News Archive 2013


La section régionale du Grand Montréal de Femmes en Bio a tenue un séminaire sur l’approche stratégique présenté par le Dr Mirela Baranci/WIB-Greater Montreal Hosts a Strategic Thinking Seminar by Dr. Mirela Baranci

L’organisme Femmes en bio-Grand Montréal est ravi d'avoir organisé une soirée agréable et pour les femmes et les hommes dans l’industrie des sciences biologiques de Montréal. Accueillis par Sanofi Canada dans leur nouveau bâtiment à Laval, nos invités ont débuté la soirée par du réseautage, tout en dégustant du vin et des canapés. Suite aux discussions animées, la communication de Mme Mirela Baranci fut lancé sur l’approche stratégique. Le séminaire portait sur l'importance et le développement des aptitudes de l’approche stratégique, ainsi que l'exécution de la planification stratégique dans le lieu du travail. Des discussions fructueuses ont suivi la présentation, et nous nous sommes quittés avec de nouvelles stratégies pour améliorer nos projets au sein des entreprises.

WIB-Greater Montreal is pleased to have organized another successful, enjoyable, and enlightening evening for men and women in Montreal’s biosciences industries. Hosted by Sanofi Canada in their new building in Laval, our guests enjoyed networking over wine and canapés before the main event – a seminar on Strategic Thinking presented by Dr. Mirela Baranci. The seminar focused on the importance, meaning, and development of strategic thinking skills, and the implementation of strategic planning in the workplace. Fruitful discussions followed the presentation and we left with new ideas and strategies for improving our projects and businesses.


WIB-Pittsburgh Annual Holiday Party was Spooktacular!

WIB-Pittsburgh kicked off the fall season in style with our Hat-oween Party on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Sponsored by Regulatory & Quality Solutions which was founded by WIB member, Maria Fagan, and hosted at the lovely Mansions on Fifth (owned by former WIB member, Mary Del Brady), the event was a superb mix of food, drink, good cheer – and HATS! Hats of every kind, some from our past wardrobes, some handcrafted, and some from exotic places unknown! Every one of the 60 or so participants looked lovely in their hat-o-finery. Looks like a trat- oops, tradition is born!


DC/Baltimore Chapter of YWIB Participates in Hands-On Expo

YWIB participated for the first time, in a hands-on expo, on Oct. 26, 2013 in Baltimore, MD. "Invent It, Build It" is part of an annual national conference and was organized by Society of Women Engineers, Girl Scouts, WGBH's Design Squad Nation and The ExxonMobil Foundation. Volunteers from YWIB-Washington DC/Baltimore chapter as well as from the National YWIB Committee led over 300 girls and their parents in constructing the double helix DNA model from Gummy Bear candies, and strawberry DNA extraction. The girls took home YWIB bracelets and necklaces where the pendant was an eppendorf tube containing extracted strawberry DNA preserved in ethanol.


San Francisco Bay Area Partners with Dress for Success Non-Profit

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area with Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit that provides disadvantaged women with the clothing and counseling necessary to launch a career.  Attendees at the Pivotal Changes event collected appropriate business clothing for the drive. In addition to the clothing, money was raised through a raffle for several beautiful pieces of Lia Sophia jewelry donated by Lia Sophia. The volunteers at Dress for Success were thrilled at the amount and quality of clothing collected from the over 100 attendees of the event and amazed to learn that all the raffle tickets were sold within an hour. The event organizers and Dress for Success would like to thank everyone who donated so generously.


WIB-RTP’s Fall Networking Mixer Recap

Fall networking mixer created a lot of discussions and momentum amongst more than 80 women and men professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs on November 7, 2013 at the First Flight Venture Center in RTP. The event kicked off with heavy hors d’oeuvres and welcoming remarks from WIB-RTP Vice-Chair and HealthSpan DX senior scientist Natalia Mitin. Natalia introduced Ronda Closner, Entrepreneur in Residence at First Flight Venture and Laura Kiefer, NK Patent Law, both sponsors, who gave an overview of their services. Throughout the evening, attendees participated in a number of interactive activities to include workshop exercises that were designed such that attendees can easily share their background without feeling the pressure of networking and an interactive coaching session on networking by Ronda. Ronda talked about strategic networking by setting a goal and preparing prior to the networking event. There were discussions on how to prepare and conduct networking. She provided several useful tips and tools that folks can use prior to, during, and post networking sessions. The meeting concluded with Ronda providing a tour of First Flight Venture Center.

WIB-National: Robbie Melton Women In Bio Scholarship

WIB is now accepting applications for the Robbie Melton Women In Bio Scholarship! Candidates must be a woman currently working within the life sciences industry and a WIB member from any WIB chapter. The money can be applied towards workshops, conferences, courses, seminars and other similar educational programs.

The scholarship was established to advance the educational development of women in the life sciences industry by encouraging and supporting education on the business aspects of life science. The scholarship honors Women In Bio co-founder, Robbie Melton, who has dedicated her career to fostering the growth of life science entrepreneurs.

Click here to download and complete the application.

WIB-Greater Montreal Hosts a Morning Member Meet’n’Greet / Femmes en bio du Grand Montréal reçoit ses membres pour une rencontre d’accueil matinale

WIB-Greater Montreal concluded its 2013 Executive Breakfast Series by hosting a Member Meet’n’Greet on Tuesday October 8, 2013. Held in the downtown offices of law firm Bereskin & Parr, we started the morning with coffee, bagels and pastries before sitting down to introduce ourselves. Local WIB-Greater Montreal members made short presentations about their careers and companies and we concluded with more coffee and one-to-one networking. We left with new acquaintances, new volunteers and new professional connections. Nothing beats the energy and enthusiasm of a group of WIB women (and men), even early in the morning! We thank all attendees as well as our series sponsors Bereskin & Parr and Corealis Pharma. We look forward to seeing our new members at our upcoming first anniversary event celebrating Women In Bio, to be held on November 5 2013, and at our 2014 Breakfast Series which starts February 2014.

