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BIO Opens Nominations for Award Honoring an Outstanding Woman in Biotech

February 12, 2016

The Rosalind Franklin Award is given annually to an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation.

Rosalind Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the "B" form of DNA in 1952, while at King's College in London. This photograph, acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, revealed the structure of DNA.  The discovery of the structure of DNA was the single most important advance of modern biology.

James Watson and Francis Crick, working at Cambridge University, used Photograph 51 as the basis for their famous model of DNA, which earned them a Nobel Prize in 1962.  Though sometimes overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the biotechnology industry to become what it is today.

BIO is currently accepting nominations for this Award which will be presented at the 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in San Diego, California. This year's conference will be held April 17-20, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center.

“Unfortunately, the groundbreaking work of Rosalind Franklin was overshadowed by her male contemporaries and the contribution she made to our understanding of DNA is very much overlooked,” stated Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental at BIO.

Past recipients of the Rosalind Franklin Award include:

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, guided LanzaTech in developing the world’s first alternative jet fuel from industrial waste gases using intermediates derived through industrial biotechnology.  

Dr. Debbie Yaver’s, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes, vision and leadership in genetic engineering of industrial filamentous fungi has positioned Novozymes as the world leader in enzymes for advanced biofuels.

The Award will again be sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society whose goal is to support and showcase the careers of eminent women in science (

More information about the nomination process is available at The deadline for nominations is February 20, 2016.

Nominees must be living individuals who exhibit leadership qualities, and have pioneered efforts in industrial biotechnology. Applicants should demonstrate significant innovative contributions in a field integral to the advancement of a biobased economy.

All programs at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to attendance by members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference, click here.  For assistance, please contact