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

Stanford’s Carolyn Bertozzi wins Nobel in chemistry.

Stanford chemist Carolyn Bertozzi was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her development of bioorthogonal reactions, which allow scientists to explore cells and track biological processes without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell. “In pioneering the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, Carolyn invented a new way of studying biomolecular processes, one that has helped scientists around the world gain deeper understanding of chemical reactions in living systems. Her work has had remarkable real-world impact, unleashing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to treat disease. Carolyn is so deserving of this honor, and all of us at Stanford are tremendously proud to call her one of our own,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. Read more. (Image: Nobel Prize on Twitter)

5 women who should have won a Nobel Prize.
“Two decades ago it would be rare that I would find a woman, for example, to designate as a citation laureate, but as we move forward in time, we find there are more women… in the top ranks of researchers,” said David Pendlebury, a senior analyst at Clarivate, ahead of the 2022 Nobel Prize announcement. There’s no shortage of worthy female candidates to be the next science laureates. Here are five female scientists and the life-changing discoveries they have made. Read more.

Overlooked no more: Maria Orosa, inventor of banana ketchup.
Maria Orosa, a food scientist and nationalist, sought to make the Philippines less dependent on imported food. Banana ketchup was one result. First mass-produced in 1942, banana ketchup has become so popular that Heinz, arguably the king of tomato ketchup, now makes its own version. Heinz introduced it in 2019, saying it was doing so “in honor of Maria Orosa” Read more.

Monica Bertagnolli begins work as 16th director of the National Cancer Institute.

Monica M. Bertagnolli, M.D., started as the 16th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is the first woman to hold the position of NCI director. Dr. Bertagnolli succeeds Norman E. Sharpless, M.D., who stepped down as director in April 2022. Douglas R. Lowy, M.D., has been NCI’s acting director since April 30, 2022. Read more. 

Dr. Audrey Evans, cancer specialist who gave Families a home, dies at 97.
Dr. Audrey E. Evans, a pediatric oncologist in Philadelphia who, seeing that her out-of-town patients’ families sometimes struggled to find affordable accommodations when their children needed extended care helped create the first Ronald McDonald House, a concept that has blossomed into a worldwide network, died last week at her home in Philadelphia. She was 97. Read more.

World’s largest science prize for discovering a new mechanism of cellular organization.
Anthony Hyman, the managing director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), and Clifford Brangwynne, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, have been honored with one of the three 2023 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences. Anthony Hyman was a speaker at RFS. Following his wife’s gruesome murder at a conference, his presentation addressed the challenges for women and the responsibility of leaders in the field to address this. Read more.

Feinstein Institutes’ Betty Diamond receives Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award.
The award, conferred by Association of American Medical Colleges, recognizes outstanding individual and organizational contributions to advancing women leaders in academic medicine and science. Read more.

Research!America to recognize Dr. Tabak and other leaders in medical and health research.
Three distinguished women in science and medicine among those honored by Research!America. The award honors individuals who show outstanding commitment to sustaining the nation’s world-class leadership in medical and health research. Read more.

ASU professor to study new genome editing tools with NIH Innovator Award.

Assistant Professor Audrey Lapinaite from ASU's School of Molecular Sciences. Photo by Mary Zhu

Assistant Professor Audrey Lapinaite from Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center has been awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. The award specifically “supports exceptionally creative early-career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects,” targeting investigators within 10 years of completing their doctoral degree or postdoctoral training. Read more.

UAB neuroscientist earns new innovator award from NIH.
University of Alabama at Birmingham neuroscientist Summer Thyme, Ph.D., is a recipient of the Director’s New Innovator award from the National Institutes of Health. The award is part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, supported by the Common Fund, which has bestowed 103 new research grants to support highly innovative scientists who propose visionary and broadly impactful, meritorious behavioral and biomedical research projects. Read more.

Can you #FindThatLizard? One scientist is tapping the tools of social media to transform her field.

Scientists of color are disrupting the rules of historically colonial institutions in STEM and academia. For Earyn McGee, that means engaging with her public through games. Earyn is a herpetologist and the creator of #FindThatLizard, and she looks for lizards in Inglewood’s Kenneth Hahn park. Read more. (Image: Wikipedia)

Call for Nominations: Standing Committee on Aerospace Medicine and the Medicine of Extreme Environments.
The Standing Committee on Aerospace Medicine and the Medicine of Extreme Environments, at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The standing committee coordinates with NASA’s Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer to become informed of existing conditions and emerging issues related to medical care in space and define prospective activities (such as studies or analysis of medical needs and/or approaches to addressing those needs) to be conducted at the National Academies. Read more.

Jessica Wade makes Wikipedia bios for unknown women scientists.
London-based physicist Jessica Wade has become something of a phenomenon herself in her very personal campaign to bring more girls to study and work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Wade has written more than 1,600 Wikipedia entries for long-ignored women scientists, and she has firm beliefs on ideas on how to support girls interested in the field. Read more.

MacArthur Foundation announces 25 new ‘Genius’ grant winners.
The 2022 awards are going to artists, activists, scholars, scientists and others who have shown “exceptional creativity.” The grants are a bit bigger than before: $800,000 over five years. The 2022 MacArthur fellows include a sociologist working to understand what drives people to own guns; an astrodynamicist trying to manage “space traffic” and ensure that satellites don’t crash into each other in Earth’s orbit. Read more.

Call for Nominations.
The Gruber Foundation invites nominations on behalf of individuals whose achievements in Cosmology, Genetics, or Neuroscience would make them suitable candidates for recognition through the 2023 Gruber International Prize Program. Each prize, which is accompanied by a $500,000 unrestricted monetary award, is designed both to recognize groundbreaking work in each field and to inspire additional efforts that effect fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. Read more. 

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