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

RFS board member Elaine Fuchs awarded Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science.

Rockefeller University biologist Elaine Fuchs has been awarded a 2023 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, one of the oldest and most most venerable honors in the United States. Head of the Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, Fuchs uses mammalian skin as a model to illuminate the nature and behavior of tissue stem cells. Read more.

CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna looks to tech's past and future in new review.
While it remains to be seen how delivery, manufacturing and pricing will play out, Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., and co-author Joy Wang predict that the next 10 years will see CRISPR technology become faster and cheaper to use for applications like genome sequencing. Read more.

The next generation of global health innovators: Michelson Prize winners announced.

Meet the 2022 Michelson Prizes, Next Generation Grants recipients: Dr. Noam Auslander, Dr. Jenna Guthmiller, Mr. Romain Guyon, and Dr. Brittany Hartwell. The $150,000 Michelson Prizes are awarded annually to support early-career investigators working to advance human immunology, vaccine discovery, and immunotherapy research for major global diseases. Read more.

Women scientists at famed oceanography institute have half the lab space of men.
Women constitute 26% of the scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), but only hold 17% of the space, according to a report. The authors said the differences could not be “explained away” by funding, years at SIO, discipline, or research group size. “Our analysis points to the existence of widespread, institution-wide cultural barriers to gender equity within Scripps,” they concluded. Unfortunately this sounds much like the fastidious research 30 years ago by founding RFS Board Member Nancy Hopkins at MIT. Read more.

Dr. Mona Fouad: “It’s all about the people”

Congratulations to Dr. Mona Fouad, who was presented with the 2022 Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 12, 2022. As the founder and director of the Minority Health and Health Equity Research Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Fouad received the award for her career commitment to equity in healthcare. Read more.

A call to create funding equity for researcher-mums.
Mothers in academic research and those who support them say in a report that the funding system can and should remedy gender bias in the sciences. Mothers in Science started a global movement to call on our leaders for immediate action to promote inclusion of caregivers and ensure an equitable distribution of research funding resources. They urge research funders worldwide to begin taking meaningful action and use this action plan as guidance to improve their practices and to cultivate a culture of fairness and inclusion more broadly in the STEMM sector. Read more.

Leaving academia and becoming an online entrepreneur.
Anna Pineda runs an education business that helps scientists to be more productive and to improve their writing skills. She left academia after teaching a yoga and writing course unleashed her entrepreneurial passion. Read more.

Female and black professionals more often viewed as ‘lucky’ than competent when they succeed.
“How we view the success of others from different sociodemographic groups is a crucial leverage point for inclusion and diversity, particularly as women and under-represented ethnic groups continue to be systematically disadvantaged in the workforce. Ignoring this bias has direct implications on individuals and can have knock on effects for future success,” said Odessa S. Hamilton, Behavioural Scientist at LSE’s The Inclusion Initiative and lead author. Read more.

Alondra Nelson to leave White House science office.

A 64-year-old sociologist, Nelson has a lengthy resume of “firsts” as she has climbed the ranks of academia and government, including being the first Black person, and first woman, to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.She will be returning to her previous work at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. Past home of Albert Einstein. Read more.(Image: Wikipedia)

The Inspiring Women in Science Awards 2023 are open for entries between the 30th January and 8th May 2023.
The Inspiring Women in Science awards celebrate and support the achievements of women in science, and all those who work to encourage girls and young women to engage with STEM subjects and stay in STEM careers around the world. Read more.

When men dominate startups, women take a pass, according to new research.
Women are caught in a “vicious cycle” of underrepresentation in startups, according to new research. If the earliest hiring decisions at a new company exclude women, which they often do, then the organization will have difficulty attracting female talent in the future. As a result, entrepreneurial companies that start with gender disparities have a tough time correcting the imbalance. Read more.

GEN Biotechnology is celebrating its first year of publishing.
We’d like to encourage you to join this dynamic community by submitting your original research. Launched in 2022, GEN Biotechnology is the peer-reviewed sister journal to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). Led by chief editor Hana El-Samad (Altos Labs/UCSF) and a truly diverse editorial board, GEN Biotechnology aims to publish outstanding research across the full breadth of biotechnology. Read more.

Paying it forward.

Biology and computer science major Sherry Nyeo conducts research on RNA and spends her free time helping other undergraduates take advantage of MIT’s many diverse course and program offerings. Read more. (Photo: Steph Stevens)

Nominate a Researcher in Honor of World Cancer Day.
In honor of World Cancer Day, please take a few minutes to nominate a researcher you believe deserves the 2023 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. The deadline to submit nominations is midnight on February 28, 2023. Read more. 

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