A Seat at the Table: Women at the Leading Edge of Science

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The 2019 Women in Science Luncheon is now sold out.

Women in STEM fields face some unique challenges and are often acutely aware of the role their gender plays as they advance both personally and professionally throughout their careers. For the first time, the ISSCR will host a panel of esteemed women in science to discuss how women scientists communicate in fields still largely dominated by men, how they make their voices heard in exchanges with colleagues and the public, and what experiences have shaped their current thinking about gender roles and balance in science.

After a seated luncheon and time for networking with leaders in stem cell science, the panel will share their thoughts and insights about their own experiences with science communications, and how they've learned to navigate headwinds and avoid pitfalls as they move ahead.

Come prepared with questions for the panel, and to share your own reflections during the question and answer dialogue.  



Friday, 28 June, 11:30-13:00

The 2019 Women in Science Luncheon is now sold out.


All ISSCR members are welcome for this very special inaugural event. 





Christine Mummery, PhD
Professor of Developmental Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Physicist-turned-stem cell biologist Christine Mummery uses human pluripotent stem cells to understand the underlying causes and progression of heart disease and uncover new treatments. She was editor-in-chief of the ISSCR journal, Stem Cell Reports, from its inception in 2013 through 2018, co-founder of Ncardia, and sits on advisory boards of several biotech companies.


Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Kelsey C. Martin’s road to becoming the first female dean of the UCLA medical school began as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she implemented a life-saving vaccine program. Inspired to conduct research, she went on to earn her MD-PhD, study with Dr. Eric Kandel, and direct a molecular neurobiology laboratory studying learning and memory before starting as Dean in 2015.



Rachel Haurwitz, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Caribou Biosciences, California, USA
Rachel Haurwitz performed some of the early experiments on CRISPR while getting her PhD in Jennifer Doudna’s lab, she co-founded two companies, including Intellia Therapeutics and Caribou Biosciences, where she is currently President and CEO, and was also named to Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40.” Learn about what it was like to co-found a company at 26, and where this marathon runner is planning on heading next.


Laura Mosqueda, MD
Dean, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA
Expert in geriatric medicine Laura Mosqueda founded the Elder Abuse Forensic Center in the U.S., and works with people across the fields of medicine, criminal justice, and social services to prevent abuse and neglect. In 2018, Mosqueda became the first female Dean for the USC School of Medicine and many are looking to her leadership to enact change at this critical time at the medical school.

Women in Stem Cell Science Share Their Experiences

“In science, where we speak a common language, I often feel muffled or muted, as if speaking a different language than men. Also, my behavior doesn’t always fit in a man’s world…Regardless of how strong a scientist I am, people sometimes miss much of what I say because of these differences.”

Valentina Greco, PhD
Yale University, USA

“I encourage women to find a way to make your projects and ambitions happen: if you see a need, step up, persevere, and accomplish the goal. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to do it. Volunteer and be aggressive in getting it done.”

Jane Lebkowski, PhD
Regenerative Patch Technologies, USA

“I do believe that a good gender mix and balance is important to a well-functioning laboratory…My advice to other women is not to distinguish yourself particularly based on gender, but to devote your time and energies to your work, both at home and in your professional career, and to do your best.” 

Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD
Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration,

Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research,
RIKEN, Japan


Over the last year, women ISSCR members and leaders have contributed their voices to a Women in Science feature in Stem Cell Reports. In hearing these experiences, in both narrative and video form, some threads of similarity can be found, yet each personal reflection is unique, as are the experiences of women across the breadth of science.

Learn more about the insights of stem cell leaders and their challenges, successes, and varied experiences as women scientists. Women in Science Part I, and Part II.