Annual Fall Luncheon

The GWISE Fall Luncheon is our annual flagship event! Every year we invite an accomplished speaker to share her experiences as a scientist, executive, and entrepreneur! After the talk, we adjourn to dessert and discussion. This event is a great opportunity to network and discuss issues related to women in STEM over a delicious 3-course luncheon.


Fall Keynote 2020 with Dr. Meredith Fisher

For GWISE’s first virtual Fall Keynote we were delighted to have Dr. Meredith Fisher, an accomplished business leader and scientist speak to us and answer questions from faculty and students. Dr. Meredith Fisher received her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and her PhD in molecular microbiology from Harvard University where she co-founded Harvard Graduate Women in Science and Engineering. Currently, she is a Partner at the Partners Innovation Fund – the venture arm of Partners Healthcare System and Co-President of WEST – Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology. Meredith represents the fund on the boards of Nocion, ZielBio, Claris Bio, Alize Pharma and Mediar Therapeutics.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Metera and serves as an advisor to Takeda HATCH. She is a two-time recipient of the Global Corporate Venturing Rising Star Award. Prior to these roles, she spent several years working as a scientist and business leader at biotech companies such as Gingko Bioworks and Enlight Biosciences.   

Meredith shared her experience as a Partner in a Venture Fund and what it takes to invest and build companies in biotech – it was great to hear about a career path that isn’t often advertised to graduate students and see how Meredith works with other partners, researchers, and investors in order to make a project successful! She also shared about her experience with Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology and other activities she does within the community to support women in STEM. It was also great to hear her advice on getting involved in internships and networking often – thank you Meredith for your time and excellent talk!

Fall Luncheon 2019 with Dr. Megan Litwhiler

Dr. Litwhiler is the Program Manager of Strategic Projects at the Museum of Science. She received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Behavior from the Federated Department of Biological Sciences of Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is a dedicated scientist, educator, and science communicator, with over ten years of combined experience working and teaching in higher education. At the Museum of Science, Dr. Litwhiler has continued to hone her skills as professional science communicator and informal science educator. Now, as Program Manager at the Museum of Science, Dr. Litwhiler partners directly with scientists to conceptualize, develop, and deliver engaging museum content based on current science and technology research in the form of live lecture presentations, hands-on experiences, special events, podcasts, blog posts, and educator resources. She also supports her fellow scientists by developing and delivering academic science communication training programs for undergraduate REU students, graduate students, and post-doctoral, and faculty-level researchers.  

On October 24th, she delighted us with her life experiences starting with her graduate studies in the hazardous wastelands of New Jersey to her transition into the world of scientific communication and Informal Scientific Education (ISE) and finally to her current role as Program Manager at the Museum of Science.  We learned about great communications resources such as Portal to the Public and ComSciCon as well as some of the mind-blowing exhibits and initiatives at the Museum, including a new exhibit on Fish Physics and a competition on Quantum Computing!

Fall Luncheon 2018 featuring Gabriela Chojkier

Please join us for GWISE’s Annual Fall Luncheon, featuring Gabriela Chojkier. Miss Chojkier is a senior communications executive with nearly 20 years of private, public, and non-profit sector experience. She currently leads global teams across diverse industries in public affairs, external relations, social impact, public policy, stakeholder engagement, and government affairs. Miss Chojkier served as a White House senior media director and spokesperson under President Obama. In this role, she led all communications with Hispanic audiences in the United States and Latin America. Prior to the White House, Miss Chojkier held senior positions with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Open Society Foundations, the World Bank, Ruder Finn, and the U.S. Congress. We are so excited to have her share her experiences in the political realm. Instead of addressing us from a podium, Miss Chojkier will be interviewed talk show-style by Natalie Vaisman, the Social & Groups Co-Chair for GWISE. 


Fall Luncheon 2017 featuring Dr. Nergis Mavalvala

220px-Nergis_Mavalvala

Please join us for GWISE’s Annual Fall Luncheon, featuring Dr. Nergis Mavalvala. Dr. Mavalvala is the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and serves as the Associate Head of the Physics Department at MIT.  She is best known for her work on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, which last year famously observed gravitational waves for the first time. Her colleagues at LIGO were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics this year for these achievements. Among many other honors, she was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow in 2010, was awarded the Joseph F. Keithley Prize by the American Physical Society in 2013, and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.


Fall Luncheon 2016 featuring Dr. Nina Dudnik

Please join us for GWISE’s Annual Fall Luncheon, featuring Dr. Nina Dudnik, an accomplished biotechnology executive and entrepreneur.  She is the founder and chief executive officer of Seeding Labs, which helps talented scientists in developing countries conduct life-changing research. She began the effort to build Seeding Labs as a graduate student in molecular biology at Harvard University. Dr. Dudnik was a finalist in the 2006 MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and was awarded an Echoing Green fellowship in 2007 to formally launch and expand Seeding Labs. In 2015, Dr. Dudnik was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview magazine. She received the 2014 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, was a 2010 TEDGlobal Fellow and a 2010 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, and received the 2010 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Young Professional award.


