Dr. Catherine Smith-Maxwell retired from a 30-year career in basic and applied sciences that centered on the biophysics of ion channels (pores in cell membranes that allow selected ions to cross the membrane). Her graduate work in physiology at the University of Rochester and her postdoctoral research at Stanford University contributed to a greater understanding of the molecular structures and processes underlying electrical excitability in neurons and muscles. After leaving Stanford she was a project manager at Axon Instruments (later acquired by Molecular Devices) where she worked with a team of hardware and software engineers to develop a novel, award-winning automated instrument for use by pharmaceutical companies and academic research labs to study ion channels and to rapidly screen for drugs that affect the channels. She also managed several legacy product lines used in biophysical research. Cathy left Molecular Devices to supervise a laboratory at CV Therapeutics (later acquired by Gilead Sciences) that used automated screening technology to identify novel compounds designed to target cardiac disease. Prior to her retirement, she oversaw the writing and compilation of documents with the preclinical data required for the FDA to approve the start of clinical trials for a compound identified by her team’s efforts. Cathy is the author of numerous papers in scientific journals and has organized and chaired sessions at scientific conferences. She has been a volunteer speaker about whales with the HIHWNMS for the past two years and goes whale watching as often as possible.