Vazquez named a top scholar by Diverse magazine

Associate Professor of Mathematics Mariel Vazquez has been named one of the nation's top "Emerging Scholars" by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a national higher education magazine.

Photo of Associate Professor of Mathematics Mariel Vazquez

Associate Professor of Mathematics Mariel Vazquez

Vazquez was one of 12 faculty members across the nation selected for Diverse magazine's annual list of up-and-coming minority scholars, published in the Jan. 5 issue. The magazine selects this list of top young faculty of color by seeking outstanding scholars who are making their mark through research, teaching and service.

Vazquez is a leading scholar in an emerging field called DNA topology -- a marriage of mathematics and biology. She uses knot theory to study the entanglement of DNA as it packs tightly into living cells, and her findings may inform the design of antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs.

For her excellence in research and teaching, Vazquez received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant in 2011. In addition to mentoring undergraduates and graduates, Vazquez has run a math club for first- and second-grade children using ribbons, ropes and bubbles to teach them about DNA topology. She is currently developing curricula on this topic for SF State's math circles -- math clubs for elementary school students.

To read the profile of Vazquez in Diverse, see page 20 of the magazine at

Read more about Vazquez' research and her NSF CAREER grant at:


-- Elaine Bible