Barbara’s research and publications focused on multiple forms of lysosomal enzymes, cellular morphogenesis in yeast, and the recruitment and retention of women in the sciences. In addition to her scientific work, her experiences as a woman scientist guided her career and professional contributions in many ways. She was founding Director of the University of Michigan’s Women in Science Program, now called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), a model program nationwide. She also served as Associate Director of the Honors Program in the U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A).
In recognition of her work on behalf of women in science and medicine, she is a recipient of the Sarah Goddard Power Award for "distinguished service, scholarship, and commitment to the betterment of the status of women" at the University of Michigan, and the Grace Lyon Alumnae Award from Denison University for "her outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in science." She is listed in American Men & Women of Science, Who's Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in America. She has served on the national executive board of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and on the Board of Director of the HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC) of southeast Michigan. She is presently a member of the Board of Directors of Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center, an international organization devoted to Tibetan education and culture, which is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI.
Barbara’s courses in LS&A and the RC have included general biology, cell biology, immunology, AIDS, and Gender & Science, and a variety of First Year Seminars including “Medicine & Health: West and East”. She currently teaches, with colleague Max Heirich, a course in the UM Medical School: “Understandings of Health and Disease in the Classical Medical Systems of India and Tibet.”
Her lifelong interest in medicine, both western and eastern, has led to rich opportunities for travel and study. Barbara’s interest in Tibet was kindled and energized by three trips and treks to China and Tibet, including circumambulation of Mt. Kailash in western Tibet in 2004. She participated in a month-long medical expedition in Nepal, has traveled several times in India and Bhutan, most recently in 2010. Inspired by her trips to the Himalayas, Barbara studied Tibetan medicine at the Shang Shung Institute in Conway, MA. Her travels have also inspired her to study western emergency medicine, and, since 1998, she has been a licensed Paramedic in the State of Michigan.