Dear Colleagues, 

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

Our annual meeting is almost here! 

We are in the process of taping an impressive agenda that will showcase amazing leaders who you may not have heard from! We will again present an impressive panel of prestigious leaders in science, and a panel to highlight the unique path of scientists From PhD to CEO. As in the past, you will also want to hear first-hand from major new appointments in the Federal government and university leadership. 

These productions will be shared through broadcast on January 25th & 26th, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (EST).

Here is a link to the registration page. We know you will want to hear these presentations from prestigious scholars, industry, and government leaders, and a not-to-be-missed update on AI. A detailed agenda to follow.

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



President Joe Biden to Announce First-Ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research.

A new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research will be led by First Lady Jill Biden, who has long championed women’s health, and the White House Gender Policy Council. The Initiative will be chaired by Dr. Carolyn Mazure, an esteemed leader in the field of women’s health research, who will coordinate the Initiative on behalf of the Office of the First Lady and the Gender Policy Council. Read more. (Image: Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD. Photo by Erin Scott, Official White House Photographer)

Breast Cancer Cells Use Basement Membrane Barrier to Become Invasive.
Scientists at Stanford University have uncovered a novel physical mechanism that breast cancer cells use to break out and become invasive. Julie Chang conducted the work as a doctoral student in Chaudhuri’s lab and is one of the lead authors on the paper. Read more.

One-third of Indian STEM conferences have no women.
In the past three years, 35% of all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) conferences held in India featured only male speakers, according to a preprint posted on the bioRxiv server on 27 October. Read more.

Heart of America Annual Survey: A Call for Unity and the Power of Racial Healing.

Organizations advancing racial and health equity and civic engagement are inspired by a poll finding a strong appetite for unity in communities across the US. A significant majority still take pride in their American identity and two in three (67%) say they are hopeful Americans can work through differences and find lasting common ground in the future. Read more. (Image: Dr. Gail C. Christopher is the Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity.

Meet the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars.
The Lasker Foundation and the National Institutes of Health have joined together in an innovative partnership to nurture the next generation of clinician-researchers. Here are this year’s scholars: Payal P. Khincha, National Cancer Institute; Rosa Nguyen, National Cancer Institute; Ramya Ramaswami, National Cancer Institute, and Nitin Roper, National Cancer Institute. Read more.

The Incredible Women Making Strides in Science.
In this special, month-long series, WIRED will highlight 10 incredible women, some of whom are changing the way we think about the universe and humanity’s place in it, or inventing next-generation genetic screening tech that can help doctors catch illnesses early enough to save lives. Read more.

Women’s Health Research at Yale celebrates 25 years of advancing women’s health.
As the Women’s Health Research at Yale center celebrates its 25th anniversary, their focus has expanded to include research on the influence of biological sex and the social construct of gender on health, as well as the evolving ways in which people identify their genders. Read more.

Biden taps Vanderbilt physician-scientist to head National Cancer Institute.

President Biden announced that Vanderbilt University Medical Center physician-scientist Kimryn Rathmell will be NCI’s 17th director. Rathmell will replace Monica Bertagnolli, who served just over 1 year in the position before becoming NIH director. When Rathmell takes her position in December, she will be only the second woman to lead the $7.3 billion institute in its 86-year history. Read more. (Image: Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, MMHC, Vanderbilt University.)

Introducing 2023 Klaus J. Jacobs award recipient Professor Janet M. Currie.

Princeton University Prof. Janet M. Currie became the 2023 recipient of the Klaus J. Jacobs research prize. Currie is best known for her research on children's health and the effects of the environment, poverty, and health systems on children's well-being. Her decades of research have demonstrated how poverty and government anti-poverty policies as well as health systems and the environment can affect the lifelong health and well-being of children. Read more. (Image: Janet Currie, Princeton University.)

Microbiologist who was harassed during COVID pandemic sues university.
Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist at the University of Auckland, is suing her employer for failing to adequately address the harassment she received as a result of her public comments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Dr. Paula Johnson Is Breaking Down the Barriers to Better Health.

An accomplished cardiologist and the first Black woman president of Wellesley College, Dr. Johnson's life's work is improving quality of care for women and women of color around the world. Read more.(Image: Paula Johnson, president of Wellesley College.)


Florence Bell died unrecognized for her contributions to DNA science – decades on female researchers are still being sidelined. 

Almost 80 years ago, Florence Bell quietly laid the foundations for one of the biggest landmarks in 20th century science: the discovery of the structure of DNA. But when she died on November 23 2000, her occupation on her death certificate was recorded as “housewife”. Read more.


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