Memorial Sloan Kettering Launches Women in Science Endeavor

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) recently announced the establishment of the Marie-Josée Kravis Women in Science Endeavor (WiSE) to provide financial and professional support to women scientists pursuing biomedical research at MSK, pledging its commitment to gender equity in science and paving the way for more women to become leaders in their fields.

The initiative is made possible by a philanthropic gift from Marie-Josée Kravis, Vice Chair of the MSK Board and Chair of the Sloan Kettering Institute Board, and Henry Kravis, Co-Founder, Co-Chairman, and Co-Chief Executive of KKR & Co, who have a long history of supporting scientific research at MSK.

“Memorial Sloan Kettering has long recognized the vital importance of recruiting and supporting top female scientists,” Mrs. Kravis said. “Despite this progress, more needs to be done to close the gender gap in research and career opportunities.”

The new fellowship program will provide sustained funding for scientific trainees as well as mentoring and significant professional development for women pursuing careers in biomedical research at MSK.

The Kravis WiSE Graduate Fellowship will provide a 3-year stipend and additional benefits to a female graduate student chosen by a faculty committee through a competitive review process. The student will present her work at the Kravis WiSE Symposium, an annual event to be held in March to mark Women’s History Month, which will host scientific leaders from MSK and other institutions.

The Kravis WiSE Postdoctoral Fellowship will provide a 2-year stipend and additional benefits to a female research associate or fellow who has completed at least 3 years of postgraduate study. The fellow will present her work at the Kravis WiSE Symposium and, as a condition of the fellowship, must apply for a K99/R00 National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award to continue her research.

Program Winners

The first Kravis Women in Science Fellowship winners are:

  • Sahana Rao, a fourth-year PhD student in the Tri-Institutional Chemical Biology Program, a collaboration between MSK, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Linde Miles, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at MSK’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
  • Mohita Tagore, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Sloan Kettering Institute’s Cancer Biology and Genetics Program.
  • Ushma S. Neill, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Education and Training at MSK, said: “Memorial Sloan Kettering has benefited from more than a century’s worth of guidance and scientific insight from formidable women, starting with one of our founders. This new endeavor will empower us to carry that mission and spirit forward.”