Femmes en bio du Grand Montréal a conclu sa série de petits déjeuners en organisant une rencontre d’accueil le mardi 8 octobre 2013, au cabinet d’avocats Bereskin & Parr au centre-ville de Montréal. Nous avons débuté la rencontre avec du café, des bagels et des pâtisseries pour ensuite nous présenter à tour de rôle. Quelques membres ont présenté de courts exposés sur leurs parcours professionnels. Une discussion très animée et du résautage fructueux s’ensuivirent. Nous avons saisi l’occasion pour faire de nouvelles connaissances, recruter de nouveaux bénévoles et créer de nouvelles relations professionnelles. Rien ne vaut l’énergie et l’enthousiasme des membres de Femmes en bio du Grand Montréal, autant au féminin qu’au masculin, même tôt le matin! Nous remercions chaleureusement les participants à cette série et nos hôtes Bereskin & Parr et Corealis Pharma. Nous espérons que les nouveaux membres seront au rendez-vous pour notre prochain événement de célébration du premier anniversaire de notre chapitre local de Femmes en bio, le 5 novembre 2013 . Les membres sont aussi cordialement invités à assister à la prochaine série de petits déjeuners, débutant en février 2014.

Personalized Medicine: Targeted Research or Ethical Nightmare?

WIB-Southern California Chapter held its first clinical event on Oct 15, 2013. Our goal was to educate and stimulate discussion pertaining to personalized medicine. In order to accomplish this, a panel of experts were brought together to discuss their experience and vision of personalized medicine; from the preclinical setting, through an oncologist and clinical researcher eyes, and from the patient’s perspective. Approximately 25 to 30 individuals attended the session and participated in a very active ‘conversation’. The panel was moderated by Linda Strause, PhD, who set the stage by offering that cancers, previous identified by their organ of origin would, in the near future, be identified by their molecular signature. The panel consisted of the following experts: Dr. Sharon Presnell Chief Technical Officer, Organovo discussed the preclinical challenges and how, by ‘beginning with the end in sight’, we can decrease the large number of products that are needed from the bench to eventually obtained an FDA approved product. Her efforts have led to the development of a three dimensional live which promises to provide a more effective tool to move from the bench into humans.

Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, Murray Professor of Medicine and Director, Center for Personalized Therapies & Clinical Trials Office, Moores Cancer Center was able to lead the attendees into first-in-man clinical trials using novel, molecular mapping techniques. We can no longer continue to do the same thing with these new tools and expect the same answer. She challenged the audience to consider conducting clinical trials where individuals with different cancers would be selected to participate based on their molecular profile. Hillary Theakston, Executive Director, The Clearity Foundation took the heart of the discussion directly to the patient. She described how ovarian cancer patients are providing tumor tissue for profiling and –omic mapping in order to be matched to the most promising therapies. The issue of fairness and availability to all as well as insurance coverage, not only for the diagnostic test but for the possible off-label use of a product, brought rise to many interesting questions.

Attendees found the session so useful that we have been approached about having more events to continue discussions on the topic.


Best And Worst Outsourcing Experiences: WIB Profile With Pfizer Executive Director of Clinical Development

In this Women In Bio (WIB) profile, Pam Garzone, executive director, biotechnology, clinical development, at Pfizer WRD (worldwide research & development), discusses her job, lessons learned from her years in clinical outsourcing, and her thoughts on being involved with WIB.

1. Tell us about what you do at Pfizer. As the clinical team lead, I am accountable for the clinical development strategy for the programs that originate at Rinat. In this role, I work with all of the different functional expert groups within a pharmaceutical company such as biologists, clinicians, both MDs and non-MDs, toxicologists, clinical pharmacologists, statisticians etc. I try to make sure that everyone on the asset team is in the same boat and rowing in the same direction.

Click here to read the entire story.

WIB-RTP’s Joint Networking with Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA-RTP)

A group of well over a hundred scientists, healthcare professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs attended the first networking event jointly held by the RTP chapters of Women In Bio (WIB) and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) on October 21, 2013 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. The event kicked off with inspiring remarks from Stangle-Castor, WIB-RTP Chapter Chair and Komedica President, Susan Nichols, and WIB-RTP Vice-Chair and HealthSpan DX senior scientist Natalia Mitin. Each shared a story that illustrated how their respective organizations opened doors and ultimately enriched their professional and personal lives. Aprel Buonpane of SpendMD and Eric Nier of Gray Consulting then talked briefly about how attendees can benefit from the services that their companies—both sponsors of the event—provide.

Afterward, facilitators divided participants into groups of eight for the main attraction: an hour of structured speed networking. They gave each group 12 minutes to share among themselves answers to questions such as “what’s your favorite book and why,” “if you were to take a month off for a vacation trip, where would you go and why,” and “what achievement are you most proud of” before switching some of the participants to ensure everyone meets as many people as possible.

Attendees then continued their conversations in an unstructured environment over wine and heavy hors d' oeuvres.
“The interactions made at the event were real and meaningful—it was a fabulous night of networking and engaging,” recalled Nannette Stangle-Castor, HBA-RTP’s President-Elect and President and Founder of InnoVector Tech, Inc.

