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


Big Bets.
Presidents of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation challenge us to push big bets in philanthropy to address big global problems. A presentation in NYC on April 9th provided an overflow audience with an energized look at how large-scale global change can happen. It is part of the legacy and continuing priority of these two iconic foundations. The centerpiece of the discussion was the new best-seller by Rajiv Shah, Big Bets. Read more. Image: Darren Walker, Ford Foundation; Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller 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.

The 2023-2024 Research!America Microgrant awards.
Research!America, with support from the Rita Allen Foundation, is awarding microgrants of $1,000 to $4,000 to 21 graduate student and postdoc-led science policy groups from across the U.S. to initiate civic engagement and educational outreach activities in their communities. The Rita Allen Foundation has also been an important supporter of the RFS Awards in Science. Read more.

Overlooked No More: Yvonne Barr, Who Helped Discover a Cancer-Causing Virus.
Virologist Yvonne Barr worked with the pathologist Anthony Epstein, who died last month, in finding for the first time a virus that could cause cancer. It’s known as the Epstein-Barr virus. Read more.

The Pershing Square Foundation announced the seven winners of the “MIND” Prize (Maximizing Innovation in Neuroscience Discovery).

Congratulations to Faranak Fattahi, PhD., whose lab aims to investigate the elusive role of Schwann cell-neuron interaction in motor neuron dysfunction and degeneration in ALS. This could ultimately lead to novel therapeutic avenues for those affected by ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. Read more. Image via NIH.

Are women’s prime working years in peril?
Women’s healthcare has been neglected for decades. McKinsey research dispels some of the myths about women’s health and suggests ways to significantly improve health outcomes—and the economy. Read more.

Call for Presentations for Public Summit on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education.
The Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education invites submissions for presentations, posters, and sessions on practices to address and prevent sexual harassment in higher education and research that can help inform such practices. Read more.

The University of San Diego Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics and Biophysics Earns 2024 Cottrell Scholar Award.

For her past achievements as a researcher and educator and for her ambitious plans to study quantum turbulence and to teach students quantum technologies, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics and Biophysics Maren Mossman, PhD, has earned a 2024 Cottrell Scholar Award. Read more. Image via University of San Diego.

Women in Science: Follow your passion and you’ll get to where you’re meant to be. 
From math hater to a leader in clinical data, it’s been a long journey for Jennifer Visser-Rogers, vice president for statistical research and consultancy at Phastar. Read more.

What's it like to live in space? One astronaut says it changes her dreams.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O'Hara is pictured working with the Microgravity Science Glovebox, a contained environment crew members use to handle hazardous materials for various research investigations in space. Read more. Image credit: NASA.

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 through the development and commercialization of novel technologies, advocacy, and/or implementation of public policy. The Nomination Deadline for the 2024 Beacon Award is Friday, May 31, 2024, at 11:55 PM Eastern time. Read more.

Overlooked No More: Henrietta Leavitt, Who Unraveled Mysteries of the Stars. 
The portrait that emerged from her discovery, called Leavitt’s Law, showed that the universe was hundreds of times bigger than astronomers had imagined. This article is part of Overlooked, a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. Read more.

Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
At $2.5 million, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is the world’s largest annual humanitarian award presented to nonprofit organizations judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering. Which organization will you nominate? All nominations must be submitted online by Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Read more.

One Unintended Consequence of SPUTNIK: My Career in Science.

Dr. Carol Shoshkes Reiss is the oldest daughter of a first-generation American who struggled against the antisemitism of the 1940s to become a successful physician, as her mother was an artist and interior designer. She delves into her family, studies, and professional career in this book. Read more. Image via New York University.

‘Maybe I was never meant to be in science’: how imposter syndrome seizes scientist mothers.
Brazilian biologist Fernanda Staniscuaski founded the Parent in Science advocacy movement after talking with other scientist parents. In the fourth episode of this six-part podcast series about Latin American women in science, Staniscuaski lists the movement’s achievements so far, and the challenges that lie ahead. Read more.

Estella Bergere Leopold (1927–2024), passionate environmentalist who traced changing ecosystems.
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.

CDC Foundation Fries Awards for Health.
The CDC Foundation’s Fries Awards for Health is accepting nominations now through May 7th for both the Fries Prize for Improving Health and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. The mission of the Foundation is to identify and honor individuals, organizations, or institutions which have made great contributions to the health of the public. Read more.

ARPA-H launches program to retrain immune cells to combat diseases.

“By developing agents that target specific immune cell types, essentially providing on-the-job instructions to cells already active inside your body, we hope to make advanced immunotherapies available close to home for Americans across the country,” said Program Manager Daria Fedyukina, Ph.D. “The science is primed to provide these advances, and EMBODY will focus on innovations in validation, quality, and delivery that can translate to huge wins for individuals and their caregivers.” Read more. Image:Daria Fedyukina, Ph.D. Program Manager, Health Science Futures, ARPA-H.

‘Alarming’ Turning Point for Women in C-Suite, S&P Global Warns.
Women’s representation in senior level positions at US companies faces an “alarming turning point,” with steady growth showing signs of fatigue for the first time in two decades, according to a new report. Read more.

Jennifer Raab’s journey from academia to ‘rustic, cowboy things’ and stem cell research.
Former Hunter College President Jennifer Raab just after the start of the new year took on a new assignment as CEO and president of the New York Stem Cell Foundation. City & State caught up with Raab at her office in the foundation’s research facility on Manhattan’s West Side to talk about how she was convinced to take on a new role and the impact she expects the nonprofit to have on what she calls “miracle biology.” Read more.

Join Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe at The State of Omics.
The past two years have seen exciting advances in the world of genomics, as several companies threaten to disrupt the next-gen sequencing (NGS) establishment. In this 4-hour event on Wednesday, April 17 –The State of Omics—leaders from the world of genome technology, analysis, NGS, and multi-omics offer a pulsating view of the rapid progress in this field. Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, is a featured speaker. Read more.

We are pleased to welcome the first members of our new Council of Corporate Leadership!


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