Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science.

Please continue to share important news and opportunities with us so that we may share it with you, and others who are committed to supporting the careers of exceptional women in science. 

Stay safe and sound

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society

FDA adds some fresh senior leadership with new chief scientist, chief medical officer.

Johns Hopkins’ Namandjé Bumpus will be the FDA’s new chief scientist, replacing Denise Hinton, who moved on in October 2021 to advise and support the US Surgeon General, and Hilary Marston, a White House senior policy advisor on Covid-19, will take over as chief medical officer, which was a role previously held by Janet Woodcock. Image: Namandjé Bumpus (L) and Hilary Marston. Read more. 

The Human Right to Our Bodies.

Roe v. Wade is overturned. “Now is the time to mobilize and defend, through science and innovation, the fundamental and unalienable human right of reproductive health.” Read Dr. Hana El-Samad's powerful editorial in GEN Biotechnology. Read more.

CRISPR debuted 10 years ago, in a paper hardly anyone noticed. Jennifer Doudna reflects on the DNA scissors’ first decade.
Recently, Jennifer Doudna had the opportunity to speak over Zoom with Victoria Gray — the first sickle cell patient in the U.S. to be treated with CRISPR — and to hear about her life before and after the therapy. “I’ll just never forget that moment. For a scientist to see the real-world impact of work they were involved in, there’s just nothing like it. To see that real-world impact within 10 years of that original publication? That’s just mind-blowing to me,” says Doudna. Read more. 

Prisca Liberali awarded EMBO Gold Medal 2022.

Molecular cell biologist Prisca Liberali, senior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel (FMI), Switzerland, is recognized for her exceptional contributions to understanding the formation of intestinal organoids from stem cells and for developing new analytical tools. Read more.

Interview with Vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert: ‘We need to be better prepared for a new pandemic’

Dame Sarah Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford’s Jenner Institute. “It’s difficult to take any time away from the job I do. I find it really hard to switch off. I need to get better at that. It was difficult for all of us – they did whatever they could to support me,” says Gilbert. Photograph: Manuel Vázquez/The Guardian. Read more.

UMass Amherst chemical engineer receives $1.4M NSF grant to create programmable living devices for drinking water contaminant removal.
Lauren Andrews, University of Massachusetts Amherst assistant professor and the Marvin and Eva Schlanger Faculty Fellow in the department of chemical engineering, has received a three-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative project to engineer synthetic bacteria to neutralize toxic contaminants found in drinking water. Read more.

New portrait of five trailblazing women scientists from Rockefeller’s past is unveiled.

Until this spring, The Rockefeller University art collection contained 35 portraits—all depicting historical male scientists and benefactors. But on April 14, when a new portrait by artist Brenda Zlamany was unveiled over the fireplace in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Reception Hall, five preeminent women scientists joined the university’s portraiture collection. Read more.

National Academy of Medicine names 11 Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence for 2022.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this collaborative program in partnership with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) offers a one-year, part-time experience for exceptional individuals to advance their diagnostic skills, make significant contributions to improve clinical diagnosis at the national level, and accelerate their career development as national leaders in the field. Read more.

Carnegie Corporation of New York honors 34 distinguished immigrants whose contributions to our democracy inspire us all.
Congratulations to the four women scientists! This year, Carnegie Corporation of New York is highlighting the work of immigrants including two Nobel Prize laureates, a COVID-19 vaccine developer, a university president, an expert on nuclear threat reduction, and more. Read more. 

Ukrainian mathematician becomes second woman to win prestigious fields medal.

Ukrainian number theorist Maryna Viazovska is among the four winners of the 2022 Fields Medals, one of the highest honors in mathematics that is conventionally awarded to people aged under 40. She is best known for her solution of the sphere packing problem — finding the arrangement of spheres that can take up the largest portion of a volume — in eight dimensions. Read more. (Image by Wikipedia)

Imperial researcher honored at Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
Dr Pavani Cherukupally, from Imperial’s Department of Chemical Engineering, received an Asian Women of Achievement award in the science category earlier this month for her work in surface science. Her recent research has included developing a scalable and low-cost material that can remove pathogenic bacteria from wastewater, presenting opportunities to make water safe and prevent the spread of water-borne infectious diseases. Read more.

Stoddard named Schmidt Science Polymath.

Schmidt Futures announced that Mary Caswell “Cassie” Stoddard is one of 10 Schmidt Science Polymaths for 2022. Stoddard, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, studies the extraordinary diversity of signals and traits in nature. Her lab investigates the evolution of animal coloration and morphology, with a focus on birds. Photo by Nick Donnoli, Office of Communications, Princeton University. Read more.

Marianna Limas, Social Media Manager
Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager