NSF proposes sexual harassment reporting policy | Pioneering geneticist awarded $1M prize | Tenacity gets scientist-entrepreneur's orphan drug into clinical testing
February 9, 2018
WIB SmartBrief
Women making news in biosciences
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NSF proposes sexual harassment reporting policy
A proposed rule would require universities, colleges and other institutions that accept grants from the National Science Foundation to report incidents of sexual harassment committed by recipients of NSF funds that have been confirmed or resulted in administrative leave. The proposal, which will be posted in the Federal Register and open for public comment, also says grant awardee organizations should issue clear standards for harassment-free workplaces, including conferences and field sites, and reporting processes for students and others.
Nature (free content) (2/8) 
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Women Movers and Shakers
Pioneering geneticist awarded $1M prize
Geneticist Mary-Claire King was awarded the $1 million Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University for changing "the understanding of hereditary cancer predisposition." King is credited with discovering a link between certain genetic mutations and an elevated risk for breast cancer.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (2/7) 
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Tenacity gets scientist-entrepreneur's orphan drug into clinical testing
Alexis Howerton studied the body's response to stress, discovered that an experimental drug might be effective against congenital adrenal hyperplasia, co-founded Spruce Biosciences, raised $20 million, licensed an abandoned compound from a large pharmaceutical company and now awaits results from a midstage clinical trial of the drug, which received an orphan designation from the FDA. "Tenacity is critical," Howerton says of the process, adding, "You need the ability to hear 'no' many, many times."
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/BizWomen (2/5) 
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Women's Health
AHA warns breast cancer drugs may increase cardiovascular risks
An American Heart Association scientific statement published in the journal Circulation said the risk of cardiovascular disease may be higher for breast cancer patients and survivors, especially those taking medications that could harm the heart. The authors said doxorubicin and trastuzumab, two commonly used breast cancer drugs, may damage heart tissue and impair heart function, potentially leading to heart failure.
MedPage Today (free registration) (2/1) 
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Viewpoints and Data Points
Science journalism has a bias problem. This reporter is trying to fix it
Ed Yong and his colleague Adrienne LaFrance analyzed articles they had written and found a three-to-one imbalance in the number of men quoted compared with the number of women quoted. Yong now makes a deliberate effort not only to ensure women get equal time in his articles, but also that people of color are represented, and he's been tracking his progress.
The Atlantic online (2/6) 
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Investors join push for gender balance
Investment companies including BlackRock, JPMorgan Asset Management and Aviva Investors are backing the 30% Club, which is calling for greater representation of women as senior managers and board members. "Investors who engage with corporate boards about their diversity policies are demonstrating sound financial judgment," said Emma Howard Boyd of the 30% Club.
CNNMoney (2/2) 
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Female entrepreneurs received small portion of VC money in 2017
All-female teams received just 2.2% of the $85 billion that venture capitalists invested in startups in 2017, compared with 79% for all-male teams, according to data from PitchBook. Though the percentage remains small, it is one of the largest investments in total dollars since PitchBook began compiling the information 12 years ago.
Fortune (1/31) 
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More than 40 business leaders pledge to help women advance
More than 40 business leaders attending the MAKERS Conference publicly pledged to help women advance in the workplace. The companies represented included Adobe, Aetna, Mattel, Microsoft, National Geographic, Unilever and Univision, and the pledges were specific to the organizations.
CNBC (2/7) 
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Tomorrow's Leaders
Aspiring neuroscientist develops Parkinson's disease diagnostic tool
Kansas high school student Erin Smith was named a 2018 Regeneron STS Scholar by the Society for Science and the Public for technology she developed to diagnose early-stage Parkinson's disease based on spontaneous facial expressions. Smith, who is aiming for a career that combines computer science and neuroscience, founded an organization called KC Steminists, which teaches girls how to code with the goal of "creating sustainable global solutions and entrepreneurship," she said.
WDAF-TV (Kansas City, Mo.) (2/7) 
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Socket for residual limb might get patients walking sooner after amputation
A team of students at the University of New Mexico from assistant professor Christina Salas' biodesign class, including students Jane Nguyen and Victoria Lujan, won a $50,000 prize for designing a device called the Limitless Socket. The socket fits on the end of an amputated limb and connects to a prosthesis, lessening direct contact on the limb and potentially reducing the time it takes for the wearer to begin using the prosthesis.
Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (free content) (2/5) 
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Women In Bio News
WIB-Texas launch event and celebration of International Women's Day on March 8
WIB-Texas launch event and celebration of International Women's Day on March 8
Join us for the WIB-Texas launch event, hosted simultaneously in Austin and Houston via videoconference! The event starts with networking, followed by a special speaker, Elena Centemero, Chairperson of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee on Equality. More details soon.
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