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

SWHR Hosts 34th Annual Awards Gala.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) hosted its 2024 Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Read more. Our Journal of Women’s Health was the media sponsor, and Awards went to Dr. Carolyn Mazure who leads the new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, activist Maria Shriver, and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. You can access Dr. Mazure’s recent RFS presentation here: Image: Maria Shriver and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

A Simple Act of Defiance Can Improve Science for Women.
“They don’t tell you beforehand that it will be a choice between having a career in science or starting a family. But that’s the message I heard loud and clear 17 years ago, in my first job after completing my Ph.D. in evolutionary biology,” writes Dr. Toby Kiers, a professor of evolutionary biology at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the executive director of SPUN, a research organization that advocates the protection of mycorrhizal fungal communities. Read more.

Carolee Lee Named to 2024 TIME 100 Health List: The 100 Most Influential People in Global Health.

This prestigious recognition serves as a testament to Carolee Lee's outstanding contributions to advancing women's health on a global scale. She is the founder of Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM), an organization that advocates for more research involving and differentiating women. Read more. (Image via Carolee Lee)

President Biden announces recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including 2 amazing women in science: Jane Rigby and Ellen Ochoa. 
Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman in space and the second female Director of NASA’s renowned Johnson Space Center. Dr. Ochoa has flown in space four times, logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit, and continues to inspire young generations of scientists. Jane Rigby, an astronomer who grew up in Delaware, is the chief scientist of the world’s most powerful telescope. A prolific researcher, Dr. Rigby embodies the American spirit of adventure and wonder. Read more.

Streamlining Cell and Gene Therapy Scalability: Progress Towards a Gold Standard.
With approvals of novel cell and gene therapy products by the FDA anticipated to reach double figures in 2024—following eight US approvals in 2023—advancements in cell and gene therapy (CGT) products are paving the way for early-stage program developers. In this roundtable webinar on May 13, 8:00 am PT, expert panelists such as Lisa Kirkwood, Associate Director, Analytical at AAVantgarde Bio, will discuss a concept-to-cure program pathway, sharing insights and exploring challenges from a development, manufacturing, and testing perspective. Read more.

Trailblazing in Marine Science ft. Dr. Tiara Moore on The Science of Life Podcast.

Join Dr. Raven Baxter for an insightful conversation with Dr. Tiara Moore, the innovative mind behind Black in Marine Science. Discover the narrative of BIMS and its vital quest for equality in marine science. Read more. You can watch Dr. Baxter's RFS presentation here. Image: Dr. Tiara Moore.

Nominate Exceptional Research Advocates for the 2025 Advocacy Awards!
The awards recognize individuals and organizations whose commitment to advocacy for research and innovation has advanced medical and public health progress in profoundly important ways. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 31, 2024. Read more.

The Women Behind the Bioscience at Colossal Biosciences.
Colossal Biosciences has become world-renowned for its groundbreaking work reviving long-extinct species from the woolly mammoth to the dodo bird and the Tasmanian tiger. Here’s a look at some of Colossal’s top female scientists and how they contribute to the company’s invaluable mission. Read more.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Cells with AI: A Fireside Conversation with Dr. Priscilla Chan.

Check out this interview on how AI can accelerate scientific discovery with Dr. Priscilla Chan, co-founder and co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), and Dr. Richard Lifton, president of Rockefeller University. Read more.

Drug Licensed from Sanofi Becomes First FDA-Approved Therapy for Ultra-Rare Primary Immunodeficiency. 
The FDA approved X4 Pharmaceuticals drug Xolremdi for treating WHIM syndrome. The molecule, which addresses the underlying cause of this rare immunodeficiency, was licensed from Sanofi’s Genzyme subsidiary. Read more.

Prebys Foundation Announces $7 Million Program to Support 14 Women in Advanced Medical Research.
The program will award a two-year, $500,000 grant to each of the researchers, who Prebys said demonstrate “exceptional promise in areas critical to advancing medical science, including liver, gastric, and pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, infectious disease, and mental health.” Read more.

Erin Kara named Edgerton Award winner.

The award recognizes exceptional distinction in teaching, research, and service at MIT. Professor Erin Kara is an observational astrophysicist who is a faculty member in the Department of Physics and a member of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI). She uses high-energy transients and time-variable phenomena to understand the physics behind how black holes grow and how they affect their environments. Read more. Photo by Steph Stephens.

Meet the 2024 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners. 
Each year, the Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded to grassroots environmental champions from around the world. They recognize individuals who are fighting on the frontlines of the greatest environmental issues of our time. Prize winners protect endangered ecosystems and species, combat destructive industries and developments, promote sustainable and environmentally friendly policies, and push for environmental justice. Read more.

The New York Academy of Medicine Welcomes New SVP for Research: Kathryn T. Hall, PhD, MPH.

In her SVP role, Kathryn T. Hall will lead NYAM’s research enterprise, provide strategic leadership to shape and advance the research, evaluation, and policy impact work conducted through their research centers and by their Senior Scholars and Scientists. Read more.

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


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