Each year, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) presents the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology to an outstanding woman in the industrial biotechnology sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. BIO is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Rosalind Franklin Award. The award will be presented at the 2018 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from July 16-19, 2018. The deadline to submit nominations is March 28, 2018.
“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,” says 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.”
In 1952, while working as a research associate at King’s College in London, Rosalind Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the "B" form of DNA. This photograph, acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, revealed the structure of DNA. The discovery was reportedly 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.
The Rosalind Franklin 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
More information is available here.