Dear Colleagues, 

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

Women and girls must be at the center of health innovation to ensure all people can live healthy and productive lives. The National Institutes of Health and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-hosted the Innovation Equity Forum last week to map out global opportunities to advance women's health equity. Women's health - from contraception to maternal care to basic research - demands urgent attention and funding to ensure that women, everywhere, can remain in good health. When women thrive, we all thrive. Last week, we joined women's health experts to discuss challenges and opportunities to accelerate progress on women's health. I was thrilled to be part of the Steering Committee (left, below) and working with Jamie White, Health Science Strategy and Relations Lead, at ORWH (right, below). This discussion will help set the stage for the Grand Challenges discussions in October in Senegal. Stay tuned!

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 Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society

These researchers are reimagining animal behavior through a feminist lens.
Evolutionary biologist Ambika Kamath and social scientist Melina Packer of the University of Colorado Boulder are working to dismantle outdated, biased scientific ideas through research and a new curriculum. Read more.

3 UK universities nurturing a new generation of female engineers.
As the demands for STEM careers grow, where should aspiring female engineers study engineering? If you’re looking for an empowering education in engineering that’ll inspire you to be a global changemaker, here are four universities to consider. Read more.

Carol Robinson Inducted into Prestigious American Philosophical Society (APS) for 2023.

Dame Carol Robinson, the Dr. Lee's Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery at Oxford University, has received recognition for her pioneering work in mass spectrometry techniques spanning more than three decades. Her research has revolutionized our understanding of protein structures and interactions, particularly in relation to diseases. Read more. Image credit: Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery

New method offers unprecedented detail in tracking protein activity in living cells.
Vilcek Creative Promise Prize-winning scientist Alice Ting of Stanford is the lead author on a new study published in Cell Press News that outlines a revolutionary technique for tracking protein activity in living cells. Read more.

Understanding the role of KMT2D in MLL-AF9 acute myeloid leukemia. 

Nicole Cruz, with mentor Robert G. Roeder, at The Rockefeller University, New York, received the latest Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Physician-Scientist award in partnership with Damon Runyon. Read more. Image credit: Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation & The Mark Foundation.

The Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholar Awards.
The Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholars Fellowship Award submission period is now OPEN. The Award will support individual postdoctoral scientists of exceptional creativity in the field of neurosciences. The new enrollment period will run from June of 2023 to November 1, 2023. Read more.

Wistar Institute Study Gives New Insight into How Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain.

 A new study by Wistar scientists published in Nature Communications shows that a type of brain cell called astrocytes plays an important role in promoting brain metastasis by recruiting a specific subpopulation of immune cells. The finding could be a first step toward identifying potential targets for therapies to fight cancers that metastasize to the brain. This would fill a significant unmet need, said researcher Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D. Read more. Image credit: Wistar Institute.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research Announces the First Class of A Grant of Her Own: The Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research.
This landmark initiative is helping to counteract longstanding gender disparities in research by investing $8 million in the groundbreaking work of 11 women scientists leading the charge in cancer research. Read more.

Carolyn Kraus receives competitive Ruth L. Kirschstein award.

Carolyn Kraus, a PhD candidate in the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, has received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to study how CRISPR/Cas9 tools can be used to develop a therapeutic for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Read more. Image credit: UMass Chan Medical School.

Women in STEM: An Inspiring Journey with Dr. Jo Brewer.
“At school I was encouraged to follow science because I was good at it. It felt natural to follow what I was good at, and they pushed everybody to be the best they could be. That’s how I was brought up. Later in my career, having a family and children also caused some good and bad experiences. When I went on maternity leave with my first child, that was a really good experience because I was one of four mothers in a company of about 40 people. We all went on maternity leave at the same time. We were all encouraged to come back on our own terms because we were all really valued. And that was fantastic,” says Dr. Jo Brewer, Chief Scientific Officer at Adaptimmune. Read more.