“I found my first WIB event to be extremely rewarding. To be surrounded by such empowering women was a unique opportunity to share both professional and personal ideas,” said Julie Jesiolowski, a clinical laboratory liaison at Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine. “I’m inspired by the members and find my goals for a professional organization well aligned with WIB. I look forward to meeting more members and becoming actively involved.”

“Attending the HBA/WIB joint networking event was a wonderful way to learn about how women in science are communicating, contributing, and connecting,” added Nanette Geiger, Founder and CEO of Engagement and Motivations Systems, Inc. “I feel more confident about the future of our healthcare sciences knowing it's in the hands of these knowledgeable and caring women.”

Susan Nichols noted that the response to the experience was so positive that HBA and WIB have agreed to make it an annual event.

YWIB Hosts Successful Speed-Mentoring Event For Local Students

On October 12, 2013, the Young Women In Bio (YWIB) Committee hosted a mentoring event for Girls 4 Science (G4S), a nonprofit organization dedicated to exposing girls in Chicago to science, technology, engineering and math. Over 50 girls, ranging in ages from 10 to 18 years old, attended the event and interacted with women having careers in the life sciences. Thirteen mentors with diverse careers volunteered and provided education advice and career insights. The “speed mentoring” format of the event introduced the girls to the life-long skill of networking, allowed exposure to many different life science careers, and provided the opportunity to meet successful professional women of various ethnicities at different stages of their careers. WIB-Chicago thanks Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP for sponsoring this great event.

WIB-Atlanta Spreads the Word at the Georgia Life Sciences Summit

To further increase awareness of the WIB-Atlanta chapter, Team members held an exhibit at the 2013 Georgia Life Sciences Summit. Dedicated Atlanta members handed out WIB materials and upcoming event flyers over the course of the day. A large number of women signed up for the WIB-Atlanta listserv, indicating a high level of interest in our organization’s events. We ran into WIB members from the San Diego, Research Triangle and Washington DC chapters, showing a high prevalence of membership among professional women. It is becoming clear that the benefits of joining WIB are becoming nationally recognized and that the word is getting out. Thank you to sponsor Kilpatrick Townsend for their support.

WIB-Greater Boston YWIB Event at Biogen Idec Educates Young Girls about Career in Biotech

WIB-Greater Boston held a very successful Young Women In Bio event on September 24, 2013 in Biogen Idec’s Community Lab. The participants included 28 seventh and eighth grade girls who were given a tour of the facility and then participated in a hands-on “experiment” in the lab. The key note speaker for the event Lisa Brown, director, program leadership & management, Biogen Idec, also gave the girls a primer on “what is biotechnology”, as well as background on Biogen Idec. The girls were then allowed to job shadow with a mentor before enjoying some pizza while engaging in a career exploration activity.

Based on the feedback from the survey, it appears the event served its purpose – to educate young girls about biotech and encourage them to consider a career in the field. One girl said the experiment was her favorite part "because they got to see the scientific method in action". Another said she "didn't realize how broad science was and really enjoyed the experimenting!", and one said "Thank you so much for having this event. It honestly opened my eyes to career options I hadn't thought about before."

Thanks again to Biogen Idec for hosting this event. It was fun for all – the young girls, as well as the Women In Bio representatives who participated.

WIB-RTP gathers for Educational Event “IMPACT: The Art and Science of Making a Difference”

WIB-RTP gathered for yet another phenomenal educational event on Monday, October 7, 2013. More than 120 exceptional women and men from different backgrounds, including R&D, clinical research, pharmacy, diagnostics, regulatory affairs, sales, marketing, business development, accounting and human resources, gathered at the GlaxoSmithKline campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. The gathering started with registrationfollowed by networking during the first hour. Lauren Herring, M.B.A., Director, Respiratory Marketing, and Women’s Leadership Initiative Site Leader, GSK, welcomed everyone and introduced Susan Nichols, Chapter Chair, WIB-RTP. Susan thanked GSK for providing a great venue and introduced the Keynote Speaker, Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery, Hatteras Venture Partners. Christy talked about three different themes in the general topic of IMPACT. She started by talking about why she is in this field, the organizations and teams that made an IMPACT on her, and three people (amongst many) that have made a real IMPACT on her.

The panel discussion that followed consisted of Deborah Jones-Hertzog, Ph.D., VP, R&D IT, GSK, Jamey Millar, VP, Oncology, US Pharma, GSK, Machelle Sanders, M.H.A., VP, Manufacturing and General Manager, Biogen Idec, Lisa Yanez, Marketing Director and Product Head for Remodulin, United Therapeutics, and Christy Shaffer was moderated by Lauren Herring. The panelists talked about the IMPACT they and their teams/organizations have made as well as what they feel motivates people. The panel concluded with questions and answers from the audience. Daina Zeng, Program Chair, WIB-RTP, and Laura McClung, Y-WIB program chair, WIB-RTP, concluded the gathering by talking about upcoming events.

Inspiring stories and insight from WIB-Chicago’s “Business Careers in Biotech” panel

Over 40 WIB-Chicago members and friends gathered on September 12, 2013 for networking and a great panel discussion on business careers in the biotech industry. Irene Hrusovksy (Belle Capital USA), Alicia Löffler (Innovation and New Venture Office, Northwestern University), and Kara Lawrence (Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc.) shared insights gained from their career paths and provided valuable tips for identifying opportunities and advancing in business roles in the life sciences. WIB-Chicago thanks the panelists for the great discussion, Sherri Oslick for moderating, and Marshall Gerstein & Borun for sponsoring the event.

