Diane Bell-McKoy is building pathways across Baltimore from crime-ridden neighborhoods to glitzy waterfront offices.
When Zainab Chaudry was in grade school in Baltimore, her father, a Pakistani immigrant, gave her a book that included a line from America's 16th president.
Research scientists can't be afraid of setbacks, says Claire M. Fraser: It's the many experiments and hypotheses that don't pan out that lead to the great scientific discoveries.
Persistence and a curiosity to figure out how things work are what has kept Fraser at the top of her field and one of the world's leading experts in genome sequencing.
"When somebody says you can't do this, my first reaction is 'Yes I can,'" she said. "Many times I thought things weren't working, that maybe this is a really stupid idea. I kept at it and things worked out."
She was part of a team in the '90s that performed the first genome sequencing of a free living organism, in this case a bacterium. It led to government funding for more projects by scientists all over the country working on sequencing projects, including the human genome.
"Dr. Claire Fraser is one of the great pioneers and scientific leaders in medicine today," says E. Albert Reece, dean of the School of Medicine, who is also vice president of medical affairs at the University of Maryland. "Her discoveries in genomic science have forever changed the field of microbiology."
Fraser was a leading scientist on the 2001 anthrax investigation and the Haitian cholera outbreak in 2010. Her current research is focused on the relationship between disease and bacteria in the human gut.
Outside of being a brilliant scientist, Fraser makes jewelry out of precious gemstones and is an avid ballroom dancer. She is married to a semi-retired social worker.
The graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and State University of New York at Buffalo had planned to go to medical school, but got the research bug when she worked on her first project as a senior undergraduate at Rensselaer.
She said good teachers and mentors helped pave the way.
"At certain stages, they were the ones who gave me a big push out of my comfort zone," she said.
—Andrea K. McDaniels
At 18 years old, Makayla Gilliam-Price has been to more protests than she can count and has planned some of the most pivotal action among youth in Baltimore in hopes of police reform and social justice.
When Under Armour founder Kevin Plank wanted to draw more women to a brand with football roots, he tapped Adrienne Lofton's marketing expertise. At a Detroit ad agency, the Houston native had helped General Motors sell cars to minorities. At Target, she worked to make stores appealing to black women.
Dr. Redonda Miller
It wasn't a typical first day on the job. Johns Hopkins Hospital launched a new electronic medical records system aimed at providing safer, more seamless care, and it was getting more attention than Dr. Redonda Miller.
After the Baltimore punk band War on Women released its debut full-length album in February 2015, the coed quintet led by frontwoman Shawna Potter hit the road relentlessly. Their goal? Bring their brash songs promoting inclusion, feminism and queer rights to as many listeners as possible.
Catherine E. Pugh
Sonja B. Santelises
Kim E. Schatzel
Dr. Leana Wen
Alicia L. Wilson
* This article has been updated. An earlier version misspelled Julia Huggins' name.