Dr. Sowmya Anjur
Sowmya Anjur has been an educator for the last 24 years and currently teaches Science at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She holds Masters degrees in Clinical Biochemistry and Microbial Biochemistry and received her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University. Sowmya also holds a diploma in Civil Engineering. Sowmya's unique and versatile background enables her to perceive education from a multi-disciplinary angle, and she is constantly integrating different disciplines such as engineering, computer science and biophysics into her pathophysiology classroom. Sowmya’s classes have been developed to be mostly student-centered with many hands-on activities to develop and nurture student creativity and enhance articulation. She incorporates high tech, challenging and inter-disciplinary projects such as the construction of heart models, Arduino heart rate and blood pressure monitors and other bioengineering topics into her Physiology classes. Sowmya has been a mentor to S.C.A.R.F. Ambassadors for the past two years, teaching them how to integrate bioengineering and science by modeling cardiac physiology and making life-sized heart models. Sowmya received the 2019 S.C.A.R.F. Educational Grant for her idea to predict sudden cardiac death by building an EKG model using Arduino technology to simulate and study different arrhythmias, which could potentially cause sudden cardiac death. She is currently mentoring IMSA students doing research on the effect of natural compounds on growth inhibition of Glioblastoma multiforme (aggressive human brain cancer) cell lines. Another objective of this research is to identify specific proteins in these cell lines that accelerate tumor growth. Sowmya shares her innovative ideas with other educators at conferences every year. She is also technical consultant to June’s Learning Laboratory, advocating for cultural competency in schools and providing 3-D printed prosthetics to anyone in need. Sowmya is a volunteer for both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys reading science fiction in her spare time.