Dear Colleagues, 

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

Two pioneers of mRNA research — the technology that helped the world tame the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic — won the 2023 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology on Monday. 

 In 2021, GEN and the Rosalind Franklin Society hosted a webinar in which Katalin Karikó, PhD, walked through the history of mRNA and the advances that led to its role in the COVID-19 vaccine, including the discovery of the critically important modifications. At the time, Karikó had been named the winner of the Vilcek Foundation award. Now, together with Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, she is the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. (Image: Katalin Karikó, PhD, Penn Medicine)

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 Signature
Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society




Three scientists—including one woman—win Nobel Prize in physics for probing electrons.

Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier were honored for experiments that, according to the Nobel committee, “have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules.” Read more.

Apply today for the 2023 Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology.

The Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology focuses on transformative research in human immunology, with trans disease applications to accelerate vaccine and immunotherapeutic discovery. This international prize is intended to encourage and support young investigators from a wide range of disciplines, who apply their expertise to perform research that has a lasting impact on vaccine and immunotherapy. Read more.

2023 McNulty Foundation Prize Winner Spotlight.

McNulty Prize Mirei Endara de Heras founded Marea Verde to tackle the issue of plastic waste, particularly in rivers: a leading source of ocean plastic pollution. She is a visionary leader and environmentalist who has made significant contributions to Panama's conservation efforts. She made history by establishing Panama's Ministry of Environment and serving as its first Minister. Read more. (Image by McNulty Foundation)

HHMI, a member of our Council of Academic Institutions, Awards Hanna Gray Fellowships to 25 Early Career Scientists, Including 15 Women.

The cohort of early career scientists represents a promising future for biomedical science. The HHMI Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program provides each fellow with up to $1.5 million in support for up to eight years. Read more.

Overlooked No More: Margaret Chung, Doctor Who Was ‘Different From Others’ 
As the first known American woman of Chinese ancestry to earn a medical degree, Margaret Chung treated celebrities and opened a practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown. 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.

CRISPR Pioneer Jennifer Doudna Has the Guts to Take On the Microbiome.
The world-famous biochemist is ready to tackle everything from immune disorders and mental illness to climate change—all by altering microbes in the digestive tract. Read more.

Career Q&A: My double life as a cell biologist and crime writer.
Meet Frances Brodsky, a cell biologist at University College London (UCL) and co-founder of Traffic, a journal of intracellular transport. She is also the author of three mystery novels set in the world of bench science, written under the pseudonym B. B. Jordan. Read more.

Breakthrough Prize Announces 2024 Laureates In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, And Mathematics.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has announced the winners of the 2024 Breakthrough Prizes in life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics, including two women in life sciences: Ellen Sidransky (National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health) and Sabine Hadida (Vertex Pharmaceuticals). This year’s Life Sciences laureates include honorees recognized for key advances in the fight against three major diseases – cancer, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Read more. Photos: Ellen Sidransky (left) and Sabine Hadida (right) (The Breakthrough Prize Foundation)

Heinz Family Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in Awards.

Energy justice leader Nicole Horseherder, Diné, of the Navajo Nation, receives the Heinz Award for the Environment for her work as co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Tó Nizhóní Ání, which translates to “Sacred Water Speaks.” Climate justice organizer and human rights lawyer Colette Pichon Battle receives the Heinz Award for the Environment for her work as co-founder and vision & initiatives partner of the nonprofit Taproot Earth and for her leadership as founder and former executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP). Read more. (Photos by Joshua Franzos/The Heinz Awards: Nicole Horseherder (left) and Colette Pichon Battle (right)

Lali Medina-Kauwe, PhD, Named Inaugural Chair in Medical Discovery.

Lali Medina-Kauwe, PhD, is developing advanced technology that delivers therapeutic agents to triple-negative breast cancer cells that have metastasized to the brain. Cedars-Sinai has named Lali Medina-Kauwe, PhD, as the inaugural holder of the Carol Moss Foundation Chair in Medical Discovery. Read more. Photo by Cedars-Sinai.

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