Dear Colleagues, 

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

Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, won her nation’s elections on Sunday in a landslide victory that brought a double milestone: She became the first woman and Jewish person to be elected president of Mexico. Read more.

Claudia Sheinbaum (Image credit: Rodrigo Jardón, Wikimedia Commons)

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

Yale Chooses Head of Stony Brook University to Be New President.

Yale University’s new president will be Maurie D. McInnis, currently the president of Stony Brook University, a New York state public university  where she is known for raising the school’s profile, donations and prestige. Read more.(Photo by Dan Renzetti)

Tailored Drug Targets Aggressive Breast Cancer.
Scientists from King’s College London have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of aggressive breast cancer by developing a tailored drug that exploits the cancer cells’ weaknesses. Lead author Professor Sophia Karagiannis explained the significance of this discovery: “We combined these two drugs to create a tailored antibody-drug conjugate for patients with this aggressive cancer.” Read more.

Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Whitehead Institute Director and President Ruth Lehmann has been named a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. The election recognizes her “pioneering studies of the mechanisms underlying the embryonic development and reproduction of the fruit fly Drosophila.” Dr. Lehmann is also an RFS Board Member! Read more. Image credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute.

Study: Gender Gaps Persist for Female Scientists.
The number of female biomedical researchers is increasing and so is the share of grants they receive, according to a paper published in Nature Biotechnology. “As the resources are increasingly flowing toward women, the disparity between senior men scientists and senior women scientists is closing,” said Chris Liu, co-author of the paper and associate professor of management at the University of Oregon, according to a press release from UO. “But the gap is persisting between junior men and women.” Read more.

Hewlett Foundation Names Astrophysicist Amber D. Miller as Next President.

Amber D. Miller, an astrophysicist and pathbreaking university leader who has served as a dean at both the University of Southern California and Columbia University, has been named the next president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the foundation’s board of directors announced today. She will begin the role in September. Read more. (Photo credit: John Livzey)

Bone-Enhancing Peptide Shows Promise as Therapeutic for Osteoporosis and MSK Disorders.
Researchers led by Helen McGettrick, Amy Naylor, Kathryn Frost et al. identified the naturally occurring peptide PEPITEM as a potential therapeutic for osteoporosis and other disorders that feature bone loss. Helen McGettrick, PhD, associate professor in inflammation and vascular biology said, “While the most commonly used drugs, bisphosphonates, work by blocking the action of osteoclasts, PEPITEM acts by swinging the balance in favor of bone formation, without impacting the ability of osteoclasts to resorb regions of damaged or weak bone tissue via normal bone remodeling.” Read more.

Remembering Judy Campisi: Fearless scientist and pioneer in cellular senescence.

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, mourns the loss of Judy Campisi, who passed away on January 19, 2024, following a prolonged illness. Colleagues and friends from around the world gathered at the Institute for a Celebration of Life for Judy on February 16, where they shared heartfelt testimonials highlighting the profound impact she had on both individuals and the field of science. Read more. (Image: Judith Campisi. Credit: “The Buck Institute.”)

Estella Bergere Leopold (1927–2024), passionate environmentalist who traced changing ecosystems.
Estella Bergere Leopold was a palaeobotanist whose studies of fossil pollen and spores helped to reconstruct past environments and link them to the present. Leopold, who has died aged 97, was an ardent conservationist who argued that nature should be cherished and protected. She thought that science should be used in defense of the planet; this is evident in her writings, lectures and political activism. Read more.

Marcia Rieke Receives $500 000 Gruber Cosmology Prize.

The 2024 Gruber Cosmology Prize recognizes Marcia Rieke of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory for her pioneering work in infrared astronomy, especially her oversight of instruments allowing astronomers to explore the earliest galaxies in the universe. Read more. (Image by The Gruber Foundation)

2025 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.
The Vilcek Foundation will award three Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise of $50,000 each to young, immigrant biomedical scientists who demonstrate outstanding early achievement. Applications are open through June 10, 2024. Read more.

Cori Bargmann receives Gruber Neuroscience Prize.

The 2024 Gruber Neuroscience Prize is being awarded to Cori Bargmann, Rockefeller’s Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, and vice president for academic affairs. Read more. (Image by  The Rockefeller University)

Applications Open for Springboard's 2024 Inaugural Healthcare & Technology Program.
Springboard’s Healthcare & Technology Innovation Program is for women-led healthcare companies seeking growth, funding, and connections to experts and strategic partners for product development and expansion. Read more.

She Just Earned Her Doctorate at 17. Now, She’ll Go to the Prom.

Dorothy Jean Tillman II of Chicago made history as the youngest person to earn a doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health at Arizona State University. “It was a surreal moment,” Dr. Tillman said, “because it was crazy I was doing it in the first place.” Read more. Image by Arizona State University.

Michelson Prizes: Next Generation Grants. 
The Human Immunome Project is supporting the next generation of innovators in human immunology in partnership with the Michelson Medical Research Foundation. The $150,000 Michelson Prizes are awarded annually to support early-career investigators working to advance human immunology, vaccine discovery, and immunotherapy research for major global diseases. Read more.

Meet Teresa Vicente, 2024 Goldman Prize winner.

Teresa Vicente led a historic, grassroots campaign to save the Mar Menor ecosystem—Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon—from collapse, resulting in the passage of a new law in September 2022 granting the lagoon unique legal rights. Read more. (Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)

Yan Ning receives the 2024 L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award for the Asia-Pacific region.
Yan, professor at the School of Life Sciences at Tsinghua University and founding president of the Shenzhen Medical Academy of Research and Translation, was recognized for her research in structural biology that has helped explain multiple disorders such as epilepsy and arrhythmia and guided the treatment of pain syndrome. Read more.

Diana Wall obituary: ecologist who foresaw the importance of soil biodiversity.|Diana Wall was a true ecology and climate pioneer. Biodiversity in soil is often overlooked — a case of out of sight, out of mind — but Wall understood its importance for a sustainable future. Read more.

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Claudia Sheinbaum (Image credit: Rodrigo Jardón, Wikimedia Commons