While great strides have been made with regard to gender equity in biomedical academia, there remains a stubborn imbalance in representation in senior leadership roles. The graduate students from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School have launched a series called The Roots of Change: Conversations about Women’s Empowerment to grapple with the issue of representation. They invited two giants in medicine to reflect on their lives in medicine: Viviane Tabar and Elizabeth Blackburn. Dr. Tabar is the chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and leads a stem cell biology lab focusing on the development of human embryonic stem cell–derived dopaminergic neurons for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, among other cell-based therapies for the repair of brain injuries. Dr. Blackburn is the former president of the Salk Institute for Biomedical Studies and, before that leadership position, had a long career on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Francisco. She is best known for her scientific work on telomeres; she shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of telomerase. The first hour of the Roots of Change conversation, with feminist icon and writer Gloria Steinem, is available on the Sloan Kettering website (https://www.mskcc.org/watch-conversations-about-women-s-empowerment).
Inés Fernández Maestre, Yanyang Chen, Brianna Naizir, Ushma S. Neill