds.

What is your favorite word?


How do you define it?

No matter how difficult it is, no matter how many obstacles you face, just do it! Having perseverance reflects your confidence, fearlessness, strength of conviction, and determination.

How has this word influenced or inspired your career, or is it a word chosen retrospectively?

Since childhood, I was constantly reminded of my role ‘being a girl,’ sarcastically challenged, and discouraged from getting a higher education. I rebelled. My perseverance — a never give up attitude — helped me to overcome all negativity and achieve my goals.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I love TED Talks by inspiring leaders.

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

My mother’s advice, “Believe in yourself and stay strong.” I also follow Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Dr. Gauri Kulkarni is a Regenerative Medicine Scientist at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston Salem, NC. Her research expertise includes tissue engineering, stem cell therapy, lung-on-a-chip devices, and drug discovery. Dr. Kulkarni is president of AWIS-North Carolina, and a member of Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Besides research, she is actively engaged in enriching young minds through STEM education, mentoring, and community outreach.

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