WIB-Greater Montreal’s Fifth Executive Breakfast Series: Managing Conflict in the Workplace Déjeuner exécutif -cinquième série de Femmes en bio du Grand Montréal: la gestion des conflits en milieu de travail

After a wonderful summer break, WIB-Greater Montreal restarted its Executive Breakfast Series on September 11, 2013 by hosting author and consultant, Frema Engel, at Corealis Pharma. Ms Engel, a Canadian expert on workplace bullying, conflict and healthy workplaces, lead an interactive seminar that taught us to identify the causes of conflict, what we can do to work through conflict and, most importantly, the steps we can take to prevent conflict. Over coffee and pastries, we were able to share our own experiences dealing with conflict in the workplace – as it turns out, we are not alone in experiencing such things! Frema’s insights provided all attendees with a new philosophy to use when developing and strengthening relationships with colleagues, friends and acquaintances and we left eager to put it into practice. We thank our speaker Frema Engel, our sponsor Corealis Pharma and all attendees for their participation in another fantastic event.

Après une pause estivale, Femmes en bio de la grande région métropolitaine a débuté ses déjeuners exécutifs. Le 11 septembre dernier, nous avons eu la plaisir d’accueillir l’auteure et consultante, Frema Engel, à Corealis Pharma. Mme Engel, une experte canadienne sur l'intimidation et conflits en milieux de travail, a animé un séminaire interactif qui nous a appris à identifier les causes des conflits, les stratégies à adopter pour gérer ces conflits et surtout, les mesures que nous pouvons prendre pour les prévenir.

Tout en savourant un café et des pâtisseries, nous avons partagé nos propres expériences portant sur les conflits en milieu de travail. Nous ne sommes pas les seules à subir de telles conditions. La conférence a permis aux assistantes de quitter la salle avec des nouveaux outils pour développer et renforcer des relations saines avec leurs collègues de travail, amis et connaissances. Nous remercions chaleureusement notre conférencière Frema Engel, notre commanditaire Corealis Pharma ainsi que tous les participants.

WIB-Atlanta Gaining End of Summer Steam

The Atlanta chapter held the end-of-summer networking meeting at Shout, a restaurant in trendy Midtown Atlanta. Excellent pre-fall weather—and a pretty patio—drew 29 members and 13 guests. Everyone enjoyed great food, great chat, and a great chance to exchange business cards.
The newly formed Atlanta chapter now has 75 members—thanks to the September and June events at popular restaurant venues. Also, ten women joined after the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure in May. It’s clear that these events—plus encouraging members to bring colleagues—works to generate increased interest and membership.

WIB–San Francisco Bay Area Recap: Entrepreneurs Enjoy Networking and Expert Advice at “Beyond Financing - From Incorporation to Exit” Event

What do you get when you mix seven business experts with a room full of engaged, inquisitive and lively women? You get the WIB San Francisco Chapter’s “Meet the Experts: Beyond Financing – From Incorporation to Exit” event, that was held at UCSF on September 18th, 2013.

Over 60 women challenged the experts with their questions on how to launch, build, and exit a successful life science business. Moderator Sharon Tetlow, Managing Director of Danforth Advisors, LLC led and focused the discussion while providing her own insight into what works and what doesn’t work. Suzanne Graeser, Esq. of Morrison & Foerster, LLP advised the audience of the various legal vehicles for setting up a company and outlined the benefits and challenges of each, whether a limited liability partnership or corporation. Fred Adams, Esq. of Foley & Lardner, LLP noted the tax benefits and obligations of the different legal entities with an eye towards valuation. Stacy Feld, Partner, Physics Ventures, spoke on building the board of directors, managing its size and composition as a company moves through its life cycle from start-up to merger, sale or IPO. Eileen de Feo, Vice President of Operations, Verinata Health/Illumina advised the audience on the importance of hiring and maintaining a cohesive team with the right skills and culture to fit the goals of the organization. Sarah Bodary, New Business Lead-Oncology and Inflammation, Johnson & Johnson, presented an inside view of the deal-making process within big pharma and provided tips on how to effectively approach and work with large organizations like Johnson & Johnson. Jeet Mahal, Vice President, Business Development, Portola Pharmaceuticals spoke of Portola’s path from start-up to successful IPO and the importance of agility, persistence, and teamwork along the way.

This “Meet the Experts” panel was the second in the Women In Bio–San Francisco Bay Area’s series developed with the entrepreneur in mind. After the event, attendee Kristen McCaleb, Ph.D. remarked “The content of the panel presentation was outstanding. Each panelist gave clear take-away messages that were relevant for both start-up and established work environments. Terrific advice!” Thank you to our many sponsors, especially QB3. If you missed it, WIB members may view the video once it’s available on the WIB website. Definitely stay tuned for more educational and fun events in the Bay Area!

DC/Baltimore Chapter Celebrates the End of Summer in Style with a Rooftop Potluck

Thirty WIB members took advantage of the picturesque weather to catch up with old friends and make new connections on September 19th. Great food, drinks, and conversation were complemented by the stunning view of downtown DC from atop Arnold and Porter, LLC. Thanks to all who attended, and a big thanks to Arnold and Porter for sponsoring this lovely evening.

WIB-Greater Boston’s End of Summer Barbeque and Networking Event

WIB-Greater Boston’s summer networking event on August 28, 2013 included a group of about 30 people, who spent a lovely summer evening mingling and socializing while munching on traditional barbeque fare including pulled pork, barbecued chicken, coleslaw, cornbread, and mac n’ cheese. Attendees represented women from many different disciplines within biotechnology including researchers, business development, human resources, communications, and law. The weather started out great, but it was clear summer was coming to an end based on the goose bumps and shivering on display by the end of the meeting. (Thanks go out to Biogen Idec for hosting the event!) Many volunteers were able to stay for the Boston chapter meeting following the event as well, and we look forward to working with some new volunteers.

