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

Akiko Iwasaki is awarded the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023 for her research on long COVID.

Immunologist Professor Akiko Iwasaki from the Yale School of Medicine is being awarded one of the world’s most highly endowed prizes for research in the field of medicine: the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research. EKFS is honoring Iwasaki’s groundbreaking contributions in the area of “Diseases of worldwide significance,” focused on immune responses to viral infections. Please listen to  her presentation from RFS Virtual Meeting 2019:  Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections: RFS Virtual Meeting 2019  Read more. Image: Yale School of Medicine.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky is leaving her post.
Rochelle Walensky, who led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through some of the grimmest phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that she will leave the agency at the end of June.“Dr. Walensky has saved lives with her steadfast and unwavering focus on the health of every American,” President Biden said in a statement. Read more.

Personal Perspective on a Life in Science.

The Kavli Foundation President, Cynthia Friend, shares her take on the dynamic frontier of science in a personal perspective published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. “Through a few stories, she highlights some of the opportunities and challenges over the last several decades and expresses her deep gratitude and privilege for a multi-faceted career, rich in ideas and full of friends and colleagues.” Read more. Image: Kavli Foundation.

Pamela Silver elected to National Academy of Sciences.


Pamela Silver, Ph.D., founding Core Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and the Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) is joining the ranks of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.Image: Wyss Institute. 

First deaf, Black woman receives her PhD in a STEM discipline.

Graduate student Amie Fornah Sankoh recently stood in front of 150 colleagues, family and friends at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to defend her thesis. Upon her successful defense, Dr. Amie Sankoh became the first Deaf, Black woman to receive a PhD in any STEM discipline. Read more. Image: Dr. Tessa Burch-Smith and Dr. Amie Fornah Sankoh work on plants in the lab. Credit: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  

Health Equity Special Issue: Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Health.
This special issue is a collection of short reports, research articles, perspectives, and editorials on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander health disparities. The articles touch on the challenges to AANHPI health, the underlying factors, and the diversity within the AANHPI. Read more.

The 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners. 
Meet the 2023 Goldman Prize winners, six ordinary people who took extraordinary actions to protect their environments and communities: Diane Wilson from the United States, Alessandra Korap Munduruku from Brazil, Chilekwa Mumba from Zambia, Tero Mustonen from Finland, Zafer Kizilkaya from Turkey, and Delima Silalahi from Indonesia. Read more.

Women’s health: end the disparity in funding.
The past 30 years has in many ways changed the landscape for women’s-health research. But in other respects, time has stood still, according to an editorial in Nature. Female participation rates in some studies remain low, as affirmed by a report published in March and commissioned by the Women’s Brain Project, a non-profit body based in Guntershausen, Switzerland. Read more.

What it’s like to be in the minority at a conference.
Nature spoke to four scientists about their experiences as members of under-represented groups at conferences — and how researchers can protect themselves and others from inappropriate behavior, abuse and harassment. “Being in the minority at conferences is worse than in other professional situations because they are so important. As a researcher, you need to know what others in your field are doing, find out about interesting projects and be part of networks,” says Pas Garcia Martinez, Optics researcher at the University of Valencia in Spain and general secretary of the Spanish Association of Female Researchers and Technologists. Read more.

 Early Career Summit.
Registration is open for Reaching the Peak: A Science & Technology Early Career Summit Series. Throughout these events, you will have the opportunity to explore an array of career paths, network with fellow researchers and career professionals, participate in professional development workshops, and engage in meaningful discussions around issues critical to the success of the R&D ecosystem. Read more.

Women’s representation as authors of retracted papers in the biomedical sciences
“Women are under-represented among authors of scientific papers. Although the number of retractions has been rising over the past few decades, gender differences among authors of retracted papers remain poorly understood. Therefore, this study investigated gender differences in authorship of retracted papers in biomedical sciences available on RetractionWatch,” according to the authors of the study in PLoS One. 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. The Nomination Deadline for the 2023 Beacon Award is Wednesday, May 31, at 11:55 PM Eastern time. Read more.

The Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine.

Drs. Helen Hobbs (an RFS Board Member) and Jonathan Cohen are being awarded the 2023 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine for their pioneering and collaborative work in defining the genetic risk factors for dyslipidemias and metabolic liver disease that have led to the rational design of new therapies. Read more. Image: Helen H. Hobbs, M.D., is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

SENS Research Foundation Grand Opening.
On Friday, June 23rd at 4 pm PT, SENS Research Foundation’s expanded Research Center (a member of our Council of Academic Institutions) is all set to open its doors for a Grand Opening event that you cannot miss. Get ready to mingle, network, and meet fellow supporters of healthy longevity and rub shoulders with innovators from the Bay Area's most exciting biotech and longevity companies! Read more.

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