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

A biomedical engineer pivots from human movement to women’s health.

As a fellow in the MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence, Shaniel Bowen explores a topic that has seen little research — women's sexual anatomy and health. Currently, Bowen devotes a portion of her time to outreach, health promotion, and education, primarily focusing on women’s health issues. Photo: Gretchen Ertl (MIT News). Read more.

Apply Now for the MMRF 2024 Research Fellows Award Program.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will provide $150,000 in research funding over two years to successful applicants who seek to learn more about the biology of myeloma and identify new approaches to monitor for and treat the disease. Read more.

The capital women need, for the future we all need.
Melinda French Gates has introduced a new white paper that discusses the barriers that women, especially in Africa, face in accessing capital and how philanthropic, public and private sectors can come together to close gender financing gaps. Read more.

A “corporate athlete” mindset is key to a healthy life. Here’s how to find it.
How can women find balance in their lives so they can achieve their professional goals, feel satisfied as they nurture their families, and keep their health in check? Katz Institute for Women's Health sat down with LaShonda Anderson-Williams, EVP & chief strategy officer of Salesforce Global Health & Life Sciences. Read more.

FASEB announces the recipients of its 2024 Excellence in Science Awards.

“The 2024 FASEB Excellence in Science Award recipients reflect achievements as leaders in the biomedical research community,” says Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD, FASEB President and former Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  “Each awardee has demonstrated excellence and innovation in their research field and exemplified a steadfast commitment to future researchers through their mentoring activities.” Read more.

Pathways to Prevention (P2P)’s Postpartum Health Initiative.
The Pathways to Prevention (P2P) workshop Identifying Risks and Interventions to Optimize Postpartum Health aims to address the maternal health crisis by identifying and closing research gaps in postpartum health. Two new reports from the workshop are now available, and they describe current research activities and outline resources and opportunities for advancing research to predict and prevent poor postpartum health outcomes. Read more.

Essential Health Care Services Related to Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Women.
On April 29-30, The National Academies Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders will host a hybrid public workshop to explore mental health care services related to anxiety and mood disorders in women. The workshop will examine currently available evidence to identify, define, and prepare strategies for the provision of essential healthcare services related to anxiety and mood disorders in women across the life course. Read more.

Six people, including four women, were selected as this year's winners of the Samsung Hoam Award.

Six recipients of the Samsung Ho-Am Prize were named by the Ho-Am Foundation, with the most women included on the list in the award's 34-year history. Dr. K. Heran Darwin, a Vilcek Foundation board member, is a biologist who discovered the protein recycling system in tuberculosis for the first time, suggesting the possibility of developing new treatments through research on bacterial infections. Read more. Image: Dr. K. Heran Darwin (Vilcek Foundation)

She Dreams of Pink Planets and Alien Dinosaurs.
Lisa Kaltenegger, founding director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, hunts for aliens in space by studying Earth across time. “I think a lot of people might not be so aware of where we are right now, and that they are living in this momentous time in history,” she said. “We can all be a part of it.” Read more.

People invent things – AI just helps, biotech IP expert tells Congress.
Clear laws giving intellectual property rights to human inventors who use artificial intelligence will allow us to take advantage of the remarkable advances AI can bring to biotechnology, a biotech patent expert told Congress on April 10. Read more.

A Gold Medal for America’s Rosies, the Women on the Home Front.

Rosie the Riveters, American women who filled a crucial labor shortage during World War II and reshaped the workforce, received a Congressional Gold Medal. Read more.

The Prize Competition for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity: Toolkit is Now Live.
The Prize Competition for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity: Toolkit identifies the best practices of the winners of the NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science, which recognized institutions whose biomedical and behavioral science departments, centers, or divisions achieved sustained improvement in gender diversity. Read more.

The American Association of Immunologists Congratulates Recipients of 2024 Intersect Fellowships for Computational Scientists and Immunologists. 
The AAI Intersect Fellowship Program for Computational Scientists and Immunologists provides independent research scientists with one year of salary support for postdoctoral fellows trained in basic bench research to undertake one year of training in computational science, or postdoctoral fellows trained in computational science to spend one year in an immunology research lab to learn basic immunological principles and laboratory techniques. Read more.

A life-course approach to women’s health.
Nature is launching a new Series as a starting point for discussions on how to improve the health of women and girls as part of a route to achieving global health equity. Read more.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships Announce 2024 Class of Distinguished New Americans.
In addition to receiving up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice, the 2024 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows join a distinguished community of past recipients. The alumni network includes US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who is the first surgeon general of Indian descent and helped lead the national response to Ebola, Zika, and the coronavirus. Read more.

Maiken Nedergaard Wins 2024 HFSP Nakasone Award for Pioneering Science of Sleep and Neurodegenerative Disease.

“Dr. Nedergaard forever changed the way we understand sleep as an essential biological function that promotes brain health and plays a crucial role in preventing diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, and Huntington Disease,” said HFSPO Secretary-General Pavel Kabat. “It is a fundamental discovery worthy of being honored with the 2024 HFSP Nakasone Award.” Read more.

Naughty by Nature: Sex in the Animal Kingdom ft. Anastasia Shavrova, Ph.D.

In the exciting debut episode of "The Science of Life," Dr. Raven Baxter kicks off an exhilarating journey into the heart of life sciences, intersecting with the raw truths of social sciences. This episode features a fascinating conversation with Dr. Anastasia Shavrova, a trailblazer in the study of sex evolution and sexual conflicts among animals. Read more. Dr. Baxter was a past RFS speaker, you can check out her presentation here. Image: Dr. Raven Baxter.

How to realize immense promise of gene editing.
Jennifer Doudna, whose work on CRISPR earned her the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry, applauded the recent approval of a CRISPR-based gene-editing therapy to help those struggling with sickle-cell disease. Read more.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Taps 188 Fellows to the Ranks of 19,000 Fellows Honored Since 1925.
“The Guggenheim Fellowship is a life-changing recognition. It’s a celebrated investment into the lives and careers of distinguished artists, scholars, scientists, writers and other cultural visionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on and generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture as they do so,” said Edward Hirsch, award-winning poet and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Read more.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Awards Distinguished Investigator Grants Valued at $1 Million to 10 Scientists Pursuing Innovative Mental Health Research.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation announced it is awarding Distinguished Investigator Grants valued at $1 million to 10 senior-level scientists (7 are women in science!) Recipients of the $100,000, one-year grants are exploring new frontiers in understanding a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the potential connection between mental illness and cannabis use. Read more.

Orcutt Speaks on Deep-Sea Mining for Congressional Panel.
Bigelow Laboratory Senior Research Scientist and Vice President for Research Beth Orcutt was recently in Washington D.C. to participate in a panel exploring the environmental, technological, and policy challenges around deep-sea mining. Read more.


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