Revati Masilamani is an immunologist and STEM education researcher at the Center for Science Education at Tufts University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Immunology from The Rockefeller University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University. Her research and teaching programs in STEM education focus on approaches that bring cutting-edge biomedical science to high school classrooms. Her current work is addressing how to teach inquiry based-problem solving skills so they can be transferred across content domains and how to design professional development programs for educators that build capacity to teach these skills. The overall goal of these efforts is to help nurture a health literate and scientifically engaged citizenry.
Health science education in classrooms typically emphasizes the biology of disease at an individual level, but often ignores the impact of socio-economic environment on the health of individuals and communities. As a 2022-2023 Tisch Faculty Fellow at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Dr. Masilamani will lead the design and development of a curriculum that uses case studies to delve into the biological consequences of social determinants of health, such as poverty, education, and support networks. Her partners in this effort include undergraduate activist-scholars and public school teachers from under-resourced communities whose lived experience and expertise will help ensure that the curriculum is an authentic reflection of the stories of their communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the disproportionate impact of disease on under-resourced communities. This project will provide students with a framework for understanding and engaging with issues of disparity, while stimulating them to explore pathways to change – for themselves and for their communities.