Study: Lack of role models, networks steers women away from startups | AMA selects 4th female president-elect | Checkmate hires Karen Brennan as COO
June 16, 2017
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Women making news in biosciences
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Study: Lack of role models, networks steers women away from startups
A new academic paper concludes that many women don't think of starting businesses because they lack access to the role models, mentors and networks that could help them become entrepreneurs. "Women are just outside of those established networks, and if you're outside the networks, you don't get the knowledge, you don't get the opportunities, you don't get the contacts and you don't get the funding," said the paper's co-author Susan Coleman, a business professor at the University of Hartford.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (6/9) 
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Women Movers and Shakers
AMA selects 4th female president-elect
The American Medical Association elected oncologist Barbara McAneny president-elect, and she will become the fourth female AMA president when she begins her term next July. McAneny served as chairwoman of the AMA's board from 2015 to 2016, served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology's board and was president of the New Mexico Medical Society, the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association and the American College of Physicians' New Mexico chapter.
Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (free content) (6/13) 
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Checkmate hires Karen Brennan as COO
Former Forum Pharmaceuticals Vice President Karen Brennan was appointed chief operating officer at Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, which recently raised $27 million in a Series B financing round. The company's lead drug candidate is an oligonucleotide embedded in a viruslike particle, which is being tested in combination with Merck's checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda.
Xconomy (6/15) 
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Psychologist studies grant reviewer bias
Psychologist Patricia Devine led a study that sought to determine whether NIH grant application reviewers are biased against nonwhite or female applicants by substituting fictitious, stereotypical names on past applications and analyzing how the proposals are scored by new reviewers. She hopes to begin analyzing the data in July.
Science online (6/13) 
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How founder's interest in synthetic biology led to creation of Amino Labs
Julie Legault, Amino Labs' founder, creative director and CEO, learned how to engineer a bacteria into a new compound and how to apply synthetic biology to develop specific compounds, such as scents, during a workshop at the MIT Media Lab that led her to establish the biotechnology firm. "The hope is that as more people create companies and create similar products and as accessible bio grows, there will be products that will help you through the whole trajectory from the first experiment to creating something," Legault said.
PLOS Blogs (6/9) 
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Synthetic biology expands into new industries
While synthetic biology has since been used in industrial processes such as agriculture, the technology is increasingly being used in industries that do not require biological processes, including construction materials, mining and adhesives, writes Gigi Kwik Gronvall, a senior associate of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. However, synthetic biology still faces several barriers to its adoption, such as "a lack of accurate and detailed economic data on the role of bio-based production in the economy" and "a weak governance framework," Gronvall writes.
BRINK (6/8) 
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Women's Health
Oral contraceptives may lower long-term cancer risk among women
A UK study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found women who used combined oral contraceptives had lower risks of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer. The findings, based on 46,022 women enrolled in the Royal College of General Practitioner's Oral Contraception Study, showed these protective benefits against cancer persisted at least 30 years following contraceptive use cessation.
Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (6/14) 
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Viewpoints and Data Points
Foundation 500 celebrates women founders in emerging markets
A list known as the Foundation 500 features the accomplishments of 500 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets where women are often denied education and financing. Humanitarian agency CARE and the nonprofit H&M Foundation back the initiative, which seeks to break down barriers to women's entrepreneurship.
Reuters (6/8) 
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What to do when applying online isn't working
Applying online can often be a poor way of getting a company's attention, but job seekers can improve their chances by sending a personalized email to a hiring manager, say members of the Young Entrepreneur Council. It's also possible to connect with a hiring manager or employee of a company you're interested in via LinkedIn.
The Muse (6/12) 
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Tomorrow's Leaders
Researcher investigates whether dogs are sentinel species for Lyme disease
Researcher investigates whether dogs are sentinel species for Lyme disease.
(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Eleven veterinary clinics across the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island are participating in a study led by Mount Allison University master's degree student Alexandra Foley-Eby to collect and test ticks for Lyme disease. Foley-Eby is also testing healthy dogs' blood and hopes to use the data to predict the incidence of Lyme disease in humans.
CBC News (Canada) (6/7) 
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Women In Bio News
Last day to register online for the WIB Perfect Pitch Challenge!
Last Day to Register Online for the WIB Perfect Pitch Challenge!
Please join us for our signature annual WIB Plenary Event on Monday, June 19, at the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt. The evening will open with a presentation by keynote speaker Carol Gallagher, Pharm.D, partner of New Enterprise Associates. We will then move into our Pitch Challenge, where women leaders in the life sciences will deliver pitches and receive valuable feedback from top female investors on presentation and delivery.

As with all WIB events, our Plenary Event encompasses an inviting and fun environment for networking as it brings together people from all corners of the life sciences industry, and spawns new career and business opportunities. This event is not to be missed! Online registration ends today!
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