Miami women take pathbreaking directions in STEM

The Dawoodi Bohras of Miami are proud of the women part of their local community and the strides they are making in pathbreaking new directions for woman in STEM. In this piece you will meet Durriya Harianawalla a Professor of Pharmacology and academic researcher, Nisreen Ezuddin a doctor aspiring to specialize in Musculoskeletal and Neuroradiology, and Fayeka Jariwala a registered nurse.

Durriya Harianawalla

Hello! My name is Durriya Harianawalla. I am an Associate Professor of Pharmacology, and teach in osteopathic and allopathic medical schools.

What inspired me to become a pharmacologist?

I was always interested in the biological sciences and after completing a Bachelors degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry in India, I came to the US in 1988 to pursue a Masters degree in Pharmacology. It was not an easy step to take; there was a lot of resistance from family members who believed that I should get married and settle down. I lived in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Duquesne University for an MS in Pharmacology/Toxicology, after which I did my PhD in Pharmacology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

What motivates me?

I love science and teaching. I have worked as a Research Scientist doing drug discovery and development in biotech companies in Silicon Valley, CA. I now teach Pharmacology and related biological sciences to medical students. My passion lies in mentoring and advising students, creating assessments for medical licensing boards, and bringing about curricular innovations.

What I aspire to do in my field: I aspire to create pathways and design curricular changes to help students become lifelong learners. I enjoy working with students to cognitively engage them as they journey through learning medicine. I would like to publish book chapters/books on the topic, and perhaps one day, open up my own medical school. I am married and have two daughters, and hope one day to bring recognition to the women in STEM fields in our community.

Nisreen Ezuddin

Nisreen aspired to become a doctor at a young age, given an appreciation of the complexity of the human body and a desire to help humanity. This led her to pursue the path of medicine. She graduated from the University of Miami double majoring in Biochemistry and Biology with minors in English Literature and Chemistry. She subsequently graduated from the Miller School of Medicine and is pursuing a Diagnostic Radiology residency with the goal of subspecializing in Musculoskeletal and Neuroradiology.

Aside from school, Nisreen cultivated discipline and dedication throughout her childhood by practicing martial arts and achieved the rank of a first-degree black belt. Nisreen also has a love for the arts, including photography and drawing with oil pastels. As of late, she enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and sons.

Fayeka Jariwala

I’m a registered nurse. Started off years ago as a floor nurse and then moved up to being a nurse manager of a very fast and busy paced floor of Telemetry where we have patients being monitored 24hrs.  I do chart reviews to make sure nurses are charting at the least the basics. I educate nurses on any faults or omission on their charting.  Educate them on any new products available and where to chart on the app.  It’s a constant challenge teaching the nurses and especially new grads who have very little experience.

We have yearly skills fairs, where we again educate nurses and assistants on proper handling of patients, lifting and back injury prevention and much more. When we have joint commission inspection due, I again monitor and check charts for compliance. I intervene on the behalf of nurses and call the doctors for any abnormal or critical findings on their patients.

I evaluate nurse’s performance every 3 months and yearly evaluation on them and depending on my findings, they get their yearly raise or not. In case of a code, with the help of the doctor, I run the code and administer medications, assign beds for the ER patients, and give them to the appropriate nurses and admissions.

I accompany nurses during patient intake to check for skin integrity and, thereafter, on a weekly basis. During the COVID 19 pandemic, I swab the patients and check to see if they are positive or negative and move them to a different room depending on their diagnosis. I was motivated to enter nursing knowing I would be helping others get well and better.

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