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 Signature
Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society


The lifesaving, Nobel Prize-winning discovery that almost didn't happen.

Katalin Karikó won a Nobel Prize this year with her colleague Drew Weissman for her groundbreaking work on mRNA vaccines — but she had to fight against professional science to do it. Karikó was hired by the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 in a role that put her on track to become a full tenured professor. See her recent interview with GEN and RFS about her challenges, and struggles to get grant funding for her work on mRNA. Read more. (Image: Katalin Karikó, PhD. Photo Credit: Peggy Peterson Photography for Penn Medicine)

National Academy of Medicine elects 100 new members—and nearly 40% are women.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Read more.

Are Grandmothers the Key to Solving the Global Mental Health Crisis?
McNulty Prize winner Dixon Chibanda is the founder of Friendship Bench, which is training thousands of “grandmothers” (having grandchildren is not a literal requirement) to be community health workers, with training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Read more.

Lloyd's Register Foundation Backs Sea Shepherd Global’s Initiative for African Female Seafarers.
Sea Shepherd Global has received a grant from Lloyd's Register Foundation to develop and expand their program sponsoring female maritime cadets from Africa onboard their ships. Read more.

Call for Nominations: The Impact of Burnout on Gender Equity in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is seeking nominations for a planning committee to hold a hybrid workshop examining the impact of burnout on gender equity in science, engineering, and medicine. Read more.

Why women earn less than men: Nobel for Economic Science historian who probed pay gap.
Claudia Goldin, an historian who identified the driving forces behind women’s unequal participation in the workforce, has won this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Read more.

In Memoriam: Carol Clancey Harter, 1941-2023.
Carol Harter, the longest-serving president of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, died on September 14. She was 82 years old. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she enrolled at what is now Binghamton University of the State University of New York with a desire to major in chemistry. Read more.

In Memoriam: Sheila Susan Moriber Katz, 1943-2023.
Sheila Moriber Katz, former dean of Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia who discovered the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease, died at her home in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, on September 10. She was 80 years old and had suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Read more.

Biophysics Society Recognizes the Research of Vanderbilt University’s Nancy Carrasco.

Nancy Carrasco, Joe C. Davis Chair in Biomedical Science and chair of the department of molecular physiology and biophysics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, has been selected to receive the 2024 Award for the Biophysics of Health and Disease from the Biophysics Society. Read more. (Image: Nancy Carrasco, Vanderbilt University)

Berenecea Johnson Eanes Will Be the First Woman President of California State University, Los Angeles.
When she takes office in January, Dr. Eanes will be the ninth president of the university and the first woman to hold the post. Since 2020, Dr. Eanes has served as president of York College of the City University of New York. She served as vice president for student affairs at California State University, Fullerton from 2012 to 2019. Read more.

Women in STEM becoming independent: Great mentors make all the difference.
In this Viewpoint from the Journal of Experimental Medicine, you will hear from a cross section of women, across multiple research fields, discussing their science and the process of setting up a lab as an independent researcher. As well as being able to celebrate the positives of becoming an independent researcher, JEM would also like to use this platform to discuss the unique challenges they face as women scientists in their respective scientific environments. Read more.

Professor Janet M. Currie receives the 2023 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize.  

Professor Janet M. Currie receives the 2023 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for her pivotal work on the ways that factors such as policy decisions, environment, and health systems influence child development. Read more. (Image: Prof. Janet M. Currie, Princeton University.)

NSF launches TRAILBLAZER program for groundbreaking engineering ideas.
The U.S. National Science Foundation announced the NSF Trailblazer Engineering Impact Award program, a new $15-million activity in the Engineering Directorate, to enable researchers to pursue novel engineering research projects that will open unexplored frontiers.Read more.

'This doesn't just fall on women': computer scientists reflect on gender biases in STEM.
In this Nature Podcast, two computer scientists, Shobhana Narasimhan and Sana Odeh, join Nature's Anne Pichon to discuss the barriers that women and gender-diverse people still face when working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more.

Facing racism in science, ‘I decided to prove them wrong’

Dequina Nicholas studies how lipid immunology contributes to type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome, with the goal of developing immunotherapies. Recently, Nicholas sat down with Nature at the Lindau conference to discuss tackling racism in science head on and how, sometimes, burning a bridge can be an act of self-preservation. Read more. (Image: Dequina Nicholas, University of California, Irvine.)

Women in Enterprising Science Fellows Receive $2 million in Seed Funding.

Two Fellows from the inaugural cohort in the HS Chau Women in Enterprising Science (WIES) Program at the Innovative Genomics Institute were selected to move onto the second phase of the program, each receiving an award of $1 million in non-dilutive seed funding to support their entrepreneurial pursuits. Watch her GEN/RFS interview here. Read more.(Image: Jennifer Doudna with Navneet Matharu in the Women in Enterprising Science lab facility at the IGI in Berkeley. Photo: Glenn Ramit, IGI.)

Why the ‘Mother of the Atomic Bomb’ Never Won a Nobel Prize. 
Lise Meitner developed the theory of nuclear fission, the process that enabled the atomic bomb. But her identity — Jewish and a woman — barred her from sharing credit for the discovery, newly translated letters show. Read more.

When the Portal to Space Travel Opened, ‘The Six’ Stepped Through.
It’s difficult to imagine a place more coded as masculine than the cockpit of a rocket ship. From the first pages of “The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts,” the science journalist Loren Grush reclaims this place as female. Read more.

Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers announces a new Editor-in-Chief.
Jane Gibson, Ph.D., will be the new Editor-in-Chief for Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers. Jane Gibson is a medical geneticist and molecular pathologist who uses genomic technology to improve patient diagnostics and treatment. Read more.


Subscribe to our newsletter (RFS Briefings) at Rosalind Franklin Society | Substack 

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