No drug for COVID: ‘the most successful failure in my life’
Laura Walker tells Nature why she moved to industry after her PhD in immunology and microbiology, and the challenges of developing a drug during a global pandemic. In March, Laura Walker left the biopharmaceutical company she had co-founded three years earlier to join Moderna as the head of its infectious disease biotherapeutics team in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read more.

Unraveling connections between the brain and gut.

Under the direction of Vilcek Creative Promise Prizewinner Polina Anikeeva, MIT  engineers have designed optogenetic techniques for probing connections between the gut and the brain. In a new study, the researchers demonstrated that they could induce feelings of fullness or reward-seeking behavior in mice by manipulating cells of the intestine. Read more. Image credit: National Science Foundation (Wikipedia)

Interview: Women in Science - Pamela Adede and her hope for future generations of women to thrive in science. 
Pamela Adede is a seasoned computer scientist and data professional known for providing high quality service whilst employing her multi talents which include efficiency, analytical thinking, and fast learning. Read more.

Don’t get mad, get equal: putting an end to misogyny in science.
“Surviving as a woman in science shouldn’t be such a perilous and exhausting high-wire balancing act. We will all be more powerful and effective when female leaders are supported to be equitable participants in the diverse and holistic scientific organizations of the future,” Alison Bentley & Rachael Garrett write in an article for Nature News. Read more.

Interview ‘Designing a vaccine that covers all cancers is hard’: biotech pioneer Lindy Durrant.

“Cancer is my game,” says Prof. Lindy Durrant, an immunologist, founder and chief executive of Scancell, which is developing vaccines that could offer a needle-free protection against Covid as well as novel treatments against cancer. The immunologist who runs Scancell is trialing novel treatments to attack tumors, as well as needle-free Covid jabs. Read more. Image credit: University of Nottingham.

Women in Science: How Charco Neurotech's Lucy Jung is 'restoring joy' for Parkinson's patients.
Lucy Jung is the CEO and founder at Charco Neurotech, a medtech start-up which has developed the CEU1, a wearable device for Parkinson's, that uses vibrotactile stimulation to reduce symptoms of slowness and stiffness - resulting in improved movement. Biopharma Reporter spoke to her about her background, how she got involved in the Parkinson's space and her fascination for problem-solving. Read more.

Subscribe to our newsletter (RFS Briefings) at  

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


Dear Colleagues, 

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

As we focus on building a Council of Corporate Leadership, we of course continue to grow our prestigious Council of Academic Institutions. We are excited to welcome our newest members:

  • Barnard
  • Notre Dame
  • Sanford Stem Cell Institute, UCSD
  • Feinstein Institutes of Medicine, AWSM (Advancing Women in Science & Medicine)

We look forward to showcasing their work and their leadership in RFS Briefings, at our year-end conference, and special webinars during the year.

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 Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society

The Rita Rossi Colwell Center: Baltimore's venue for community events, innovation, & science.

Last week, we celebrated the naming of The Rita Rossi Colwell Center! Dr. Colwell, RFS President, was instrumental in the founding of the Columbus Center for the purpose of expanding environmental science education and research in Baltimore City. Did you know? Our esteemed president was the 1st female Director of NSF, published 800+ articles and 15 books and holds 62 honorary degrees! We highly recommend Dr. Rita Colwell's book "A Lab of One's Own: One Woman's Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science" (Simon & Schuster 2020). The book is a memoir-manifesto about the entrenched sexism in science, the elaborate detours women have taken and how to fix the system. Read more.

The Gold Foundation’s 2023 Annual Gala.

The Annual Gala marks a special time each year when the Gold Foundation gathers its community of doctors, nurses, students, healthcare education leaders, medical and nursing faculty and deans, corporate executives, patients, families, nonprofit partners, and supporters in a singular celebration of humanism in healthcare. Learn about the 2023 National Humanism in Medicine Medalists in four special profiles, published in the journal and online: Dr. Gina S. Brown, Dr. Richard I. Levin, the Honorable Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, and Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx. Read more.

