Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections: RFS Virtual Meeting

An end of year virtual meeting hosted by the Rosalind Franklin Society, highlighted astounding accomplishments of women and minorities in science as well as significant challenges yet to be addressed.

From groundbreaking research to prestigious awards and recognition, this virtual event provided incredible access to emerging stars as well as those who continue to lead the way.

Sessions covered the academic world as well as industry; corporations and start-ups; and U.S. and international colleagues and partnerships.

The event took place over two days: November 20th and November 21th.

Labs, Leaders, Critical Connections was produced with support from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), and OnRamp Bioinformatics, Inc.

Day 1: A welcome from RFS President Rita Colwell and
RFS Founder Mary Ann Liebert.

Day 1: Translating Science and Skill Sets into a Career of Purpose
Tracy Richmond McKnight, PhD 
Valerion Therapeutics, LLC and UCSF

Day 1: Catalyzing Women’s Leadership in STEM: Women in Science & Medicine 
McNulty Foundation
Aprile Age, Executive Director
Paul Angiolillo, PhD, St. Joseph’s University
Teresa Boyer, EdD, Villanova University
Kelle Cruz, PhD, Hunter College

Day 1: How Your Science Can Save the World
Jennifer Shieh, PhD
Chief Scientist & Technology Policy Advisor
White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, Investment
and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration

Day 1: More than Journals
Ann Merchant
Deputy Executive Director
Science & Entertainment Exchange National Academies of Sciences

Day 1: The Age of Living Machines: How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution
Susan Hockfield, PhD
Past President, MIT

Day 1: Designing Biology
2019 Rosalind Franklin Award, BIO
Reshma Shetty, PhD
Founder, Ginkgo Bioworks

Day 1:  Uncovering Natural Defenses in the Fight Against Respiratory Viruses
Levine Lab Laureate Award
Ellen Foxman, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Yale University

Day 1: How I Learned to Build with Biology
Sartorius & Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy
Ritu Raman, PhD, MIT
Founder, WiSDM

Day 1:  These Women Can: What’s Next for Women in the STEM Workplace 
Sam Smith
Global Vice President, Life Science & Healthcare

Day 1: Getting to Even: Achieving Gender Parity in STEM in our Lifetime
Susan Solomon
CEO & Founder
New York Stem Cell Foundation

Day 1: Out of the Shadows – Honoring Hidden Heroes of Science
Seema Kumar
V.P., Innovation, Global Health & Policy Communications
Johnson & Johnson

Day 1: Advocacy and Inclusion in the Enterprise: What Helps, What Hurts
Chris Dwan
Independent Consultant in Life Sciences

Day 1: Fix the Environment: Culture Change in the Life Sciences
Erin O’Shea, PhD
President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute



Day 1: Opportunities and Challenges in Cancer Research and the Important Contributions of Women to the Field
Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc)
CEO, American Association for Cancer Research

Day 1: Colliding Ribosomes as an Integrator of Cytoplasmic Stress Responses
Rachel Green, PhD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology
Johns Hopkins University

Day 2: Women into STEM: Time to Fix the System! 
Shirley Malcom, PhD 
Head of Education & Human Resources Program  American Association for the Advancement of Science           
SEA Change

Day 2: NSF’s Role in Addressing Barriers that Impact the    Entire Scientific Research Ecosystem 
Rhonda Davis 
Head, Office of Diversity and Inclusion                Office of the Director, National Science Foundation

Day 2: The Impact of Technology on our View of Biology 
Deanna Church, PhD
Senior Director of Applications, Inscripta

Day 2: Leader Launch at the Mayo Clinic 
Stephen Ekker, PhD 
Dean, Graduate of Biomedical Sciences
Mayo Clinic

Day 2: Transmission of Misfolded Proteins in Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Common Mechanism of Disease Progression
Virginia M.Y. Lee, PhD 
Breakthrough Prize 2020
Center for Neurodegenerative Disease
University of Pennsylvania

Day 2: Innovative Benefits, Amazing Results 
Beth Shelton
Executive Director
Girl Scouts of America

Day 2: Women in Academic Medicine
George Thibault, MD
Past President
Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

Day 2: Working to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Higher Education
Alex Helman, PhD
Associate Program Officer
National Academies of Sciences