Pinnacle Award

Honoring an individual’s lifetime of innovative achievements in STEM and commitment to workplace diversity.

Carol W. Greider, PhD, is the Daniel Nathans Professor, and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics and a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Greider received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983 and a Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1984, working together with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, she discovered telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomeres, or chromosome ends. In 1988, Dr. Greider went to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where, as an independent Cold Spring Harbor Fellow, she cloned and characterized the RNA component of telomerase. In 1990, Dr. Greider was appointed as an assistant investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, followed later by appointment to Investigator in 1994. She expanded the focus of her telomere research to include the role of telomere length in cellular senescence, cell death and in cancer. In 1997, Dr. Greider moved her laboratory to the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2003 she was appointed as the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. At Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Greider’s group continued to study the biochemistry of telomerase and determined the secondary structure of the human telomerase RNA. In addition she characterized the loss of telomere function in mice, which allowed an understanding of short telomere syndromes in humans such as bone marrow failure, pulmonary fibrosis and other diseases. Dr. Greider shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 with Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak for their work on telomeres and telomerase. Dr. Greider currently directs a group of eight scientists studying both the role of short telomeres in age-related disease and cancer as well as the regulatory mechanism that maintain telomere length.

Leadership Award

Commending an experienced STEM leader for fostering a high representation of women in leadership and supportive workplace policies.

Freda C. Lewis-Hall, MD, DFAPA, is Pfizer’s Chief Patient Officer. During her 35-year career, Dr. Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of health care from the standpoints of a clinician, a researcher, and a leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. The common threads throughout have been her passion to advocate for better outcomes for all patients and her commitment to mentoring the next generations of women leaders in science and medicine. Trained as a psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis-Hall began her medical career in patient care and became well known for her work on the effects of mental illness on families and communities and on issues of health care disparities. She has held positions of leadership at the Howard University Hospital and College of Medicine, Vertex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Pfizer. Some of her many achievements include founding the Lilly Center for Women’s Health in the 1990s; serving on the board of the U.S. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute since its inception in 2010; creating Pfizer’s public health information program Get Healthy Stay Healthy in 2012; launching the industry’s first public compassionate use request portal, PfizerCARES, in 2015; and spearheading the creation of SpringWorks Therapeutics, a new company working to develop promising new treatments in underserved areas of urgent medical need, in 2017. For the past decade, Lewis-Hall has served as Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer, responsible for the safe, effective and appropriate use of Pfizer’s medicines and vaccines, and in this role she reshaped Pfizer’s medical policies and practices to intensify the company’s focus on patient engagement and inclusion. In her new role as Chief Patient Officer of Pfizer, Lewis-Hall will work to extend the reach of Pfizer’s patient-facing health information and education and amplify the voice of the patient inside and outside Pfizer.

Next Generation Award

Highlighting an early career leader in STEM who is a visible and vocal advocate for diversity and inclusive scientific practices.

Mareena Robinson Snowden, PhD, is Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focuses on nuclear arms control verification sufficiency, nonproliferation, and modernization. Prior to joining Carnegie, Dr. Robinson Snowden served as a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Graduate Fellow in the Office of Major Modernization Programs. This office is responsible for the modernization of warhead systems and ensuring access to the strategic materials used in the U.S. stockpile. Dr. Robinson Snowden became the first black woman to earn a Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from MIT in 2017 and holds a Bachelor in Physics from Florida A&M University. Her story in STEM has been featured in MARVEL Comics, CNBC, BET and other national television, radio and print media.

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