NSF selects 34 semifinalists for the inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition.
The U.S. National Science Foundation announced 34 semifinalists for the first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) competition, spanning nearly all key technology areas and societal and economic challenges highlighted in the "CHIPS and Science Act." There are only 9 women selected among the 34 semifinalists for the NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition! There’s a world of opportunity out here, NSF! Read more.

Dr. Vanessa Kerry appointed as WHO Director-General Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health.
Dr Kerry, a renowned global health expert and medical doctor and CEO of Seed Global Health, will play a pivotal role in amplifying WHO's climate and health messaging and undertake high-level advocacy. Read more. 

On International Women in Engineering Day, engineers highlight the need for IT diversity.
June 23 marks International Women in Engineering Day, a time to look back at why engineers were drawn to the field, what made them stay and what they hope for the future. It’s also a day to recognize just how essential diverse teams are when building and designing technology. Read more.

SUSTAIN - women in research.
Not enough women in science are securing senior leadership posts in the UK. The SUSTAIN program seeks to address this gap. See the list of the 24 new participants funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society or the Royal Academy of Engineering. Read more.

A $25,000 Award for Women Scientists Working to Improve Soil Health.
The Story Exchange, an award-winning nonprofit media organization dedicated to elevating women’s voices, is seeking submissions for its 3rd annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. The cash prize will support U.S.-based women working to find innovative, science-based solutions as climate change disrupts and depletes our natural resources. Read more.

OMRF scientist brings conference of age-related disease experts to OKC.

Serving as president of the American Aging Association comes with one major perk, says Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Holly Van Remmen, Ph.D. “You get to choose where the next year’s annual meeting will be held,” Van Remmen said. Read more. Image: OMRF.

'Her Space, Her Time': Quantum physicist Dr Shohini Ghose to release book championing women in science.

Dr. Shohini Ghose specializes in quantum information science and is one of few female physicists paving the way for women in science, a field traditionally dominated by men. During lockdown, Ghose decided to write her third book, which celebrates great women from the history of physics and science. Read more. Images: Dr. Shohini Ghose / Amazon

Subscribe to our newsletter (RFS Briefings) at   

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


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 Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society


Interview with Immunologist Akiko Iwasaki: ‘We are not done with Covid, not even close’

One of the scientists leading the race to try to unravel the complexities of long Covid is Akiko Iwasaki, an immunology professor at Yale School of Medicine. Iwasaki has been at the forefront of numerous research breakthroughs throughout the course of the pandemic. Most recently, Iwasaki has been awarded the prestigious Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research, worth €2.5m, in part due to her ongoing work on long Covid. She also spoke at RFS Year-End meeting. Listen here. Read more. Image: Yale School of Medicine.

2024 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 will close TODAY, June 12, 2023. Read more.

Women in tech statistics: The hard truths of an uphill battle.
Despite national conversations about gender diversity in tech, numbers show that women are still underrepresented, underpaid, and often discriminated against in the tech industry. Read more.

9 Novels Honoring Women’s Unseen Contributions to Science.
Although there is still a long way to go, modern historians, writers, and crowd-sourced efforts like Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons have made considerable progress in finally recognizing the women scientists whose work has long been overlooked. Read more.

France A. Córdova awarded honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Congratulations to Dr. France A. Córdova for being recognized by Yale University with an honorary Doctor of Science degree. The Honorable France A. Córdova was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the National Science Foundation (NSF), a post she held for a six-year term from 2014 to 2020. Read more. Image: Wikipedia (NSF/Stephen Voss)

Rude comments and bottom slaps: The things female doctors put up with.
“The reason women are leaving medicine is multifactorial, and it’s not, as some might suggest, due to women not wanting to work full-time,” Arghavan Salles said. The list of reasons, she says, is long: microaggressions, sexual harassment, undermining of our work and lack of support for families in the workplace. Read more.

The Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation honors cardiovascular champion.
Nanette Wenger, MD, MACC, MACP, FAHA, a pioneer and visionary in the field of cardiology, is the 2023 recipient of the Alma Dea Morani, MD Renaissance Woman award, the highest honor bestowed by the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation. Read more.

Hidden Voices: Dr. Joanne Chory is Changing the World — One Seed at a Time.

What if plants could save the world? Dr. Joanne Chory, a plant geneticist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, thinks that maybe they can. Chory is a widely respected scientist: she has received many top awards and honors throughout her career—including being elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and receiving the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, among others. Read more. Image Credit: Salk Institute.

Does Artificial Intelligence Help or Hurt Gender Diversity? Evidence from Two Field Experiments on Recruitment in Tech.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recruitment is rapidly increasing and drastically changing how people apply to jobs and how applications are reviewed. In this paper, researchers use two field experiments to study how AI recruitment tools can impact gender diversity in the male-dominated technology sector, both overall and separately for labor supply and demand. Read more.

New Center for Ocean Education and Innovation Coming in 2025.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences announced a $30 million expansion to its East Boothbay laboratory. “Research to understand the foundation of global ocean health will always be at the core of our work,” said Deborah Bronk, president and CEO. Read more.

Dr. Katalin Karikó recognized with honorary Doctor of Science degrees.

Congrats to Dr. Katalin Karikó, who was recognized by Princeton University with an honorary Doctor of Science degree just five days after being presented with one from Harvard! Watch the GEN/RosalindFranklinSociety webinar with Katalin Karikó on her pioneering research on mRNA.

Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Awardees, American Philosophical Society Members, and More.
Andrea Califano, Clyde '56 and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical Biology (in Systems Biology), was awarded $6,909,000 over seven years from the National Cancer Institute. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic was recognized in the Top 50 Academic Life Science Entrepreneurs by BIOS and won the Annual award for the best paper by a woman in science by the Mary Ann Liebert Inc. and Rosalind Franklin Society. Read more.

Discover the laureates of the 25th L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards.
The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards honors five distinguished women scientists each year for the excellence of their work and their outstanding careers – one for each of the following five regions: Africa and the Arab States; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and North America. The 2024 Call for nominations for the International Awards in Life and Environmental sciences is now open. An award of €100,000 will be given to each of the five laureates selected by a jury of internationally renowned experts. One of this year’s winners is Professor Aviv Regev, awarded for her pioneering work in single cell genomics (the study of individual cells). Read more about her impressive work. Professor Aviv Regev was an RFS speaker two years ago, she joined the panel "Awards: The Window or Just Window Dressing?" Watch it now.

SciGirls Stories: Black Women in STEM.
Meet five Black women scientists who are innovators, problem-solvers and STEM superstars who honor their racial identity and cultures. In this show, they share their strategies for overcoming challenges and finding success and joy in jobs where Black women are often underrepresented. They also inspire Black girls to pursue all kinds of interests and career paths through their individual stories. Read more.

Reimagining treatment for brain diseases to improve the lives of patients and their families: Ana Raquel Santa Maria.

Ana Raquel Santa Maria is inspired to Reimagine the World with better understanding, prevention, and treatment of brain diseases after seeing her grandparents suffer as they age, especially her grandmother who has dementia. Read more. Image Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University.

White House set to tap Obama veteran Mandy Cohen to lead CDC.
Former North Carolina health secretary Mandy Cohen, an Obama-era health official well known in Democratic policy circles, would replace outgoing CDC chief Rochelle Walensky, who is slated to leave the agency at the end of the month. Read more.

Genspace Executive Director.
Genspace is seeking a dynamic and passionate Executive Director (ED) to lead Genspace into its next chapter. The ED will oversee all aspects of strategy, programs, operations, community relations, fundraising, and financial management. Read more.

Global health advocate Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi wins Vilcek-Gold Award.

The Vilcek Foundation and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation have announced they will bestow the 2023 Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare on Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) meeting in Seattle on November 4, 2023. Bottazzi will receive the Vilcek-Gold Award for her leadership in the development of a patent-free open-source vaccine for COVID-19, and for her career-long work to support healthcare education and access in vulnerable populations globally. Read more. Image: Texas Children’s Hospital.

Elizabeth R. Cantwell Named 17th USU President.
The Utah Board of Higher Education selected Elizabeth “Betsy” R. Cantwell as the 17th president of Utah State University on Friday, following an extensive national search. "Elizabeth Cantwell will be an innovative new president for Utah State University building on the already strong research excellence and statewide service model,” said Lisa-Michele Church, Utah Board of Higher Education chair. Read more.

Research: Women and non-white people have not fared well among Lasker Award recipients from 1946 to 2022.
The number of women and non-white people in academic medicine and biomedical research continues to increase, yet the proportion of women among Lasker Award recipients has not changed in more than 70 years. Read more.

Subscribe to our newsletter (RFS Briefings) at  

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




Dear Colleagues, 

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

Rosalind Franklin Society Medal

Submission deadline: Extended to May 31st
Submit Nomination Now!                                    

The Genome Writers Guild (GWG) and Rosalind Franklin Society have joined forces again to recognize amazing scientists by awarding the Rosalind Franklin Medal.

This award marries together GWG’s core objectives of facilitating genome writing conversation, collaboration, and exposure with the Rosalind Franklin Society’s goals of enabling more women to achieve higher recognition, visibility, appointments, and success in industry, academia, or government. The recipient of this award will embody the missions of both organizations. 

The Rosalind Franklin Medal will not only recognize the outstanding body of research of a woman in the field of genome engineering and nucleic acids research, it also offers a platform to share that work with members and colleagues worldwide of both organizations. The recipient will be an invited speaker at the Genome Writers Guild annual conference this summer and annual Rosalind Franklin Board Meeting and Colloquium later this year. We invite the nominations of women working in the fields of genome engineering and synthetic biology. The researcher should be in an early stage of their career, including graduate students, post-docs and assistant professors. Nominees from all walks of genomics and nucleic acid research, including academia, industry, and government are welcome. Criteria used to identify the winner will include: scientific Impact; contribution to the fields of genome editing or nucleic acid research; contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion; community outreach; and overall strength of support letter(s).

To nominate (or self-nominate):

  • Send name

  • CV and/or Biosketch

  • Brief statement of support/ justification for review context

Contact us for questions
Erin Nolan: [email protected]
Dr.Shondra Pruett-Miller: [email protected]

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 Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society

Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis.
ARPA-H, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, has launched a new program. The goal of NITRO (Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis) is to find ways for the human body to repair its own joints. Osteoarthritis affects more than 32 million Americans, is the third most common type of disability, and has an estimated economic burden of more than $136 billion per year. A Proposers' Day for research teams interested in NITRO is scheduled for June 15 – learn more and register.

Research!America Calls for Entries for Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize.
Research!America’s 2023 Discovery | Innovation | Health Prize will recognize and provide support for a researcher or clinician with a bold vision for progress against pandemic threats. Applications are open through June 15 for the $200,000 prize. Read more.

Charting an Equity-Centered Public Health Data System.
Building a public health data system rooted in health equity is key to building a Culture of Health, where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live a long and healthy life. This special publication, Charting an Equity-Centered Public Health Data System, highlights what can be done to create a modern public health data system that advances equity. Read more.

OMRF’s Montgomery to lead Center for Biomedical Data Sciences.

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has named Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D., as the founding director of its Center for Biomedical Data Sciences. “Data science plays an enormous role in biomedical research,” she said. “A single experiment can generate enough data to fill 75 laptops. Our scientists need extensive computing resources and skilled mathematicians and computer scientists to make discoveries from that much information.” Read more. Image: The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Also at OMRF,  EVP Dr. Judith James selected for induction to Oklahoma Hall of Fame.  

