Associate professor and administrative director, Neuroscience Research Institute, Ohio State University College of Medicine
About: Erica Bell has been a faculty member at Ohio State University and member of its Comprehensive Cancer Center for 10 years working primarily to develop better molecular biomarkers for adult and pediatric brain tumor patients. A nationally recognized researcher and patentholder, she also been an engaged member of gender equity initiatives for faculty members at the College of Medicine and university-wide. Bell recently took a new administrative role working on biobanking and biomarker initiatives in addition to developing professional development and mentoring programs.
The time is now to act on the momentum behind racial and gender equity issues. It would be great to see Columbus be a national leader in these movements.
Outside of work: Ambassador for the American Cancer Society ResearcHERS campaign; supporter and rider for Pelotonia; active alumni at Otterbein University for STEM outreach; former member of Otterbein University Board of Trustees.
What does Columbus need to thrive? With COVID-19 we will need government and community support for small businesses severely impacted by the pandemic.
Another big issue currently for many is the lack of available and affordable childcare due to decreased capacities and closure of schools. Transformational changes are desperately needed in this area for the next generation of young parents and soon-to-be parents to be successful in growing our economy.
Bell’s idea: Development of a Columbus CEO diversity, equity and inclusion organization. The time is now to act on the momentum behind racial and gender equity issues. This group could help Columbus on many facets of creating pathways for ally-ship, sponsorship and mentorship, raising funding, organizing educational activities in public schools, and facilitating access to workshops on unconscious bias and inclusion in workplaces and businesses across the city. It would be great to see Columbus be a national leader in these movements, and we are at a tipping point for making needed changes on both of these fronts.