We Saw, We Learned, We Networked: Pittsburgh Chapter Art Walk

Women In Bio-Pittsburgh rocked last night with their art walk event, where 30 women involved in healthcare and life sciences met for champagne at Perlé and a walk around the city viewing public art on display for our pleasure. Who knew how much public art there is in downtown Pittsburgh? Some of us drive through there every day but have never taken the opportunity to notice the wonderful array of colors, shapes and formats of our public art. From LEDs over the Convention Center displaying texts of WHOLE BOOKS, to the trompe l’oeil at the back of the Fulton Theatre, to the new and cool knitted bridge, to the Magnolias for Pittsburgh, reminding us that it is spring somewhere here all the time, we had our eyes opened and refreshed to the City we love. And to a City that has numerous works of art on display all the time. Check out the Cell Phone Disco which lights up based on cell phone usage nearby. The Liberty Avenue Musicians are awesome, as is the tile mural Pittsburgh Recollections in the Gateway Center T station. Now, we know!

WIB–San Francisco Bay Area South Bay Speed Networking

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter wrapped up the summer with a fun Speed Networking Event on August 13, 2013 at the 2nd floor office of Fenwick & West in Mountain View, CA. Everyone attending walked away with new connections and job opportunities. When asked “What did you like about the event?” One of the participants commented, “That there was no awkwardness associated with meeting a stranger. Seemed like a place where ladies felt free to talk about their aspirations and struggles. And that the organizers were very warm and encouraging.” Another attendee commented, “I enjoyed meeting the attendees and learning more about their backgrounds. I was impressed with the high caliber of attendees--most of the attendees had very impressive backgrounds.” Special thanks to all volunteers, guests, and Fenwick & West for its generosity in hosting and supporting WIB!

WIB-RTP August Book Club Hosts Author Margaret Lowman

The WIB-RTP summer book club closed its season August 27, 2013 with a special guest: Margaret “Meg” Lowman, author of “Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology”. After a half-hour of coffee and networking at Koinonia Coffee House in Research Triangle Park, Lowman engaged in conversation with a group of approximately 15 women about her canopy research. This discussion topic evolved into an in-depth conversation about work-life balance, as Lowman’s book describes her challenges as a working wife, single parent and field biologist studying forest treetops around the world.

National YWIB Committee

Young Women In Bio (YWIB) is a special initiative of Women In Bio, designed to introduce middle and high school-age girls to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. YWIB creates programs and events geared towards encouraging middle school aged girls to consider the life sciences as a career choice. The events ignite girls’ curiosity in biotechnology while nurturing a business and entrepreneurial spirit.

The National YWIB Committee was established in July 2013, comprising the Chair, Vice-Chair, Program, Communications, Sponsorship and Member Benefits Sub-Committees. The women serving in the Committee are scientists, managers, legal professionals, bioentrepreneurs and mothers who all share the passion to inspire young girls towards careers in STEM. The mission of the National YWIB Committee is to ultimately introduce and implement YWIB membership. The Committee also strives to achieve greater uniformity in the projects carried out in the 10 YWIB chapters and to improve inter-chapter communications. Presently, the Committee is spearheading initiatives like new collaborative projects with other non-profit organizations as well as internship, mentorship and online programs for middle and high school-age girls.

In future WIB newsletters, we shall include bios of these dedicated members of the National YWIB Committee.

National YWIB Committee

Sylvia Yip (Chair)
May Samaan (Vice-Chair)

Sarah Ahlbrand (Program/Events)
Fariha Ahmed-Qadri (Membership/Benefits)
Pamela Fincher (Communications)
Caroline Fragnito (Program/Events)
Rachel Hardecke (Sponsorship)
Melanie Peffer (Program/Events)
Jen Rice (Program/Events)

National YWIB Committee members will serve an 18 month tenure ending December 31, 2014.

WIB-Atlanta Leans In to Discuss Sheryl Sandberg’s Groundbreaking Book

WIB-Atlanta members met July 17, 2013 to discuss Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Ladies shared their personal and professional experiences while enjoying the delicious snacks and beverages provided. Issues brought up in the book sparked a lot of discussion. Some felt the book was a hit, others a miss. Nonetheless, Sheryl Sandberg brought up a lot of topics pertinent to professionals and many WIB-Atlanta members hope she will continue to advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace.

WIB-DC/Baltimore and BioBuzz Host Summer Networking Event

Over 150 people attended the latest Women In Bio (WIB) Washington DC/Baltimore summer networking event, hosted in conjunction with BioBuzz. WIB and BioBuzz members enjoyed mingling at Growler’s Brew Pub in Gaithersburg, MD. Special thanks to Social & Scientific Systems for sponsoring this wonderful event and BioBuzz for helping organize the entire event. We look forward to working with BioBuzz again in the very near future!

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Hosts “Summer in the City” Networking Happy Hour

On July 25, 2013, The SF Bay Area chapter of WIB enjoyed a “Summer in the City” networking happy hour at the 9th Floor offices and city-view terrace of UBM, courtesy of PR Newswire. The sell-out crowd of over 50 women, ranging from senior executives to those just entering the life sciences industry, enjoyed a variety of mojitos and Latin-style appetizers from Havana caterers while making new connections and renewing old ones. Nearly half of those in attendance were new to WIB and many indicated that they would return for more. It was yet another fun – and productive – event for our Bay Area group.

