Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to include another issue of RFS Briefings with some timely and encouraging updates on women in science.
Especially, in honor of Black History Month, we would like to highlight the following RFS year-end conference presentations:

 Black History Month


Although I am not a great footbal fan, the Super Bowl had a very special ad this year to celebrate science, and the 175th anniversary of Pfizer. Once they contacted us about women in science, we worked hard to get some visibility for Rosalind Franklin. And we did! You can watch the brief ad here

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

Salk Professor Joanne Chory honored with Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science.

Salk Institute Professor Joanne Chory has been selected by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to receive a Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science for her achievements in plant science. She will receive a 14-karat gold medal and a $10,000 honorarium at the Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony in April 2024. Chory joins other extraordinary scientists and engineers as a Franklin laureate, including Nikola Tesla, Marie and Pierre Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Jane Goodall, among others. Read more. (Image: Joanne Chory. Credit: Salk Institute)

Visualizing optogenetics: New manga celebrates neuroscientist Viviana Gradinaru.
The Vilcek Foundation launches the fourth chapter in our series of manga produced in collaboration with Hiroki Otsuka. The manga celebrates the Vilcek Foundation prizewinners, and this latest manga highlights the work of neuroscientist and 2020 Vilcek Creative Promise Prizewinner Viviana Gradinaru. Read more.

Meet the scientist protecting women of color from the wrong side of AI.

In 2023, computer scientist and artist, Dr. Joy Buolamwini, was named one of Time’s "100 Most Influential people in AI" for good reason — prejudice that’s often baked into this technology has victimized women and people of color. Read more. (Image: Joy Buolamwini. Credit: Niccolò Caranti, Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 4.0)


Building used by Marie Curie will be dismantled to erect cancer center.
A row over a building once used by chemist Marie Skłodowska-Curie has been resolved following negotiations between the French culture ministry and a group of scientists who want to demolish the site to build a leading cancer-research center. Read more.

From a pocketful of rocks to scientific director of palaeontological research. 

A PhD candidate at McGill University’s Redpath Museum in Montreal, Canada, Dirley Cortés investigates the structures of food chains in marine ecosystems from the Cretaceous period. She is also the scientific director of the Paleontological Research Centre in Villa de Leyva, a non-profit institution that studies fossils from the Paja Formation, located in central Colombia. Read more. (Image:PhD candidate Dirley Cortés lies next to a therapod dinosaur’s long bone during a field course at the Dinosaur Provincial Park near Brooks, Canada. Credit: Hans Larsson/McGill University, Canada via Nature)

Reason Underlying Female-Based Autoimmunity Revealed.
A study has found clues as to why some autoimmune diseases may be more common in women than men, with the answer residing in their extra X chromosome. Read more.

Vilcek Foundation Awards $250,000 to Immigrants in Biomedical Science.

The Vilcek Foundation announced the recipients of the 2024 Vilcek Foundation Prizes in Biomedical Science. Comprising $250,000 in awards, the prizes recognize outstanding immigrant scientists whose work has had a profound impact on biomedical research, with important contributions to medicine and human health. Read more. Gerta Hoxhaj receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for her work on mapping the molecular links between signaling pathways and metabolic networks of cancer cells with a focus on identifying vulnerabilities that could be used to develop targeted therapies. Read more. (Image: Gerta Hoxhaj via Vilcek Foundation)

The Campus Wars Aren’t About Gender … Are They?
In the first weeks of the war between Israel and Hamas, Nancy Andrews read about American college presidents under fire and something nagged at her. Why, she wondered, did it seem like so many of those presidents were women? Read more.

Joan Steitz: A Champion for RNA and Women in Science.

As a young scientist, Joan Steitz realized that experimental work, not theoretical work, was her forte. Read about Dr. Steitz, a founding RFS board member and a pioneering RNA biologist who vigorously championed women in science. Read more. (Image: Steitz presents at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology Structures of DNA, 1982. Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives via Lasker Foundation)

Project NextGen: Innovation in Clinical Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vaccines.
The goal of these Project Awards is to advance innovative capabilities and improve the vaccine manufacturing enterprise to provide better COVID-19 solutions and bolster preparedness and response against future health security threats. Read more.

Nurse Community Mourns 'Trailblazer' Claire Fagin, PhD, RN.
Claire Fagin, PhD, RN, a nurse scientist, advocate, innovator, and one of the first women to lead an Ivy League university, died on January 16 at her home in New York City. She was 97. Read more.

Call for applications: OWSD Early Career Fellowships for women scientists 2024.

The OWSD Early Career Fellowship is a prestigious award of up to USD 50,000 offered to women who have completed their PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and are employed at an academic or scientific research institute in one of the 66 countries identified by OWSD as Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs). Read more.

Call for Nominations for the 2024 National Medal of Science.
The National Medal of Science is the highest recognition the nation can bestow on scientists and engineers. For this prestigious honor, please nominate colleagues and peers who have made extraordinary contributions that have advanced the scientific enterprise before May 5, 2024. Read more.

We are pleased to welcome the first members of our new Council of Corporate Leadership!


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