Vivian Pinn, M.D.
Director, Office of Research on Women’s Health
Associate Director, Research on Women’s Health
National Institutes of Health
Let me welcome each one of you to the opening session of our AXXS conference. By now, all of you are familiar with our acronym, the A–double X chromosome–S, for Achieving Excellence in Science. We are pleased about the work that has been accomplished.
One of the mandates of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health is to increase opportunities for the recruitment, retention, advancement, and reentry of women into biomedical careers. We were delighted when some of the women scientists at NIH asked us to work with them to increase attention to women’s careers through professional societies. It was because of the ideas of people like Sue Shafer (then deputy director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIGMS), Pam Marino (also at NIGMS), and others that this effort became one of our most successful.
The topic of women in biomedical careers is extremely important for the health of the profession, and for science. For the men in the audience, a lot of things that we want to look at in terms of developing the careers of women actually are applicable to the careers of men. But we do want an opportunity to focus specifically on the careers of women.
At our first meeting, AXXS ’99, we mainly focused on basic science professional organizations. So much was accomplished by AXXS ’99—not only the Web site and the report, but also recommendations, which are very valuable for the professional societies.1 Today’s keynote speaker, Carola Eisenberg, has
The Web site can be found at www4.od.nih.gov/axxs/default.htm. Also see Achieving XXcellence in Science: Advancing Women’s Contributions to Science through Professional Societies, NIH Publication No. 00-4777 (Washington, D.C.: National Institutes of Health, 2000).