She Made the Root 100

September 28, 2018

Professor Mandë Holford, known for her "killer snail" research, joins celebrities and luminaries on the list of the most influential African-Americans.

Professor Mande Holford stands smiling, holding a shell to her ear

The Root just released its Root 100, a list of the most influential African-Americans, ages 25 to 45, and Professor Mandë Holford (GC/Hunter, Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry) is on it. She joins #MeToo creator Tarana Burke, LeBron James, Georgia’s Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams, Beyoncé, and Colin Kaepernick, among other well-known figures.

Holford is interested in the healing potential of killer snails. In particular, she studies snail venom and its potential to treat cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and other conditions.

She has been widely recognized for her work. She was recently named a New Champion Young Scientist by the World Economic Forum, and in 2013 she was selected for a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. She is an AAAS Science &Technology Policy Fellow and the co-founder of, a National Science Foundation project to increase the number of women in science.

Holford is the co-founder of Killer Snails, a learning-games company that sparks kids’ interest in science through interactive games and virtual reality experiences centered on extreme creatures.

In addition to her CUNY faculty position, she has a scientific appointment at the American Museum of Natural History.

Holford works with a number of doctoral and undergraduate students as well as a postdoctoral researcher in her lab.