OMRF Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., has been named a member of the 2023 class of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Considered among the highest honors in the state, James is the first woman from OMRF and just the third scientist in the foundation’s 76-year history to be selected for induction into the hall of fame. OMRF is a member of our Council of Academic Institutions. Read more. Image: OMRF.

Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists.
Recent PhD? Boost your career by applying to the Science and SciLifeLab’s Prize for young scientists, an annual prize awarded to early-career scientists, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. As a winner, you will have your essay published by Science, receive up to 30,000 USD and be invited to Sweden where you receive your award, present your research and meet with leading scientists in your field. Read more.

Baszucki Group Partners with Stony Brook University on Neuroblox Platform to Revolutionize Treatments for Brain Disorders.

Stony Brook University announced a philanthropic gift to develop Neuroblox, a software platform developed by biomedical engineer and neuroscientist Lilianne “Lily” Mujica-Parodi that will model brain circuits to treat brain disorders. The gift was made possible by David Baszucki, founder and chief executive officer of Roblox, and his wife, bestselling author Jan Ellison Baszucki. Read more. Image: Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi, Stony Brook University.

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail Receives 2023 Templeton Prize.

The winner of the 2023 Templeton Prize is Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, a nurse-midwife, hospital founder, and healthcare advocate who has worked courageously to change cultural, religious, and medical norms surrounding women’s health in East Africa, improving the lives of thousands of women and girls in the region and beyond. Read more. Image: 2023 Templeton Prize Winner Edna Adan Ismail photographed in London by Tim Cole for the Templeton Prize. 

Bernadine Strik, Whose Insights Helped Blueberries Thrive, Dies at 60.
Bernadine Strik, a horticulture professor at Oregon State University whose innovative cultivation strategies shook up the American blueberry industry, died on April 14 at a hospital in Corvallis, Ore. She was 60. Dr. Strik helped organic growers maximize their yields by planting on raised beds instead of flat ground, a technique that also benefited conventional farms. She persuaded many berry producers, in Oregon and beyond, to accept her research and adopt her measures, writes Daniel E. Slotnik for The New York Times. Read more.

The Female Turn: How Evolutionary Science Shifted Perceptions About Females.
Evolutionary biology has historically rendered female animals as passive recipients of sexual selection, but that view has shifted as researchers have begun to focus more on female anatomy and behavior. This week on the Science podcast, Malin Ah-King describes how new research is revealing the active sexual strategies used by females across the animal kingdom. Read more.

Women (probably) make for better astronauts. So should the first crew to Mars be all-female?
A recent study by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) medical team concluded that “there may be a number of operational advantages to all-female crews [for future long-duration missions]”. But as Angela Saini, a journalist and author who has researched the impacts of sex-based research says: “There is actually no real-life 'default' male – every man is different from the next, just like every woman is. "While it's great that women have been studied, the more important takeaway is that individual astronauts should obviously be considered.” Read more.

Subscribe to our newsletter (RFS Briefings) at  

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


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 Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director
Rosalind Franklin Society

Akiko Iwasaki is awarded the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research 2023 for her research on long COVID.

Immunologist Professor Akiko Iwasaki from the Yale School of Medicine is being awarded one of the world’s most highly endowed prizes for research in the field of medicine: the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research. EKFS is honoring Iwasaki’s groundbreaking contributions in the area of “Diseases of worldwide significance,” focused on immune responses to viral infections. Please listen to  her presentation from RFS Virtual Meeting 2019:  Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections: RFS Virtual Meeting 2019  Read more. Image: Yale School of Medicine.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky is leaving her post.
Rochelle Walensky, who led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through some of the grimmest phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that she will leave the agency at the end of June.“Dr. Walensky has saved lives with her steadfast and unwavering focus on the health of every American,” President Biden said in a statement. Read more.

Personal Perspective on a Life in Science.

The Kavli Foundation President, Cynthia Friend, shares her take on the dynamic frontier of science in a personal perspective published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. “Through a few stories, she highlights some of the opportunities and challenges over the last several decades and expresses her deep gratitude and privilege for a multi-faceted career, rich in ideas and full of friends and colleagues.” Read more. Image: Kavli Foundation.

