International Women’s Day: new scholarship offers research opportunity in San Francisco

By Greg Duck Posted: March 8, 2019 4:35 p.m.

June Krogan, Dr. Nevan Krogan, and Dean of Science Dr. Douglas Farenick award the inaugural Jack and June Krogan Women in Science Scholarship to fourth-year biology student Alexandria Ripplinger at a reception on March 8.
June Krogan, Dr. Nevan Krogan, and Dean of Science Dr. Douglas Farenick award the inaugural Jack and June Krogan Women in Science Scholarship to fourth-year biology student Alexandria Ripplinger at a reception on March 8. Photos: External Relations

A new scholarship has been created to encourage more women to pursue careers in science.

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Fourth-year student Alexandria Ripplinger is the recipient of the first Jack and June Krogan Women in Science scholarship.
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Dr. Nevan Krogan BSc’97, MSc’99 is a professor of cellular molecular pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco.

Dr. Nevan Krogan BSc’97, MSc’99 has created the Jack and June Krogan Women in Science Scholarship to honour his parents. It was their encouragement of Krogan and his three older sisters that allowed them to go after their dreams.

“They always supported us to pursue what we loved and to never be discouraged. This scholarship is my small part to help lead others in the right direction,” said Krogan.

A native of Regina, Krogan attended the U of R from 1993 to 1999, receiving his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and his master’s degree in biology. Since that time, Krogan has obtained a PhD in medical genetics from the University of Toronto, authored more than 200 papers, and started the Krogan Lab at the University of California San Francisco.

As a researcher, molecular biologist, and professor, Krogan is regarded for his research in areas including HIV and cancer. Throughout his accomplished career, Krogan has noticed a lack of female representation in the sciences.

“From my experience, women are some of the best scientists I have encountered. Anything we can do to encourage more gender balance is great for STEM.”

Recipients of the Jack and June Krogan Women in Science Scholarship, named for his mother and late father, receive a $3,000 bursary, as well as a two-month summer research experience at the Krogan Lab in San Francisco – fully paid.

“There is a whole world of opportunities in this field, and I hope this experience exposes some gifted young women scientists to career options that they can one day work to achieve.”

The inaugural recipient of the award is Alexandria Ripplinger, a fourth-year biology student. Her thesis focuses on multiple sclerosis research. Ripplinger was humbled and surprised to hear that she had won the award.

“It was so exciting and completely unexpected! I’ve never won anything like this, and I get to go to San Francisco to complete research. It’s going to be so cool!”

Having the goal to get her master’s degree and one day become a pathologist’s assistant, Ripplinger believes the award will help her career tremendously.

“This opportunity will allow me to see new techniques and to collaborate with other researchers. The increased exposure will help me to find what areas of research are my biggest passions and what I can pursue.”

Knowing that this scholarship will help to encourage other women to find their passion and to pursue it, Ripplinger is ecstatic about the legacy she is able to start as the first recipient of the award.

“I hope that this award will inspire other women to follow their dreams and pursue their careers in science. This award has underscored for me to not get discouraged, keep trying, and seek out all opportunities that you can!”

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Dr. Nevan Krogan was the recipient of a 2012 Alumni Crowning Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement