NutraWomen Wednesday: Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND, Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs, Dolcas

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags nutrawomen wednesday DolCas Biotech

In 2004, Shavon Jackson-Michel changed course to pursue her true passion. “All of my colleagues and my contemporaries, my mentors, and family, they're like, ‘what are you doing? You're leaving this very formal study of biomedical engineering and going into naturopathic medicine?’—No one honestly knew what it was or what I was doing.”

Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND, draws from a unique combination of diverse experiences that bring natural medicine to the forefront of science conversations, commercial contexts, doctor-supervised programs and self-care strategies.

During summer studies Jackson-Michel said she stumbled upon a huge textbook in the medical library, called The Textbook of Natural Medicine, written by two naturopathic doctors.

“I honestly thought the credential ND (for Naturopathic Doctor) was an editing error at the time. I was introduced to the world of naturopathic medicine and never looked back. This changed the trajectory of my life. Who would’ve thought a few years later, I would don those same abbreviations. I went on to complete my degree in engineering—and after graduation left for Connecticut to pursue my professional doctorate in naturopathic medicine. After graduation, licensing, boards and practicing clinically for a few years part-time, I pursued teaching and some consultant work, professional writing and eventually landed where I am today, with DolCas Biotech as clinically-trained, science, and (developing regulatory) affairs officer,” she explained.

The Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Dolcas said that working as a woman of color in a very white, male-dominated industry, was a bit shocking– especially in her first few years.

“More recently, I am seeing more women coming to the forefront, as well as more people of color and of African descent in particular. I think we only add to each other’s greatness when diversity exists. Is there more room for diversity? Absolutely! I love that being in this space opens doors—when you do not see people like you in spaces, you are simply less likely to see people who look like you. It's a vicious cycle, I hope my presence helps to ‘reverse-engineer’ this. My community in particular, those of African-American descent are unfortunately leading most of the statistics/polls for lifestyle/nutrition related diseases—and as someone with some influence in this realm— on the science, commercial, product development and education side, I hope to make these options more readily known, available and actively pursued by people whose lives could be significantly impacted by this knowledge,” said Jackson-Michel.

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