Young Women In Bio (YWIB) Launches Fourth Annual Spring Into STEM Festival – Virtual Keynote Event Features Women Biotech Leaders in Gene Therapy

April 1, 2021 10:00 AM EDT

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Virtual events to be held across the United States and Canada – Applications Open for 2021 YWIB Ambassador Program

Sea Island, GA, April 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Young Women In Bio (YWIB) is proud to announce the launch of the 2021 Spring Into STEM Festival, giving young girls a chance to explore educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). From the first day of April through early June, YWIB and its participating chapters invite girls from elementary school through college to a series of live online webinars and virtual panel discussions. 

Spring Into STEM's National Keynote Event, "On the Biotech Frontier: Women Pioneers in Gene Therapy," will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, featuring an esteemed panel of female leaders and pioneers in the cutting-edge field of gene therapy:

During this event, young women will hear the exciting story of Bayer's acquisition of gene therapy company, AskBio, and how these three incredible women leaders made what is viewed as one of the top 10 deals in the biotech industry in 2020 happen. Participants will also learn why Sheila Mikhail and Kathy High became founders of two of the world's most successful gene therapy companies. Marianne De Backer will touch on why she invests in gene and cell therapies at Bayer and what the future holds in these fields. Beth Buccini, co-founder of DDX3X Foundation, a non-profit looking to gene therapy as a possible treatment for children, primarily girls, with DDX3X Syndrome, will moderate the discussion.

Below are the free events organized by our 14 chapters that will take place as part of this year's Spring Into STEM festival. They are open to girls from elementary school through college. To register for any of Young Women In Bio's events and for more information, visit: 



  • May 13 – YWIB-Philadelphia – Building a Resume When You Have "Limited" Experience
  • May 14 – YWIB-San Francisco Bay Area – MyoKardia/BMS Career Panel
  • May 12 – YWIB-Southern California – Bio-Influencers: Discover STEM Workshop Series
  • May 19 – YWIB-Texas – Collaboration with Texas State University First Generation Scientists
  • YWIB-Philadelphia – Virtual Science Experiments for Elementary School Kids
  • WIB-Metro New York– Virtual Lab & Equipment Tour Alexandria LaunchLabs
  • YWIB-Metro New York – Career Panel with Alexandria LaunchLabs: Where Can Interest in Science, Math and Biology Lead? Anywhere
  • YWIB-Metro New York– Cleaning up NY's Water: Careers in Marine Environmental Projection
  • YWIB-Metro New York – Fireside Chat with Jill Taylor, Ph.D., scientific advisor Association of Public Health Labs and former director of NYS' Wadsworth Center
  • YWIB-Metro New York – Weill Cornell Medicine Mentorship Program
  • YWIB-Pittsburgh – Diversity in STEM - Navigating the Path Less Traveled - Panel Discussion with the First HBCU Cheney University Staff & Associates
  • YWIB-Capital Region – Spotlight: Ask a Bacteriologist (Interview with Dr. Monique van Hoek)
  • YWIB-Capital Region – Cancer Educational Module
  • YWIB-Capital Region – Spring Into STEM Career Panel
  • YWIB-Greater Boston - Mental Health Awareness Month at Karuna Therapeutics 

Over the last year, YWIB has launched four national outreach programs. Two of these programs, YWIB Online and YWIB Showcase, feature free STEM video content on YWIB's YouTube channel. The third program, YWIB Teachers, features a video curriculum, helping teachers bring STEM to their classrooms. The fourth program, YWIB Ambassadors, is a selective program for high school girls who want to make a difference through their interest in STEM.

These efforts have allowed YWIB to reach a broader audience and integrate exciting new offerings, including the availability of its events in a digital format for on-demand streaming.  YWIB also expanded geographically to Connecticut, launching its first YWIB chapter focused on bringing STEM to girls in Connecticut in February 2021. This year's Spring Into STEM Festival builds upon this growth. 

"While it has been a challenging year for all, I'm proud of how YWIB volunteers have worked together, expanding our outreach from chapter-specific, regional events to launching the first four of our national programs focused on engaging both girls and teachers in STEM," said Lily Wound, National Chair of YWIB. "Our national outreach programs get young women excited about seeing a future for themselves in STEM and bring our efforts in STEM to underserved communities," she added. 

Alongside Spring Into STEM, applications for the 2021-2022 YWIB Ambassador Program are now open among YWIB's 14 chapters across the United States and in Canada. YWIB invites high school students who identify as female to apply to become a YWIB Ambassador. A YWIB Ambassador is a female student leader with a passion for STEM who demonstrates leadership among her peers and encourages others in their quests to make a difference by promoting STEM within her school, local community, and online. Please visit for more information. 



Young Women In Bio (YWIB) gives girls today the inspiration and support they need to become tomorrow's leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math. We strive to provide education and mentoring, as well as share our passion for scientific fields. Through 14 chapters across the United States and Canada, YWIB partners with leading companies, universities, hospitals, and other organizations to host highly engaging, educational, and motivational programs for young girls interested in STEM. To learn more, visit:



Founded in 2002 to support all women employed in the field of life sciences from the classroom to the boardroom, Women In Bio (WIB) is a multifaceted organization with 14 chapters in North America. It offers an array of professional educational programs, peer to peer learning, mentoring and networking opportunities and is the only organization for women that integrates all career levels and life sciences fields. WIB is funded by sponsors and partners dedicated to supporting women of all ages in their lifelong journey in the life sciences and beyond. Please visit


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