Ann Cameron Burkholder Casasanta earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, with a minor in Leadership and Social Change at Virginia Tech in 2009. While at Tech, she worked through the YMCA to develop the innovative “YToss” program which earned the Governor’s Silver Award for Recycling and “Hens for Haiti”, a sustainable egg production program to reduce protein starvation.
She earned her PhD in Translational Biology, Medicine and Health in 2018. Her research allowed her to make significant advancements to the electron microscope so that scientists worldwide could progress in the study of cancer and other diseases.
Dr. Casasanta conducted research and served as Biomedical Engineering Course Instructor at Penn State University. Her work earned her an invitation to speak at the International Microscopy Conference in Australia.
During graduate school and her time at Penn State, she mentored students to overcome the traditional hurdles and challenges of STEM programs. She brought cancer survivors to the lab to observe ongoing bench work and she worked to improve diversity within the scientific community.
Cameron recently stated, “During my time at Handley I had many teachers who invested in me, believed in me, and met me where I was at that moment in my life. This gift was and continues to be profoundly influential in my life.”
In 2022, she was awarded a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her work integrates scientific findings and knowledge into practical policies and functions for the Department of Defense. It moves beyond one-size-fits-all to consider the variety of cultural, ethnic, educational, environmental, and personal factors that influence the overall performance and well-being of our service members.
Cameron lives in Boston with her family. She is a Master Gardener and performs ongoing community service projects through the program in her own joyful and relentless way.