The Society of General Physiologists have announced a new Sharona Gordon Award to recognize outstanding leaders who make a difference in the scientific community.

The Sharona Gordon Award will be given annually to recognize and honor an individual who has shown extraordinary commitment to promoting equity and inclusivity in the physiology and biophysics community.

The recipient of the 2020 Sharona Gordon Award is Professor Karen G. Fleming from Johns Hopkins University. Professor Fleming is an eminent scientist in the study of membrane protein biophysics and has long been a leader in this field. She has published over 75 papers in peer-reviewed journals, served on review panels for the NIH and the NSF, been elected to leadership positions in scientific societies, and received numerous awards recognizing her scientific contributions.

In addition to her numerous scientific accomplishments, Professor Fleming has been a leader in identifying and communicating the problems that affect scientific environments, e.g. unintended bias, that inevitably lead to lack of diversity in science. Through her writings, she teaches how changing both culture, climate, and practice are essential to providing an environment where people can come to work every day and feel included. At Johns Hopkins, she started the “Women of Hopkins” initiative to bring awareness to the female trailblazers who have contributed to the institution over the years. In addition, she co-chairs the “Women Faculty Forum” at Hopkins, which works to advocate for equitable practices within the University. In 2019, Professor Fleming received the Provost’s Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity in recognition of these key contributions. Her efforts in this area are not limited to her own institution. She travels the world to give seminars and lead panel discussions about how individuals can reshape the pipeline for Women in Science, and she participates on numerous committees to increase diversity in science, including the Biophysical Society Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women.