Blindness does not stop theoretical computational chemist from achieving her goals

Monday, December 14, 2015

By Eileen Harvala, Department of Chemistry Communications Coordinator

Even when she was a small child, she always wanted to be a scientist. She was curious about how the world worked. Her inspiration came from Bill Nye the Science Guy, the Magic School Bus, and Sherlock Holmes. She was intrigued that the detective could see footprints and determine who made them.

For Mona Minkara, a post-doctoral associate working with Chemistry Professor J. Ilja Siepmann, nothing was impossible for these scientists, and nothing was impossible for her.  With tenacity, courage, and stubborn resistance to “you can’t do that,” from an early age, Mona has turned the impossible into the possible. It isn’t always easy. Mona is legally blind, diagnosed at the age of 7 with a genetic, degenerative eye disease. Her current vision is limited to a small amount on the periphery of her left eye, and the ability to tell light from dark. Her younger sister is also blind. Read the rest of the story on the Department of Chemistry website.


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