Alli M. Antar

Alli Antar Present Position

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Chapter Affiliation

Rice University–Texas Medical Center

Background Information



It is an honor to be nominated for the position of Associate Director of the Southwest Region of Sigma Xi. Membership in Sigma Xi has meant a lot to me, even since childhood, as my aerospace engineer father and theoretical physicist mother were both active members of their local chapter of Sigma Xi while I was growing up and spoke highly of the organization. Since my induction in 2007 as a graduate student by the Vanderbilt University Chapter and subsequent move to Houston, I have been an active member of my own local chapter, the Rice University-Texas Medical Center Chapter. In 2012, I joined our chapter’s Board of Directors, and since 2016, have served as Chapter Vice President. My time serving on the Board has given me greater insight into the way that Sigma Xi strives to fulfill its mission, both at the chapter and, through interactions with national representatives, national levels.

My efforts for the chapter have largely focused on recruitment of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to Sigma Xi. I am also interested in improving membership retention at both the chapter and national levels, with the hope that my recent experiences as a graduate student, then postdoc, then junior faculty, enable me to better target the next generations of scientists. Specifically, I would like to focus on the following:

  1. Identifying unique programs for Sigma Xi to offer that excite graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, so that their interest in our organization continues from year to year.

  2. Increasing communication between chapters within the southwest region, with the main goal of enhancing the experience of members (e.g. helping to organize regional programs open to members).

  3. Promoting diversity in science, such that Sigma Xi programs become career enhancing events for women, minorities, and other traditionally underrepresented groups.

  4. Assisting in the establishment of a small grants program at the chapter and regional levels for aspiring and current junior faculty in all STEM disciplines.

So far, my career has been entirely academic. However, I have many scientific colleagues and friends following their own career paths in private and government sectors and would very much like for the aforementioned programs to be accessible and career-enhancing for such individuals, as well. As the biologist daughter of two scientists in totally different fields of research, I admire and appreciate how well Sigma Xi fosters collaboration and the exchange of ideas between various scientific disciplines and career sectors.