WIB-Pittsburgh Social Dinner in the South Side

WIB-Pittsburgh's Strategic Networking event was a successful collaboration with University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Academic Career Development. A total of 20 WIB members attended and 30 University of Pittsburgh employees attended. WIB attendees were able to network with University of Pittsburgh women academics while enjoying delicious food and drinks. The panel of networking experts discussed tips from a variety of career backgrounds including academia, marketing, communications, and business. Thank you to our sponsors Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, and the Office of Academic Career Development of the University of Pittsburgh.

WIB-Pittsburgh Holds Summer Book Discussion

The Pittsburgh chapter gathered at the beautifully-equipped UPMC Technology Development Center on July 24, 2013 to discuss Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. Our evening began with a delicious dinner that whetted appetites for a healthy discussion. The gathering generated a lively exchange with participants comprised of women at many phases of their careers and with varying levels of experience. After dinner, we broke into small groups and used Sandberg’s book as a springboard to share personal stories about our own struggles and achievements to reach career satisfaction. Throughout the evening, we explored several themes presented by the book including work/life balance, mentorship, ambition and success in male-dominated industry. Without a specific end-time, the discussion could have easily continued well into the evening. Thanks to the WIB-Pittsburgh programming committee for their work in organizing this -and all of our events! The next book discussion is planned for December 2013.

First WIB-Chicago and HBA Chicago Event was a Great Success!

Over 80 women from WIB-Chicago and HBA Chicago joined together on July 11, 2013 in the Willis Tower in Chicago for an evening of networking and a great panel discussion on independent consulting. The audience learned about how to start a career in consulting, from how to get and retain clients to how to get your financials in order. WIB-Chicago and HBA Chicago were thrilled with the event’s success and look forward to partnering again soon!

WIB-Southern California Chapter Meetup at the CALBIO2013

On June 13, 2013 the WIB Southern California Chapter hosted a networking Meetup at CALBIO2013, a BayBio and BIOCOM collaborative life sciences conference and partnering event at the San Diego Convention Center. Designed to encourage vibrant networking and lively discussions, the event was a tremendous success by all measures and exemplified the strength of California as a model for life science innovation. Individuals were welcomed to stop by to learn more about WIB and how to become members of our organization.

WIB-RTP June book club discusses “Necessary Endings”

Many professionals find it difficult to determine when to end a job, business or relationship. Dr. Henry Cloud’s “Necessary Endings” helps its readers better understand when it is time to let go of a commitment. Nearly 30 Women in BIO members from the RTP chapter met the morning of July 9, 2013 at Koinonia café to discuss the book in its monthly book club meeting. The chapter split into two discussion groups, led by members Aga Truax and Robin Gallagher.

WIB-Greater Montreal Hosts a Sizzling Summer Soiree

On the June 19, 2013, WIB-Greater Montreal hosted a sizzling Summer Soiree at the Hotel Novotel in the St Laurent campus of the Montreal Technoparc. After cooling down with some drinks from the bar, our invited speaker, Dr Meriem Benmelouka, described how she developed her career in the Montreal bioscience community, and inspired us all with her suggestions for networking and mentoring. We were happy to welcome many first time attendees to this event and, as always, the warm, collegial feeling in the air was appreciated and noted by all. We would like to thank our sponsors for this event, Technoparc Montreal and Bereskin & Parr (intellectual property law firm), for their generous support. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our continuing Executive Breakfast Series in the second half of 2013, as well as our first year anniversary event to be held at Fasken Martineau in early November. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Fireside Chat with Gail Maderis

On June 19, 2013, the WIB-San Francisco Bay Area chapter hosted a Fireside Chat with Gail Maderis at the beautiful Stanford Faculty Club. With an audience of 75, the event included networking before and after an insightful conversation by Gail Maderis, President and CEO of BayBio. She shared her experience and passion for the biotech industry throughout her career and an enthusiasm for her current position as both an advocate and supporter of the industry she loves. Ms. Maderis spoke not only on her personal story, but advised us all with her perspective on starting your career, moving into leadership roles, and doing what you love and loving what you’re doing. Maya Benbarak, PhD candidate at Stanford said afterwards, “I heard so many nuggets of wisdom from Ms. Maderis, like "Happiness leads to success, not vice versa" and "If you don't like [the way things are going in your industry], it's your responsibility to fix it”.” There was so much energy and excitement in the room that an hour after the discussion ended, many people were still making connections. Look for a recording of this event to be available on the WIB website library in the next few weeks for members to view.

RTP Hosts a Great Summer Networking Event

WIB-RTP’s summer networking event on Thursday, June 20, 2013 was another great success. More than sixty exceptional women and men from different background, to include R&D, clinical research, pharmacy, diagnostics, regulatory affairs, sales, marketing, business development, accounting and human resources, gathered at Serena.

Networking Evening with WIB-Atlanta

Eclipse di Luna was chosen for WIB-Atlanta’s summer networking event on June 13, 2013, because of their wonderful appetizers and Sangria. WIB-Atlanta members and guests alike enjoyed the night, shared in their experiences and exchanged business cards. Many women stayed, even through the rainstorm, until the end of the night. The social gathering proved to be a wonderful place for like-minded women to meet new people and start relationships. WIB-Atlanta members valued meeting everyone and look forward to the next social gathering.

WIB-Atlanta Raced for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen organization hosted a 5K walk for the cure in Atlanta on May 11, 2013. This campaign raised over one million dollars in proceeds, which went to fund services for women with breast cancer and research. The Atlanta Chapter of WIB enthusiastically joined their efforts, forming a team and raising over $1,300. A number of the WIB-Atlanta members ran the 5K in honor of their friends and relatives who were survivors. Other members chose to Sleep for the Cure, or donated and didn’t walk. To everyone’s surprise WIB-Atlanta vice chair and secretary Mithra outpaced everyone in the chapter, crossing the finish line first. All participants enjoyed the adventure and look forward to participating in the Susan G. Komen race next year.

