Donna Santillan, PhD

Donna Santillan, PhDResearch Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology - Reproductive Science Research

Why is it important to recognize women in medicine?

The University of Iowa has a tradition of excellence in research that benefits the health of women, and it is important to recognize the female leaders of this research. These women are inspiration and mentors for the next generation of women’s health researchers.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

I pursued a PhD in the biomedical sciences because I wanted to be able to perform research that could have a broad impact on society.

Who was a mentor to you that made an impact in your life? Why?

Kimberly Leslie, MD, has been an excellent mentor. She has demonstrated leadership in research in women’s health. She has actively involved me in new research endeavors and allowed me the opportunity to build the Women’s Health Tissue Repository to improve research in all stages of women’s lives.

What is a hobby of yours outside of work?

I enjoy kickboxing.

This year’s theme for Women in Medicine month is “Women in Medicine: Trailblazers, Advocates, Leaders.” What does this theme mean to you personally?

In addition to the women researchers who are contributing to strides being made in women’s health care research, I also feel that it is very important to recognize the women who participate in biobanking, research studies, and clinical trials. These women are critical to our ability to improve women’s health. 

Learn more about Donna Santillan, PhD.