Dear Colleagues, 

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

In case you missed it, The Genome Writers Guild (GWG) and Rosalind Franklin Society have joined forces again to recognize amazing scientists by awarding the Rosalind Franklin Medal. This award marries together GWG’s core objectives of facilitating genome writing conversation, collaboration, and exposure with the Rosalind Franklin Society’s goals of enabling more women to achieve higher recognition, visibility, appointments, and success in industry, academia, or government. The recipient of this award will embody the missions of both organizations. Submission deadline: May 15th.

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

Celebrating DNA: Matthew Cobb’s Reflections on the Double Helix.
To celebrate DNA Day on April 25, GEN is highlighting this conversation with biologist and author Matthew Cobb, who reflected on the double helix's platinum anniversary. He talks to GEN about the discovery of the double helix, the legacy of Francis Crick, the role that Rosalind Franklin played in the process, and his most recent book, As Gods, which looks to the future—and the potential perils—of genetic engineering. Read more. Check out his RFS presentation here.

What Rosalind Franklin truly contributed to the discovery of DNA’s structure.
Franklin was no victim in how the DNA double helix was solved. An overlooked letter and an unpublished news article, both written in 1953, reveal that she was an equal player, according to Matthew Cobb and Nathaniel Comfort. “Getting Franklin’s story right is crucial, because she has become a role model for women going into science. She was up against not just the routine sexism of the day, but also more subtle forms embedded in science — some of which are still present today.” Read more.

Meet 10 Amazing Women Telling the Stories of Synthetic Biology.

These 10 women are helping tell the fascinating, mind-bending, inspirational – and sometimes bizarre – stories of synthetic biology. And through those stories, they inspire us to try new things, change our behaviors as consumers, and help us imagine a world built with biology. We're proud of the recognition of Julianna LeMieux, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at GEN. Read more.

The British physicist making women scientists visible online.
By day, Jessica Wade spends her time in a laboratory at Imperial College London surrounded by spectrometers, oscilloscopes—and men. At night, she writes biographies on Wikipedia about women researchers like her who don't have an online presence. Read more.

The Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology.
The AIM-HI Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology recognizes outstanding women leaders in all sectors of the health and life sciences industry who have made a significant impact on advancing cancer treatment, detection, and diagnosis for patients worldwide through the development and commercialization of novel technologies and/or implementation of public policy. The Nomination Deadline for the 2023 Beacon Award is Wednesday, May 31, at 11:55 PM Eastern time. Read more.

Medical Student Honored with Public Health Service Award. 

Precious Akanyirige, a fourth-year student in the MD/MPH degree program, has been awarded the 2023 Excellence in Public Health Award, given by the U.S. Public Health Service. This national award is given to medical students who have made significant contributions to the U.S. Public Health Service’s mission to “protect, promote and advance the health and safety of our nation,” and who help address public health issues in their community. Read more. Photo: Northwestern University.

Recently named cancer institute director may become head of NIH.

As a relative NIH newcomer, Monica Bertagnolli should bring a fresh perspective to an agency some critics have called staid. The physician-scientist would be only the second woman to lead the agency; she came to NCI after stints at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, and Harvard Medical School. Read more.  Check out her  RFS year-end presentation here. Image: Monica M. Bertagnolli, M.D. Brigham and Women’s Hospital/NIH.

How I fused passions for art and medicine into a medical illustration career. 

Hillary Wilson works as a freelance illustrator, specializing in creating patient education materials using digital and physical drawing tools. She depicts diverse groups of people, aiming to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Nature spoke to Wilson about how she found this career path, and why medicine and medical research need a more diverse pool of illustrators. Read more. Image credit: Hillary D. Wilson.

JoAnne Hewett Named Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

JoAnne Hewett comes to Brookhaven from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where she most recently served as associate lab director (ALD) for fundamental physics and chief research officer. Hewett is a theoretical physicist. Her research probes the fundamental nature of space, matter, and energy. She is best known for her work on physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics and how that might relate to experiments. Read more. Image: JoAnne Hewett (Photo courtesy of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

Overlooked No More: Elizabeth Wagner Reed, Who Resurrected Legacies of Women in Science
Reed made several discoveries in genetics and dedicated her career toward supporting women scientists. Yet she herself fell into obscurity. This article is part of Overlooked, a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. Read more.

She Redefined Trauma. Then Trauma Redefined Her.
Dr. Judith Herman, a psychiatrist and pioneering researcher of trauma, has returned to publishing after a long, mysterious ordeal. She had her career on hold for two decades as she navigated her own chronic pain and several surgeries after an accident. Read more.

The CRISPR Journal.
Although the path to the clinic of CRISPR-based technologies has focused primarily on therapeutics, the road to most consumers is much more likely to be in the realm of diagnostics. CRISPR Journal presents a special issue dedicated to CRISPR Diagnostics. Read more.

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Nilda Rivera, Partnership and Events Manager