Barbara Furin Sloat ’63

B.S., Denison University
M.S., University of Michigan
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Biologist
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Citation awarded June, 2013

Barbara Furin Sloat is a cell biologist whose career has focused on cellular morphogenesis in yeast and on the recruitment and retention of women in the sciences. In addition to her research and teaching at the University of Michigan, she was a founding Director of Michigan’s Women in Science and Engineering Program (WISE), which became a model program nationwide.

She is a recipient of the Grace Lyon Alumnae Award from Denison for “her outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in science,” and the Sarah Goddard Power Award for “distinguished service, scholarship, and commitment to the betterment of the status of women” at the University of Michigan. She served on the national executive board of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), on the Board of Director of the HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC) of Southeast Michigan, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center.

Her innovative teaching has included such courses as ‘Gender & Science,’ ‘Western & Nonwestern Medicine,’ and ‘Medicine & Health: West and East,’ and  ‘Understandings of Health and Disease in the Classical Medical Systems of India and Tibet.’

Barbara’s lifelong interest in medicine, both Western and Eastern, has led to many opportunities for travel and study. She has made three treks in Tibet, including the circumambulation of Mt. Kailash in 2004. She participated in a medical expedition in Nepal, and has made several trips in India and Bhutan. Inspired by her trips to the Himalayas, Barbara studied Tibetan medicine at the Shang Shung Institute in Conway, Mass. Her travels also inspired her to study emergency procedures and in 1998 she obtained her paramedic’s license.

She has long volunteered at the University of Michigan Health Center, where she currently serves on the Neuroscience Hospital Advisory Committee, and the Neuroscience Patient and Family Partnership Council.

Barb’s hometown is Youngstown, Ohio. She shares her deep love of Denison with the memories of her father, Walter Furin ’34, and her brother, Gregory Furin ’66.