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

Women at the center.

At AGBT 2023, the Rosalind Franklin Society and Rosalind, a software company, inaugurated the Women Changing Science awards program. It recognizes women who not only produce outstanding science, but who also dedicate themselves to supporting other women in the genomics community. The four winners this year were (in alphabetical order) Aruna S. Ayer, PhD, BD Biosciences; Julia Kennedy-Darling, PhD, Akoya Biosciences; Pardis Sabeti, MD, PhD, Broad Institute; and Yan Zhang, PhD, Mission Bio. In this image, award presenters flank three of the winners: Sabeti, Ayer, and Kennedy-Darling stand second, third, and fourth from the left. Read more.

COVID expert Angela McLean is UK’s new chief scientific adviser.

Angela McLean, a mathematical biologist who helped to build models to study the spread of COVID-19, has been appointed as the UK government’s next chief scientific adviser. She will be the first woman to hold the role since it was created in 1964. She will take over from Patrick Vallance on 1 April. Read more. Image:

Women’s Venture Competition.
The annual AIM-HI Women’s Venture Competition provides critical early-stage funding for women entrepreneurs in oncology. The winning company receives up to a $1 million equity investment from AIM-HI and co-investors, subject to due diligence and negotiations, to fund pre-clinical investigations. Ultimately, this financing helps to bring next-generation therapeutics, diagnostics, and prevention technologies to patients. Apply by March 15. Read more.

The V Foundation announces a grant program to increase female representation in cancer research.

In an attempt to combat inequities in funding, the V Foundation, a major cancer research charity, established a new grant program aimed at increasing the representation of women and women-led innovation in cancer research. A Grant of Her Own: The Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research is one of a few grant programs designed to address gender inequities in cancer research funding. The foundation will give $8 million or more in grants to outstanding women researchers at various stages in their careers. Read more. (Image by The V Foundation)

Unlikely Rebels With a Very Good Cause.
Bonnie Garmus (author of Lessons in Chemistry) reviews Kate Zernike's "The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science." The Exceptions centers on the life of Nancy Hopkins, a reluctant feminist (and an RFS board member) who became the leader of the sixteen and a hero to two generations of women in science. Hired to prestigious universities at the dawn of affirmative action efforts in the 1970s, Dr. Hopkins and her peers embarked on their careers believing that discrimination against women was a thing of the past--that science was, at last, a pure meritocracy. Read more.

Life Biosciences Appoints Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer.
"Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson brings great scientific and strategic leadership to Life Biosciences," said Jerry McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer at Life Biosciences. "Sharon has been serving as a consultant to Life since early 2021 and has helped to create strong processes to accelerate our drug discovery and development. Read more.

Access to gene therapy for rare diseases when commercialization is not fit for purpose.
Claire Booth, MBBS, PhD, from University College London, is the corresponding author of the article in Nature Medicine titled “Access to Gene Therapy for Rare Diseases When Commercialization Is Not Fit for Purpose.” Read more.

Platinum anniversary of the double helix in GEN.
In its February issue, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News celebrates the platinum anniversary of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. In the issue, GEN talks with biologist and author Matthew Cobb, PhD, professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, who is familiar with the early history of molecular biology. He speaks to GEN about the discovery of the double helix and the essential role that Rosalind Franklin played in the process. Read more.

Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.
The Vilcek Foundation has announced an open call for applications for the 2024 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise. Three prizes of $50,000 each will be awarded to immigrant professionals in each of two categories: Biomedical Science and Design. Read more.

Women, Black researchers less likely to hold multiple NIH grants.
Researchers who hold at least three grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) make up a growing portion of its grantees, according to a new study. White men predominate among these “super” principal investigators (PIs), with women and Black researchers much less likely to be part of this elite group. Read more.

3 Female Goldman Prize Winners, 3 Powerful Approaches to Fighting Climate Change. 

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, the Goldman Environmental Foundation is celebrating three Goldman Prize winners who’ve made formidable contributions to the fight against climate change. These three women, each of whom sought to protect the environment in different ways, are a powerful reminder that climate change isn’t a problem with a single solution. There are innumerable ways to make meaningful change—and each one of them counts. Read more.  

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