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Innovators Ignite event celebrates diversity in STEM showcasing 10 women scientists and a keynote by Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna


Innovators Ignite event celebrates diversity in STEM showcasing 10 women scientists and a keynote by Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna

Innovators Ignite Event

On March 7th during International Women's Week, Yale Ventures' amplifyHERscience hosted Innovators Ignite to celebrate and promote diversity in STEM innovation at Yale and in Connecticut.

“Underrepresented groups—including women—can be and are innovators. We secure patents, start companies, and sit in the C-suite.” said Dr. Morag Grassie, a co-founder of amplifyHERscience, kicking-off the event.

The day-long event featured 10 presentations from Yale researchers and Connecticut company executives and two keynote speakers:

  • Introduced by Yale Medical School Dean Nancy J. Brown, Jennifer A. Doudna, spoke about the future of CRISPR, which she co-discovered. Apoorva Mandavilli, science and global health reporter at The New York Times, interviewed Dr. Doudna. 
  • Jennifer Petter, CEO of Arrakis Therapeutics discussed her journey from academic lab to industry to forming a venture, and about her journey as a transgender woman in biotech.

The amplifyHERscience Award is given to someone in the Yale ecosystem annually who helps create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere for entrepreneurship to thrive. The 2023 recipient was Barbara Ehrlich, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology.

“Dr. Ehrlich's dedication to nurturing young talent and providing opportunities for them to excel is a true reflection of the mission of amplifyHERscience," said Michelle McQueen, a co-founder of amplifyHERscience. "Through her tireless efforts, Dr. Ehrlich has and continues to pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse scientific community at Yale.”

The five Yale presenters were:

  • Claudia See (Presenting on behalf of Jinlei Li, MD, PhD): Patient-Controlled Dispenser and Deactivator of Liquid Oral Medication
  • Farida Ahangari, MD: Targeting Profibrotic Macrophages Using Mir-33 Inhibitors, a Novel Therapeutic Approach for Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Amber Childs, PhD: M-Select: Maximizing clinical impact, improving care outcomes, and reducing costs with data-driven behavioral health care
  • Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, PhD: StretchTex: Leveraging stretchable electronics and breathable whole-body motion sensing to diagnose Parkinson's disease a decade ahead of current clinical diagnosis.
  • Elizabeth Lin, MPH (Presenting on behalf of Krystal Pollitt, PhD): Fresh Air: Personal Environmental Monitoring

The five Connecticut company presenters were:

Innovators Ignite was sponsored by JP Morgan, Wiggin and Dana, and Deloitte.