Fall Luncheon 2015 featuring Dr. Katherine Turner

Please join us for GWISE’s Annual Fall Luncheon, featuring Dr. Katherine Turner, an accomplished biotechnology executive and entrepreneur.  She is currently Senior Vice President, Research at Scholar Rock, Inc., which is focused on discovering and developing a new class of biologic therapies called “niche modulators,” that selectively target dysregulated growth factors in the disease microenvironment. Prior to Scholar Rock, she has served as Vice President at such pioneering companies as Genetics Institute (Protein Discovery), Wyeth (Immunology), and Biogen Idec (Validation Biology). In addition, Dr. Turner has played key scientific leadership roles in start-up companies including Attogen, Inc. Her extensive research and managerial experience encompasses more than 30 years of involvement with all aspects of therapeutic biologics discovery through early clinical development and onto the market. Her areas of therapeutic expertise include immunology, oncology, hematopoiesis and tissue repair and fibrosis. Dr. Turner has been responsible for the advancement of several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and played important roles in the development of Neumega®, GM-CSF and an IL-13 antagonist. Dr. Turner received her PhD in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech, and pursued post-doctoral training at the Courtauld Institute for Biochemistry (London University) and Brandeis University.


Fall Luncheon 2014 featuring Dr. Meena Subramanyam: “Staying the Course: Making Smart Choices”

This year, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Meena Subramanyam as our luncheon speaker. Dr. Subramanyam has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years and is now the Vice President of Translational Sciences at Biogen Idec (Cambridge, MA). We are very excited to have her share some of her thoughts with us on how to make the right choices in your scientific career. After the talk, we will adjourn to dessert and discussion. This round-table luncheon is an opportunity for all our members to enjoy lunch, network, hear from community leaders, and to discuss issues related to women in science. We would love to see you there! Please RSVP to the link above.

Dr. Subramanyam joined Biogen in 1998 and has over twenty years of experience in the Biotechnology industry. Her research interests include the mechanistic understanding of the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and immunogenicity of therapeutics besides identification of clinical biomarkers to enable patient enrichment and/or stratification strategies. Dr. Subramanyam is a member of the Biogen Idec Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Council and the Multicultural Biogen Idec Cultural Diversity network. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Biotech Section of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and is a member of the Biotechnology Industrial Advisory Board of Northeastern University.


Fall Luncheon 2013 featuring Dr. Meg Urry

Meg Urry

This year, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Meg Urry as our luncheon speaker. Dr.Urry has been a vocal spokesperson for increasing the number of women in the sciences.  We are excited to have her share some of her thoughts with us. After the talk, we will adjourn to dessert and discussion. This round-table luncheon is an opportunity for all of our members to enjoy lunch, network, hear from community leaders, discuss issues related to women in science, and provide feedback to how GWISE can better serve the community. We would love to see you there!


Fall Luncheon 2012 featuring Dr. Karen Panetta

This year, we are very pleased to have Dr. Karen Panetta as our luncheon speaker. Dr. Panetta has been involved in initiatives to increase accessibility of engineering to people from all backgrounds and to break down the barriers and stereotypes surrounding STEM. We are very excited to have her share some thoughts with us. After the talk, we will adjourn to dessert and discussion. This round-table luncheon is an opportunity for all of our members to enjoy lunch, network, hear from community leaders, discuss issues related to women in science, and provide feedback to how GWISE can better serve the community. We would love to see you there!

Dr. Karen Panetta is a Fellow of the IEEE. Dr. Panetta received the B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine. She serves as the 2011 Chair of the IEEE Boston Section. During 2009-2007, she served as the World Wide Director for IEEE Women in Engineering, which has over 300 chapters in 53 countries. She is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University and Director of the Simulation Research Laboratory. Dr. Panetta is the founder of the award winning Nerd Girls program, which celebrates the individuality and “beauty of brains” all in an effort to inspire young girls to pursue math, science and engineering while breaking stereotypes of smart individuals.


Fall Luncheon 2011 featuring Dr. Paula Rayman

Professor Paula Rayman teaches in the Department of Regional and Social Development at UM, Lowell. She was the founding director of the Radcliffe Public Policy Center at Harvard University. Dr. Rayman is a nationally known scholar who is an economist and sociologist by training. She has extensive publications on work, family, and community issues. She is an expert in the fields of social change, work and inequality, and gender and science. Rayman has been called upon by the White House to participate on committees regarding the workplace and family. Of her book, Beyond the Bottom Line: The Search for Dignity at Work, one reviewer wrote, “it would be wonderful if Beyond the Bottom Line became the Silent Spring of a movement for dignity in the workplace,” (Arlene Skolnick,The American Prospect 10/09/01).


Fall Luncheon 2010 featuring Alice Hogan

This year, we are very pleased to have Alice Hogan as our luncheon speaker. Currently an independent consultant working on programs and policies to advance the participation of women in STEM, she was the founding Program Director for the NSF ADVANCE Program. The title of her talk is Making ADVANCE: Reflections on Public Policy and Women in Science. We are very excited to have her share some thoughts with us. After the talk, we will adjourn to dessert and discussion. This round-table luncheon is an opportunity for all of our members to enjoy lunch, network, hear from community leaders, discuss issues related to women in science, and provide feedback to how GWISE can better serve the community. We would love to see you there!


Fall Luncheon 2009 featuring Dr. Virginia Sapiro, Dr. Selim Unlu, and Dr. Rama Bansil

Women’s Organizations Luncheon with Deans and Professors at Boston University. The speakers were board members of women’s groups in chemistry, biology, engineering, and physics at Boston University.