Caroline Kane ~~ Professor Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPerhaps it’s my own Mid-Western roots that made me feel extra comfortable and excited about Caroline. Kane has become a very influential individual in her field of study, while at the same time doing very important work to help other women find the opportunity and successes. Caroline has this very authentic softness and generosity.
How Would You Define Womanhood?
“That’s a really hard question…to me I think of different qualities: compassion, empathy, understanding, and openness to give a hug.”
What inspired you to follow your passion and dreams?
“My mom was a huge source of her inspiration to follow my dreams. While my mom did not attend college she was a strong-willed and powerful leader in the community. That inspired me to push myself.”
What advice would you give young women?
“I would tell them to select a profession or something to do that they really enjoy. Most importantly, always keep your head up, spirit moving forward, and surround yourself with good people.”
Caroline Kane’s midwestern roots are in Ohio where she was raised in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna. It was still the edge of farm country when the family settled there in the mid-1950s, Kane recalls. As one of five children, she was a collector of spiders and small creatures, and especially lightning bugs, which she tried to dissect and analyze. She developed a keen interest in science at an early age.
Kane was the 1966 valedictorian of her high school class. She then attended Ohio University in Athens where she majored in biology. Following she earned her graduate degree in Genetics from North Caroline State University and then her PhD at Berkeley.
At UC Berkeley, Kane leads a team that studies transcription elongation as a regulator of gene expression in eukaryotic cells, and an HHMI-funded program for mentoring biological science undergraduates with a focus on minority students.
She has won numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring including the 2002 College of Letters and Science Award for Distinguished Research Mentoring of Undergraduates, the Faculty Appreciation Award from the undergraduate societies of Molecular and Cell Biology in May 1998 and May 2001, the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association Teaching Award in 2003, and the Judith Pool Award from the Northern California Chapter of American Women In Science, and she was elected to the Gahanna Lincoln High School Alumni Hall of Fame in 2003. In spring 2007 she was given the California Alumni Association Excellence in Service Award.