This year's awards mark the 25th anniversary of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC), a national organization dedicated to helping women advance and achieve leadership roles in the technical disciplines of computing, business, industry, science, education and government. The 22 honorees of 2004 represent an array of leaders in Houston, from the corporate sector to non-profits and academic institutions, each having demonstrated significant accomplishments in her career and acting as a positive role model for women.
Hardin received her bachelor's degree in biology from Penn State University in 1982 and her doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Indiana University in 1987. Her postdoctoral work at Brandeis University helped launched her career. Joining the UH faculty in 1995, Hardin's research interests are in the areas of molecular genetics and biotechnology, especially with respect to the mechanisms of enzymatic DNA synthesis and DNA replication.
Hardin also is president and CEO of VisiGen Biotechnologies Inc., one of Houston's leading-edge BioNano Technology companies, co-founding it with four other UH professors. Her work is enabling new platform technologies to revolutionize biomolecular sequencing. This research has led to the development of a new technology for direct molecular sensing that can be used to sequence an entire genome the genetic code in a person's DNA in less than 24 hours at a reasonable cost, thereby enabling personalized medicine.