“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, EVP, 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 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
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 bio-based 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.
Registration is now open for all attendees.