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National Women's History Month: Rosalind Franklin Nomination Opens

March 13, 2018
Each March, the U.S. celebrates National Women’s History Month, recognizing the great contributions women have made to our nation. It’s a fitting time to announce that BIO is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Rosalind Franklin Award. Every year at the BIO World Congress, BIO honors women who’ve made significant contributions to the field of industrial biotechnology and the advancement of the biobased economy by presenting the Rosalind Franklin Award in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture.

While sometimes overlooked, Rosalind Franklin is credited with discovering the structure of DNA. In 1952, while a research associate at King’s College in London, Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the “B” form of DNA. The photograph was acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined. The discovery was an important advance in modern biology and helped establish the field of biotechnology. Without Franklin’s critical discovery, the biotechnology industry would not be what it is today.

“Rosalind Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of DNA’s structure has been vital to the advancement of the field of biotechnology, but her legacy has often been overlooked,” said Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental at BIO. “In presenting this award we hope to not only honor Rosalind Franklin’s legacy but also honor and inspire the women working in the field of industrial biotechnology today.”

Nominations for the 2018 Rosalind Franklin Award will be open throughout much of National Women’s History Month, closing on March 28. The Award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society whose goal is to support and showcase the careers of eminent women in science.

Past recipients of the Rosalind Franklin Award include:

  • Vonnie Estes, Independent Consultant, in 2017

  • Anna Rath, President and CEO of NexSteppe, in 2016

  • Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, in 2015

  • Dr. Debbie Yavers, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes, in 2014

To submit a nominee, or for more information, click here. Also, don’t forget to register for the 2018 World Congress at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from July 16-19.