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


Microbiologist Bonnie Bassler, an RFS Board Member, has been awarded the 2023 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

Bonnie Bassler shares the prize with Jeffrey I. Gordon of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Dennis L. Kasper of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The award recognized the three as “scientists whose research has advanced the study and understanding of microbiomes and bacteria and how they communicate in the body and cause or prevent disease.” Read more. (Image: Bonnie Bassler. Credit: Alena Soboleva.)

To encourage more scientists to translate their research, BioInnovation Institute (BII) and Science award the BII & Science Prize for Innovation.
Apply today for the BioInnovation Institute and Science Prize for Innovation! The editors of Science seek to recognize bold researchers who are asking fundamental questions at the intersection of the life sciences and entrepreneurship. Read more.

Two Northwell leaders named to the National Academy of Medicine.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has elected Karina Davidson, PhD, Northwell Health’s senior vice president of research! Northwell Health is a member of Rosalind Franklin Society’s Council of Academic Institutions. (Image: Dr. Karina Davidson, left, and Dr. Said Ibrahim, right, were recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Credit: Northwell Health.) Read more.

A New Book Reveals the Hardships and Systemic Biases Many Women in STEM Still Face.
In her new book — Women in Science Now: Stories and Strategies for Achieving Equity (Columbia University Press, 2023) — Lisa M. P. Munoz shines a spotlight on the experiences of more than a dozen researchers across fields like paleontology, genetics, and psychology who’ve encountered gendered and racial biases, how it influenced their careers, and what we currently know about discrimination across the sciences. Read more.

Women in the Workplace is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America.
According to the Women in the Workplace 2023 report that was released by McKinsey and, women are more ambitious than ever, and workplace flexibility is fueling them. Read more.

18 Remarkable Women in STEM Who Changed the World. 
In this document, Abakcus explores the inspiring stories of 18 such women who, through their relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation, have indelibly changed the world. These women, through their exceptional accomplishments, have not only left an indelible mark on their respective fields but also continue to inspire future generations of women in STEM. Read more.

ASME Foundation Announces Sonya Smith as New Board Chair and Welcomes Karen Ohland to Board.

Sonya Smith is the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia Smith. “We are so fortunate that Dr. Smith will offer her extraordinary insights and leadership in the role of board chair,” said Stephanie Viola, executive director of the ASME Foundation and managing director, ASME Philanthropy. Read more. (Image: Sonya Smith, ASME.)

Women leaders at six top research universities urge more diversity in semiconductor workforce.
A new academic consortium is aimed at increasing diversity in microelectronics being launched by the women presidents and engineering deans at six prominent universities. “This is personal for us,” say the founders of the Education group for Diversification and Growth in Engineering (EDGE) Consortium. Read more.

$1 Million Berggruen Philosophy Prize Awarded to Patricia Hill Collins.

Patricia Hill Collins, a distinguished sociologist whose authorship of Black Feminist Thought (1990) helped kickstart the rise of intersectionality as a force in politics and society, has won the 2023 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. Read more. (Image: Patricia Hill Collins, Berggruen Institute.)

Women across Iceland, including the prime minister, go on strike for equal pay and no more violence.
Schools, shops, banks and Iceland’s famous swimming pools shut on Tuesday, October 24, as women in Iceland — including the prime minister — went on strike to push for an end to unequal pay and gender-based violence. Read more.

ARPA-H advances initiative to improve clinical trials.

"Clinical trials are essential to evaluating potentially life-saving breakthroughs and getting them to patients, including in times of rapid response, such as during national emergencies," said ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D. "The Advancing Clinical Trial Readiness initiative activates the ARPANET-H health innovation network as we work with organizations from across the country to advance technologies and insights to create a robust national clinical trial infrastructure." Read more. ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D. recently spoke at our RFS event, you can watch the event here. (Image: Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D., ARPA-H)

'Not of faculty quality': How Penn mistreated Nobel Prize-winning researcher Katalin Karikó.
Eight current and former colleagues of Katalin Karikó told The Daily Pennsylvanian that — over the course of three decades — the University repeatedly shunned Karikó and her research, despite its groundbreaking potential. Katalin Karikó, an adjunct professor of neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her past research into mRNA technology. Read more.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies is investing in storytelling, such as the CBS series "Mission Unstoppable," to interest girls in STEM careers.
“We’re looking to create a culture shift in how girls see themselves in the world,” says Nicole Small, CEO and president of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “Whether or not viewers pursue a career in STEM, we hope that they see themselves as meaningful contributors to change in the world and understand how important science is to the world around them. Lyda Hill has also been an important funder of RFS and specifically for the Annual RFS Awards in Science. Read more.

Toxic workplaces are the main reason women leave academic jobs.
Women with tenure-track and tenured academic posts are more likely to leave than are their male counterparts. It’s “surprising and sort-of depressing” that even after achieving tenure, women are at increased risk of leaving academia, says sociologist Kimberlee Shauman at the University of California, Davis. Read more.

Behind Nina Tandon — The Big Apple and the Biotech Founder.
Nina Tandon has been running her startup Epibone, for over a decade, with the mission to grow bone and cartilage for skeletal reconstruction — an endeavor that presents commercialization opportunities in the medical field. Read more.



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