Whitehead Named APS Woman Physicist of the Month for March

Program Honors Women Positively Impacting Other Individuals’ Lives and Careers


Lisa Whitehead, assistant professor of physics at University of Houston’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been named Woman Physicist of the Month for March by the American Physical Society.

The award recognizes female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals’ lives and careers and is coordinated by the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics.

Lisa Whitehead

Whitehead is doing research in the field of experimental particle physics. Her research focuses on understanding the properties of the neutrino, one of the fundamental particles that make up the universe.

“Lisa is highly thought of by her students and has been a popular person on the seminar and colloquium circuit. She is seen as one of the budding young leaders in experimental neutrino physics,” said Larry Pinsky, the UH professor of physics who nominated Whitehead for the honor.

In her third year at UH, Whitehead is a member of several experimental collaborations, including the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment at Fermilab and the Daya Bay experiment in China. She holds responsibilities as co-convenor of the electron neutrino appearance analysis group for MINOS as well as co-convenor for the cosmogenic background working group for Daya Bay.

“She also shouldered other service activities such as being on the Fermilab User's Executive Committee as well as organizing and hosting major collaboration meetings,” Pinsky said.

Whitehead is active in advancing the situation for women STEM faculty at UH and received a five-year Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award in 2012. These DOE awards are designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the early career years.

She received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and was a postdoctoral research associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory prior to joining UH.

- Lauren Abbott, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics