Center Stage: Science and Leadership from Bench to Boardroom

Equity and representation in science matter more than ever, and the Rosalind Franklin Society continues its mission to recognize, foster, and advance the critical contributions of women and underrepresented minorities in science. Our annual year-end conference highlights the innovators and changemakers with unique experiences and leadership.  

This indispensable, two-day complimentary virtual summit (November 30 and December 1) showcasing dynamic leaders. The program includes an impressive line-up of prestigious award winners in science, as well as a panel to highlight the unique path of scientists navigating the often-tumultuous waters of PhD to CEO. You will also want to hear first-hand accounts from major new appointments in the federal government and tune in to the presentation that shows a fascinating look back at the Lost Women of Science.

We know you will want to hear these presentations from prestigious scholars, authors, award winners, government leaders from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the Food and Drug Administration, and one scientist's very personal story of insight and recovery from a massive stroke that profoundly shaped her life and career.

The event took place online over two half-days: November 30th - December 1st.

Join us to continue the celebration of Dr. Franklin's life, work, and symbolic power, by recognizing outstanding women in science, cultivating more significant opportunities, and inspiring new generations of women.  

Center Stage: Science and Leadership from Bench to Boardroom was produced with support from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN).

Day 1,  November 30, 2022 Day 2, December 1, 2022

 Opening Remarks: A welcome from RFS President Rita Colwell and RFS Founder Mary Ann Liebert.

Welcome/Recap of Day 1 and what we should expect for Day 2.

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director at Rosalind Franklin Society

Lost Women of Science: Found: Lost Women of Science tells the remarkable stories of groundbreaking women who never got the full recognition they deserved – until now. It has two related missions: To tell the forgotten stories of women in science who made groundbreaking achievements in their fields and to inspire girls and young women to embark on careers in STEM.. The Initiative’s flagship is the Lost Women of Science podcast, which, through deep reporting and rich storytelling, revisits the historical record one extraordinary scientist at a time.

Katie Hafner
Host and Co-Executive Producer
Lost Women of Science Initiative

Amy Scharf
Co-Founder, Co-Executive Producer
The Lost Women of Science Initiative

Julianna LeMieux, PhD
Senior Science Writer

Whole Brain Living (and How I Got Here): While a postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Jill Bolte Taylor suffered a massive stroke. After months in the hospital. and years of recovery, this neuroscientist has been more committed than ever, from her perch at Indiana University Medical School, to teach and practice Whole Brain Living.

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard trained and published neuroanatomist. In 1996 she experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain causing her to lose the ability to walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. Her memoir, My Stroke of Insight, documenting her experience with stroke and eight-year recovery spent 63 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, and is still routinely the #1 book about stroke on Amazon.

Dr. Taylor is a dynamic teacher and public speaker who loves educating all age groups, academic levels, as well as global corporations about the beauty of our human brain, neuroplasticity, and our ability to recover from neurological trauma. In 2008 she gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, which now has well over 28 million views. Also in 2008, Dr. Taylor was chosen as one of TIME Magazine's “100 Most Influential People in the World” and was the premiere guest on Oprah Winfrey’s “Soul Series” webcast. Website: Her 2021 book WHOLE BRAIN LIVING: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life is now being used in school systems, prisons, 12 Step programs, as well as well-being programs for professionals ranging from judges, physicians, various types of first responders to compassion in policing, hospice care workers, and psychoanalytic therapists.

Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD
Neuroscientist at IU Medical School

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director at Rosalind Franklin Society

Awards - A Window or Just Window Dressing?: Awards serve to recognize great achievements and hopefully to inspire others. Do they still do that? Although a few overshadow all others, of course the Nobel, but do we still need them? The impressive Award winners on this panel have easily answered this question.

This panel will dive into the subject of awards for women in science. We’ll ask, why do women receive them less than men and why is that important?

Huda Zoghbi, MD
Baylor College of Medicine

Leslie Mitchell, PhD
Neochromosome, Inc.

Maria Tosches, PhD
Assistant Professor
Columbia University, Biological Sciences

Julianna LeMieux, PhD
Senior Science Writer

Room at the Top: Leadership at the Federal Level: With several incredible new appointments in Washington, we are thrilled to highlight these impressive leaders:

Renee Wegrzyn
PhD, Director at ARPA-H

Namandje Bumpass
MD, Chief Scientist at the FDA

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director at Rosalind Franklin Society

From PhD to CEO: With many challenges and roadblocks for women and minorities in science, it is not surprising that we see many young scientists tap their entrepreneurial spirit (and colleagues) to strike out on their own. We will showcase several impressive successes in this panel  .

Iris Grossman, PhD
Chief Therapeutics Officer
Eleven Therapeutics

Daisy Robinton, PhD
Co-Founder, CEO, Board Director

Fay Lin, PhD
Senior Editor
GEN Biotechnology

New Leadership at the National Cancer Institute: We are honored to present Monica Bertaganolli, MD with her fresh vision for the NCI. Her path to Princeton, Dana-Farber, and Brigham and Women's, led her to an important career in clinical oncology.

With only weeks under her belt, she brings an impressive career to this critical leadership role in Washington. Growing up on a cattle ranch in rural Wyoming (where she returns each summer with her family) is an unusual start for a leader in clinical oncology, and even more so for one of the few female surgeons in the field.

Dr. Bertagnolli's path led her to an important career in clinical oncology. We can now hear her vision for the NCI.

Monica Bertagnolli
MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute

Karla Shepard Rubinger
Executive Director at Rosalind Franklin Society

NYT Reporter Takes on MIT, and we all benefit: The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science author discusses how female pioneers changed the playing field in science.

Kate Zernike
National Correspondent
The New York Times

Julianna LeMieux, PhD
Senior Science Writer

Inspiration or Impediment in Industry?: We are honored to again present a panel of corporate leadership to showcase the terrific range of opportunities available beyond the Ivory Tower.

Rita Colwell
PhD, Chairman & Founder CosmosID, President, Rosalind Franklin Society

Brandye Michaels
PhD, Senior Director, Analytical R&D, Microbiology Strategy & Testing, Pfizer

Dorothea Verbrugge
PhD, Vice President of Clinical Quality at Aetna

Closing Remarks:
Karla Shepard Rubinger
PhD, Executive Director, Rosalind Franklin Society