Pamela Silver elected to National Academy of Sciences.


Pamela Silver, Ph.D., founding Core Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and the Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) is joining the ranks of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.Image: Wyss Institute. 

First deaf, Black woman receives her PhD in a STEM discipline.

Graduate student Amie Fornah Sankoh recently stood in front of 150 colleagues, family and friends at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to defend her thesis. Upon her successful defense, Dr. Amie Sankoh became the first Deaf, Black woman to receive a PhD in any STEM discipline. Read more. Image: Dr. Tessa Burch-Smith and Dr. Amie Fornah Sankoh work on plants in the lab. Credit: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  

Health Equity Special Issue: Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Health.
This special issue is a collection of short reports, research articles, perspectives, and editorials on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander health disparities. The articles touch on the challenges to AANHPI health, the underlying factors, and the diversity within the AANHPI. Read more.

The 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners. 
Meet the 2023 Goldman Prize winners, six ordinary people who took extraordinary actions to protect their environments and communities: Diane Wilson from the United States, Alessandra Korap Munduruku from Brazil, Chilekwa Mumba from Zambia, Tero Mustonen from Finland, Zafer Kizilkaya from Turkey, and Delima Silalahi from Indonesia. Read more.

Women’s health: end the disparity in funding.
The past 30 years has in many ways changed the landscape for women’s-health research. But in other respects, time has stood still, according to an editorial in Nature. Female participation rates in some studies remain low, as affirmed by a report published in March and commissioned by the Women’s Brain Project, a non-profit body based in Guntershausen, Switzerland. Read more.

What it’s like to be in the minority at a conference.
Nature spoke to four scientists about their experiences as members of under-represented groups at conferences — and how researchers can protect themselves and others from inappropriate behavior, abuse and harassment. “Being in the minority at conferences is worse than in other professional situations because they are so important. As a researcher, you need to know what others in your field are doing, find out about interesting projects and be part of networks,” says Pas Garcia Martinez, Optics researcher at the University of Valencia in Spain and general secretary of the Spanish Association of Female Researchers and Technologists. Read more.

 Early Career Summit.
Registration is open for Reaching the Peak: A Science & Technology Early Career Summit Series. Throughout these events, you will have the opportunity to explore an array of career paths, network with fellow researchers and career professionals, participate in professional development workshops, and engage in meaningful discussions around issues critical to the success of the R&D ecosystem. Read more.

Women’s representation as authors of retracted papers in the biomedical sciences
“Women are under-represented among authors of scientific papers. Although the number of retractions has been rising over the past few decades, gender differences among authors of retracted papers remain poorly understood. Therefore, this study investigated gender differences in authorship of retracted papers in biomedical sciences available on RetractionWatch,” according to the authors of the study in PLoS One. Read more.

The Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology. 
The AIM-HI Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology recognizes outstanding women leaders in all sectors of the health and life sciences industry who have made a significant impact on advancing cancer treatment, detection, and diagnosis for patients worldwide. The Nomination Deadline for the 2023 Beacon Award is Wednesday, May 31, at 11:55 PM Eastern time. Read more.

The Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine.

Drs. Helen Hobbs (an RFS Board Member) and Jonathan Cohen are being awarded the 2023 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine for their pioneering and collaborative work in defining the genetic risk factors for dyslipidemias and metabolic liver disease that have led to the rational design of new therapies. Read more. Image: Helen H. Hobbs, M.D., is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

SENS Research Foundation Grand Opening.
On Friday, June 23rd at 4 pm PT, SENS Research Foundation’s expanded Research Center (a member of our Council of Academic Institutions) is all set to open its doors for a Grand Opening event that you cannot miss. Get ready to mingle, network, and meet fellow supporters of healthy longevity and rub shoulders with innovators from the Bay Area's most exciting biotech and longevity companies! Read more.

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

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