When Susan C. Frericks began her career in genomics ten years ago, no one took her seriously. “It seemed that no matter how hard I worked or what I discovered, I was never taken seriously because of my gender,” explained Frericks.
When she discovered novel oncogenetic phenotypes in some of the famous “Applebaum genes,” named after the late Frank Applebaum, however, the world took notice. Frericks used genome-wide screens and RNAi silencing to tease out the function of these particular genes in a small freshwater plant, Barnardichthys ootswitdafur.
Since those experiments put her on the map, Frericks has been in high demand. She has received offers of tenure at many prestigious institutions, and she was even recently invited to speak to the Royal Society of London. Said one scientist, “The Royal Society is famously considered to be an old boys’ club, but Susan stole the show. As soon as she started talkin’ ’bout them Applebaum genes in B. ootswitdafur, the whole club was lookin’ at her.”
-JRV ’12 and MG ’12