Top Guns

They are sky-high achievers.Their objective: not to be the first black or the only woman, but to be the best–period.

me to attend community college. He urged my friend to apply to a four-year university.”

A graduate of Binghamton University, State University of New York, with a combined major in psychology and biochemistry, Hurd was urged by an esteemed scientist to finish her graduate work at Karolinska. Although Hurd harbored concerns of how she might be received, “They didn’t care about my race at all. They expected me to be the best because I was American.”

Hurd returned to the States in 1990 for post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where she now sits on the board for grant approval. Upon completion of her studies, she accepted a position at Karolinska. That was in 1993. Today, as a director and professor, she does less lab work. Her responsibilities include reading, writing papers, and grant writing. “I love getting my hands wet, but as you get higher, you have a staff that works in the lab. It’s great being a senior scientist because of the level of accomplishment, but I prefer to be in the lab any day.”

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