Students and Moms Enjoy YWIB-Atlanta Science Labs

The new chair of YWIB-Atlanta, Katie Bowden, Ph.D., graciously organized this event for the girls at King’s Ridge Christian School on April 20, 2013. The classic DNA extraction and ice cream-making stations were a lot of fun for both the students and the participating moms. Lisa Kanizay, Ph.D., instructed everyone through a lily dissection and Amy Anderson-Zose, Ph.D., brought a preserved human brain for participants to touch while she explained its functions. We also had a talk on evolution and primates. King’s Ridge Christian School had a wonderful group of girls that had interests in future careers in the sciences. YWIB-Atlanta committee looks forward to future opportunities mentoring them in the future.

Dr. Lily Rin-Laures, Past-President of WIB-Chicago, Receives the 2013 Motivator Award from AWIS Chicago

Lily Rin-Laures, M.D., previous Chair of WIB-Chicago’s Steering Committee and partner at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, LLP, is being honored with the 2013 Motivator Award from American Women in Science (AWIS) Chicago for her work in initiating a new chapter of WIB in Chicago in the fall of 2010. Lily will receive her award at the 2013 AWIS Chicago Awards Dinner on June 26, 2013 at Reza’s restaurant in Chicago.

Leveraging Government Contracts and Government Grants to Grow Your Business "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"

On June 4, 2013 WIB-Washington DC/Baltimore partnered with BDO USA, LLP, Arnold & Porter LLP, and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce to host an informal roundtable and networking event. Panelists discussed the risks and rewards of working with the federal government as a contractor in the current budget climate. About 50 attendees enjoyed networking before the presentation and Q&A session at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center. Panelist expertise was diverse and included perspectives in IP, product development, and CRO dynamics. Many thanks to the aforementioned sponsors for extending this event to WIB members.

RTP Hosts Industry Leaders, All With Beginnings in R&D

The common lesson from the evening: let your passions drive your career decisions. Five industry veterans with successful careers that began in R&D spoke at the RTP chapter’s “Path's to Success: Careers in R&D and Beyond” event May 29 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. With very complementary presentations, the speakers collectively urged attendees to never stop learning, networking or taking risks throughout their careers. More than 90 attended the event and the speakers emphasized the importance of self-awareness. Most attendees took advantage of the valuable networking opportunity following the presentations.

WIB-Southern California Chapter Kick-off Event a Huge Success

Tuesday April 30, 2013 marked the day that the WIB- Southern California Chapter held their well-attended launch event at Janssen Labs in San Diego, CA. Dr. Gail Naughton charmed the audience with stories of her childhood that made one understand how she became the dynamic individual she is today. She shared experiences of challenges she’s faced as a woman entrepreneur and how she overcame them in this still male dominated environment. Her career has been an eclectic mix of scientific tenacity and business savvy all while balancing family life and motherhood. She closed her presentation by talking about the importance of finding and being good mentors, which couldn’t have touched upon the aim of Women In Bio more closely.

WIB-Atlanta’s Evening with Entrepreneurs at Emory

WIB-Atlanta hosted a discussion with two successful local entrepreneurs, Margot King and Jim Heitner on Emory University campus on March 26, 2013. The speakers emphasized finding a unique niche or unmet need in the market and working to fill that void. They described their own personal experiences in product/service conceptualization and the steps they took toward actualization. They emphasized the difficulty with evaluating whether or not to incorporate people into their team but expressed the importance of letting people go. Small companies cannot afford to have unproductive individuals on the payroll. Members from the audience asked a diverse set of questions ranging from personnel hiring and management, pitching products to clients, and issues about time management and many participants engaged the speakers after the panel discussion with their own personal questions. Heitner and King left the audience with a better understanding of business strategies and how to resolve issues relevant to start-up companies.

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Young Women In Bio at Genomic Health Inc. a Success

On March 28, 2013 Genomic Health hosted 30 girls in 6th to 12th grades from public, private, and home schools across the SF peninsula, all with an interest in science or math. Genomic Health employees Tara Maddala (YWIB SF Bay Area chapter) and Sara Chenault organized the event, with over fifteen other women from Genomic Health participating, including CEO Kim Popovits who encouraged the girls to be themselves, be the best they can be, and pursue a path that makes them proud of themselves. Click here to visit the chapter page and read the entire event review.

WIB-Seattle Metro Inspired by Melinda Gates’ TEDxChange 2013 Event, Positive Disruption

On April 3, 2013, WIB-Seattle Metro joined 202 viewing events in 65 countries for TEDxChange 2013, “Positive Disruption”. The amazing line-up of speakers shared how they are positively disrupting society, agriculture, technology and communities in ways that make our world a better place, including two young vaccine advocates from Calcutta, and they inspired us and made us think of new ways to move positive disruption forward. We learned that just tweeting or posting about a social cause makes a difference. Click here to watch the 90-minute event. A big thank you to Cooley LLP Seattle for hosting us at their beautiful new office space.

YWIB-Seattle Metro’s Sold-Out Theatre Event at "Photograph 51", honoring the late Rosalind Franklin, Is a Huge Success

Tickets sold fast for "Photograph 51", a play honoring scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose contributions were crucial to the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA. With a well-written script by
Anna Ziegler highlighting the gender politics Franklin faced in a male-dominated field, the stage was set for avid young women scientists to be inspired and enlightened.

YWIB-Seattle Metro committee members coordinated large posters and information pamphlets on other notable but oft-overlooked female scientists, and encouraged future WIB and YWIB members to think about the role of women in science. YWIB maintained an information booth throughout the event and worked hard to address all of the questions that the young people, their parents, and other patrons had regarding women and science careers, and YWIB and WIB, and how to get involved.

