Focus |

Women in Science

Despite marked advances towards gender equality and women empowerment especially during the last century, progress has been slow and disparities persist around the world. Unfortunately, science is not immune to such inequalities, with women representing only a third of researchers globally and often facing gender-based discrimination and a lack of equal opportunities. With this collection of Turning Point articles we celebrate women researchers by providing a snapshot of the research world through their eyes. In their essays our authors recount some of their personal stories, and share the challenges and successes that marked their careers in research. 


  • Nature Cell Biology | Editorial

    Open discourse to identify challenges and devise solutions is essential to abolish gender inequalities globally and in science. In our ‘Focus on Women in Science’, we celebrate the achievements and consider the concerns of women researchers from around the world, who share some of the turning points of their scientific careers.

Nature Cell Biology Turning Points

  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Asifa Akhtar is Director at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics. Her lab focuses on chromatin and epigenetic regulation. A member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, she received the European Life Science Organization award in 2008 and the Wilhelm Feldberg Prize in 2017.

    • Asifa Akhtar
  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Sandrine Etienne-Manneville investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying cell migration in health and disease. She is Head of the Cell Polarity, Migration and Cancer laboratory, Director of the CNRS UMR3691 unit at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, a professor of cell biology and a mother of four.

    • Sandrine Etienne-Manneville
  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Maho Hamasaki is an associate professor at Osaka University, Japan. Maho’s laboratory focuses on investigating the mechanistic underpinnings of autophagy and the role of the autophagic process in disease.

    • Maho Hamasaki
  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Nancy Y. Ip is Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, the Morningside Professor of Life Science, and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China. Her career in the field of neuroscience spans over three decades.

    • Nancy Y. Ip
  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Professor Kum Kum Khanna heads the Signal Transduction Laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. She studies the role of the DNA damage response in tissue homeostasis and disease, including how to exploit its dysregulation in breast cancer to develop targeted therapeutic approaches.

    • Kum Kum Khanna
  • Nature Cell Biology | Turning Points

    Melissa Little is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Cell Biology Theme Director at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. She also leads Stem Cells Australia, University of Melbourne. She studies kidney morphogenesis and regeneration using pluripotent stem cells.

    • Melissa Little