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Women in Science and Healthcare (WiSH)

Symposium & Seminar Series: Celebrating Dr. Rosalind Franklin's Legacy by Addressing Gender Disparities in Science and Healthcare








WiSH has two missions:

  1. To highlight the accomplishments of female scientists and clinicians.
  2. To interrogate the causes of and solutions for persistent hurdles to women’s advancement in STEM.

The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) Women in Science and Healthcare (WiSH) Annual Symposium was launched in 2016 to honor our namesake, an international icon for women in science. Rosalind Franklin’s unparalleled X-ray crystallography captured proof of the double-helical structure of DNA, launching an ongoing revolution in medical genetics. RFUMS is the only U.S. health sciences university named for a woman, honoring Dr. Franklin’s brilliance and perseverance in the face of gender discrimination that continues today in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and healthcare professions.

Across healthcare and biomedical research, women comprise a sizable majority of the workforce but a small minority of leaders and are consistently paid less than male counterparts. The WiSH Symposium and Speaker Series confronts these disparities, examines their causes, and explores ways to overcome them through lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and student engagement.

Upcoming Events

WiSH Theme 2023-24: 
Mother/Earth Under the Microscope: Climate Change and Women's Health

Saibatu Mansaray photo

May 7, 2024 - WiSH Seminar Series
Speaker: Christopher "Todd" Beer, PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Lake Forest College

"Climate Justice and Health in a Gendered World: Responsibilities, Risks, and Response"


Past Events

Saibatu Mansaray photo

January 17, 2024 - WiSH Seminar Series
Speaker: Saibatu Mansaray, PA-C

Founder and CEO
The Mansaray Foundation

"Impacts of Nutrition on Maternal and Child Health"


Cecilia Sorensen photo

September 14, 2023 - 8th Annual WiSH Symposium
Keynote Speaker & Panelist: Cecilia Sorensen, MD
Director, Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, Columbia University Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

"Re-thinking Women's Health in a Changing Climate"

Lilia Cortina photoMarch 20, 2023 - WiSH Seminar Series
Speaker: Lilia Cortina, PhD
University Diversity and Social Transformation
Professor of Psychology, Women’s & Gender
Studies, and Management & Organizations
University of Michigan


"Sexual Harassment in the Academy: From Science to Solutions"

Katie Watson photoFebruary 1, 2023 - WiSH Seminar Series
Speaker: Katie Watson, JD
Associate Professor of Medical Education, Medical Social Sciences, and Ob/Gyn
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Author - Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion (Oxford 2018)

"Are Women Still People Under the Constitution? Reproductive Justice, Women's Personhood, and the Contemporary Abortion Debate"

Paula A. Johnson photo

October 24, 2022 - 7th Annual WiSH Symposium:
Women's Bodies Under the Microscope

Keynote Speaker & Panelist: Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH, President, Wellesley College.

"Sex Does Matter: How Sex, Gender, and Race Impact Science and Medicine"

Lisa VanHoose photo

April 13, 2022 - WiSH Seminar Series

Speaker: Lisa VanHoose PT, PhD, MPH, FAAPT, Clinical Professor - Physical Therapy Department, Baylor University.
Owner and Executive Director of the Ujima Institute

"Building a Culture of Ujima for Female Success"

Jioni A. Lewis photoSeptember 23, 2021 - 6th Annual WiSH Symposium:
Intersectionality Under the Microscope

Keynote Speaker & Panelist: Jioni A. Lewis, PhD, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland.

"Applying Intersectionality to Center Black Women in Health Equity"

Eve Marder photoOctober 13, 2021 - WiSH Seminar Series

Speaker: Eve Marder, PhD, Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience & Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham MA. 

"When to Stay and When to Go"

Amy Gottlieb photo

December 9, 2021 - WiSH Seminar Series

Speaker: Amy Gottlieb, MD, FACP, Chief Faculty Development Officer, Baystate Health.
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, UMass Chan Medical School-Baystate. 

"Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine: Identifying Drivers of Inequity and Devising Solutions"

The Annual Symposium

Each year we explore a different aspect of the problem, symbolized by the iconic photo of Dr. Franklin and “Under the Microscope” title.

Seminar Series

In 2020-21, we marked the centennial of Dr. Franklin’s birth with a seminar series showcasing how “her-story” has poignantly influenced women in STEM.

To go deeper into the theme of each symposium, a seminar series is being launched to continue the conversation through the academic year.