WIB-RTP’s Spring Networking Event A Hugh Success

WIB-RTP’s spring networking event on Thursday, March 7, 2013 was a huge success. Sixty eight exceptional women from different background, to include R&D, clinical research, pharmacy, regulatory affairs, sales, marketing, business development, accounting and human resources, gathered at Serena’s in RTP, NC. Attendees were welcome to the first event of the year and informed of the upcoming roster of events including, educational, networking and fun events WIB has in store. The networking was divided into two groups: the first networking session was structured with discussions amongst small groups of attendees. The second session was an open networking opportunity that allowed for follow-up conversations that were originated in the first session, getting introduced to other people by your new acquaintances or just walk around and chat with other people eager to get to know each other. It was exciting to see the levels of engagement and a desire to help each other and to stay connected. Thank you to our event sponsors: ImmunoReagents and WorldWide Life Sciences.

WIB-RTP’s YWIB Holds Event at Biogen Idec

WIB-RTP hosted a Young Women In Bio (YWIB) event on February 26, 2013 at Biogen Idec. Once again, Biogen Idec graciously opened its doors to 21 curious middle school girls to host a fun and interesting YWIB event. In conjunction with WIB-RTP, Biogen Idec provided an afternoon of lab activities that mimic real world jobs and careers. The young women heard from female scientists who work in various departments of Biogen Idec from Quality Control to Patient Services. They then learned what it means to have those jobs by shadowing the ladies on a tour of the facility. The new community lab was utilized for lab activities and discussions. The afternoon wrapped up with pizza and conversations between the young women and Biogen Idec employees.

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Women Network Over Chocolate Deliciousness!

In an evening as interesting as it was tasty, 37 members of the WIB-San Francisco Bay Area heard from former Prion researcher, Sunita de Tourreil, about her career journey from “Mad Cows” to “Happy Chocolate.” Those in attendance networked with fellow WIB members and learned that the field of cacao and chocolate “covers everything from chemistry, politics, agriculture, biology, love, neuroreceptors, flavor, exploitation, vasodilation, addiction, and sustainability.” Sunita, owner and curator at The Chocolate Garage, discussed the emerging world of bean-to-batch chocolates and how chocolate production is affecting the health of communities around the world, and then led a blind tasting of some of the most delicious artisanal chocolate bars imaginable. We also learned how the varied flavors in different chocolates could pair with a surprising variety of wines and beers, including both white and rose sparkling wines, red wines, sauterne and Belgian beer. In addition, each attendee was invited to take a bar of our favorite chocolate of the evening home for further enjoyment. Definitely a fun evening as well as an educational one!

WIB-Greater Montreal’s First Executive Breakfast Series: The Paradoxes of Change

On February 12, 2013 WIB-Greater Montreal held the first in its series of eight Executive Breakfast seminars at the headquarters of one of the series sponsors, Corealis Pharma.

San Francisco Bay Area Holds East Bay Speed Networking Event

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter hosted a regional speed networking event in the East Bay. The event attracted not only ~30 locals but a few “non-natives” from La Jolla, Cambridge, MA and Durham, NC! The partakers noshed and networked in double time at the DOE Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek. JGI not only served as a fantastic backdrop for building valuable connections, but the participants were treated to an education about the work performed at the lab. Did you know JGI scientists sequenced chromosomes 5, 16 and 19 as part of the greater human genome project and continue to perform next gen sequencing related to clean energy, environmental characterization and cleanup? Cindy Silva, mayor of Walnut Creek, also spoke to the group about the city’s history and prospect as a life sciences hub.

WIB-Atlanta Hosts Maiden Young Women In Bio Event

On January 26 2013, WIB-Atlanta participated in an STEM Outreach event to girls in Factory Shoals Middle School, Douglasville GA. This event was sponsored by the Douglas-Carroll-Paulding Counties Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and organized by Emory College Center for Science Education. YWIB committee chair, Sylvia Yip, and volunteer Katherine Bowden led the girls in the strawberry DNA extraction experiment while YWIB committee vice-chair, Lisa Pavento, served on the panel to discuss careers in STEM. Each attendee happily received a YWIB bracelet.

WIB-Greater Montreal and the British Quebec Business Coalition debate with passion!

On a cold winter night, WIB-Greater Montreal and the British Quebec Business Coalition co-hosted an evening of fiery debate, collegial networking and raising awareness about two great organizations. Over beers and crisps (chips in “North American”!), Carmela DeLuca, John DiMaio and Catherine Argyriou debated for the affirmative, “This house believes that, everything considered, biotechnology research would be better conducted in Quebec than in the UK.” as Tracey Rowlands, Marilyn Krelenbaum and Paul Plestedargued against the motion. Both teams debated passionately, and in the end, after polling the audience, moderator John Lawson called it a draw! We thank the Burgundy Lion for providing a cosy venue for the event and thank all attendees for their good spirits, especially in light of those icy Arctic winds!

First Meeting of MAPs-University Program a Success!

The WIB Mentors, Advisors, and Peers - University (MAPs-U) Program held their first monthly meeting at the University of Maryland in College Park on January 10, 2013 and it was a great success! Speakers discussed their experiences in industry, government, and academia with graduate students in a round-table group mentoring session themed "Preparing for Your Time After Grad School." The next meeting will be at the University on February 13, 2013 and the discussion theme will be "Networking 101." If you are interested in participating in this program as a mentor or mentee, please send an email to We are currently seeking sponsors for MAPs-U events, please contact us at




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