Symposium moderators Elena Aikawa (far left) and Kathryn Rexrode (far right) pose with the honorees.

Symposium moderators Elena Aikawa (far left) and Kathryn Rexrode (far right) pose with the honorees.

“I hope there will be a day when there will be an equal number of portraits of women and men in the room,” said Anna Greka, MD, PhD, of the Division of Renal Medicine, as she gazed at the paintings hanging in Bornstein Amphitheater during her presentation at the BWH Women in Medicine and Science Symposium on Sept. 29. “For now, there is a great need for this kind of forum, where women are recognized for their contributions to moving science and medicine forward.”

Greka was one of six distinguished female clinicians and scientists recognized for their achievements in basic, translational and clinical research. A keynote given by Terrie Inder, MD, MBChB, chair of the BWH Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and the first female chair of a BWH department, focused on the importance of teamwork and how it has contributed to her research in neonatal neurology. Following the keynote, the honorees were each introduced by their mentors, senior BWH faculty. Presentations by honorees represented a breadth of disciplines from endocrinology to cardiovascular diseases.

Greka shared her work on seeking treatments for kidney diseases, while Bin Lu, PhD, of BWH’s Department of Neurology, explained innovative imaging tools to help assess brain inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Talks also focused on the impact of diabetes in heart transplantation, standardized clinical assessments of heart failure patient discharges, zebrafish models of myeloma—cancer of the plasma cells—and genes associated with uterine fibroids.

The symposium closed by recognizing Cynthia Morton, PhD, director of Cytogenetics in the Department of Pathology, as a recipient of the 2014 Harvard Medical School Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women. Morton, who was unable to attend the event, provided recorded remarks praising the achievements of BWH’s female faculty and trainees and emphasizing the importance of mentorship in career advancement.

“Our BWH women scientists and clinicians are part of an exemplary group of individuals who reflect the diversity and collaborative spirit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,” said Kathryn Rexrode, MD, MPH, faculty director of the Office for Women’s Careers, part of the Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (CFDD). “We celebrate the energy and commitment that our colleagues bring with them to work each day.”

The event was sponsored by the Office for Women’s Careers and Office for Research Careers, also part of the CFDD; Brigham Research Institute; Center for Clinical Investigation; and the Connors Center for Women’s Health & Gender Biology.