Often hidden from the view, woman have played a major role in development of biotechnology and medicine. Indeed women have been on the cutting edge of biotechnology , including Rosalind Franklin who played a fundamental role in deciphering the structure of DNA; Esther Lederberg who discovered the lambda phage which is now a major tool for studying gene regulation and genetic recombination; Margaret Dayhoff who developed the field of bioinformatics; Janet Mertz who created the first piece of recombinant DNA; and Jennifer Duodena and Emmanuelle Charpentier who helped pioneer CRISPR, a revolutionary technique for genome editing.

Here I provide a number of profiles of women who have been key pioneers in biotechnology.

Some of the leading women in biotechnology:

ROLE OF WOMEN IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Rutba Khan
Rutba Khan

ROLE OF WOMEN IN BIOTECHNOLOGY

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Keywords: Role of Women In Biotechnology, Brigitte Askonas (1923 – 2013), Sally Davies (1949), Margaret Dayhoff (1925 – 1983), Jennifer Doudna (1964), Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958), Carolyn Green (1965 – 2017), Beverly Griffin (1930 – 2016), Hardworking, Women, Biotechnology, Medicine, Vaccine, Immune System, DNA, RNA, Protein, Chemical Reaction

Often hidden from the view, woman have played a major role in development of biotechnology and medicine. Indeed women have been on the cutting edge of biotechnology , including Rosalind Franklin who played a fundamental role in deciphering the structure of DNA; Esther Lederberg who discovered the lambda phage which is now a major tool for studying gene regulation and genetic recombination; Margaret Dayhoff who developed the field of bioinformatics; Janet Mertz who created the first piece of recombinant DNA; and Jennifer Duodena and Emmanuelle Charpentier who helped pioneer CRISPR, a revolutionary technique for genome editing.

Here I provide a number of profiles of women who have been key pioneers in biotechnology. Some of the leading women in biotechnology:

Brigitte Askonas (1923 – 2013)

Born: Vienna, Austria. Askonas co-developed one of the first systems for the cloning of antibody-forming B cells in vivo, some of the earliest monoclonal antibodies. She was also one of the first scientists to isolate and clone virus specific T lymphocytes, laying the foundation for defining different influenza sub-sets and improving vaccines.

Sally Davies (1949):

Born: Birmingham, United Kingdom. Sally Davies was named the sixth most powerful woman in the UK by Woman’s Hour, a BBC radio programme, in 2013. She is the first woman to hold the post of Chief Medical Officer for England. She is also at the forefront of spearheading efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance around the world. All this she has achieved in the midst of dealing with a likely variant of dyslexia, being widowed young and becoming a mother in her forties.

Margaret Dayhoff (1925 – 1983)

Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Dayhoff is known as the founder of bioinformatics. This she did by pioneering the application of mathematics and computational techniques to the sequencing of proteins and nucleic acids and establishing the first publicly available database for research in the area.

Brigitte Askonas (1923 - 2013)
Born: Vienna, Austria. Askonas co-developed one of the first systems for the cloning of antibody-forming B cells in vivo, some of the earliest monoclonal antibodies. She was also one of the first scientists to isolate and clone virus specific T lymphocytes, laying the foundation for defining different influenza sub-sets and improving vaccines. 


 
Sally Davies (1949):
Born: Birmingham, United Kingdom. Sally Davies was named the sixth most powerful woman in the UK by Woman’s Hour, a BBC radio programme, in 2013. She is the first woman to hold the post of Chief Medical Officer for England. She is also at the forefront of spearheading efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance around the world. All this she has achieved in the midst of dealing with a likely variant of dyslexia, being widowed young and becoming a mother in her forties.
 



Margaret Dayhoff (1925 - 1983)
Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Dayhoff is known as the founder of bioinformatics. This she did by pioneering the application of mathematics and computational techniques to the sequencing of proteins and nucleic acids and establishing the first publicly available database for research in the area.

Jennifer Doudna (1964)

Born: Washington DC, United States. Doudna first made her name uncovering the basic structure and function of the first ribozyme, a type of catalytic ribonucleic acid (RNA) that helps catalyze chemical reactions. This work helped lay the foundation for her later helping to pioneer CRISPR-Cas 9, a tool that has provided the means to edit genes on an unprecedented scale and at minimal cost. In addition to her scientific contributions to CRISPR, Doudna is known for spearheading the public debate to consider the ethical implications of using CRISPR-Cas to edit human embryos.

Jennifer Duodena and Emmanuelle Charpentier who helped pioneer CRISPR, a revolutionary technique for genome editing

Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958)

Born: London, United Kingdom. Rosalind Franklin was an x-ray crystallographer whose work helped uncover the double-helix structure of DNA.

Rosalind Franklin who played a fundamental role in deciphering the structure of DNA

Carolyn Green (1965 – 2017)

Born: Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Carolyn E Green was a serial entrepreneur in the life sciences community and a leading voice for women in the sector. In her short life she managed to found and head up numerous companies and held many leadership and sales positions in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her crowning achievement was to be hired by Pfizer to head up its new strategic research and development investments initiative. This entailed working with the corporation’s venture fund to establish partnerships with early-stage companies. Green’s enduring patience and strong mentoring skills, together with her passion to develop products to help patients, set her apart from many others in the biotechnology world.

Carolyn Green crowning achievement was to be hired by Pfizer to head up its new strategic research and development investments initiative

Beverly Griffin (1930 – 2016)

Born: Delhi, Louisiana. Griffin earned two doctorates in chemistry in an era when it was rare for women to pursue a scientific career. She is best known for her pioneering work on the molecular biology of two viruses that cause cancer – the polyomavirus and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). From the 1980s she was devoted to understanding how in one setting EBV could cause glandular fever, a largely harmless disease, and yet in another Burkett’s Lymphoma, a major killer of children in Central Africa. She also spearheaded efforts to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the cancer and was a tireless campaigner for raising awareness of the plight of children with the disease in Africa.

Beverly Griffin is best known for her pioneering work on the molecular biology of two viruses that cause cancer - the polyomavirus and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)
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