The TOPX Females to Follow awards are an initiative of TOPX Network and Hyphen Projects. The aim of this award is to give promising female talents visibility, honour outstanding women in Life Sciences & Health,  celebrate the accomplishments of them, and, by doing so, inspire the next generation to follow their footsteps.


In total, 30 amazing females professionals are nominated for the TOPX Females to Follow Awards - Rising Stars, in the three different categories: Science, Industry and Entrepreneurship. On 18 January 2024 at the first day of TOPX Summit, the winners from each category were announced.

The Rising Star in Entrepreneurship: Mira Gleisberg | CEO & Co-Founder, RespiQ

The Rising Star in Science: Sophie Bots | Assistant Professor, Utrecht University

The Rising Star in Industry: Cristina Martinez Munoz | Sr. Director & Head of Cell Therapy Manufacturing, Kite

Once again, we would like to congratulate the winners of Females to Follow Awards 2024 for their achievements!

Rising Stars in Entrepreneurship Finalists

Beatrix Förster
CEO & Founder, Doderm GmbH

Mira Gleisberg

Mira Gleisberg
CEO & Co-Founder, RespiQ

Daniëlle Raalte

Kinga Matula
CEO & Co-Founder, QurieGen

Varsha Thakoersing
CEO & Co-Founder, IMcoMET

Dan Jing Wu
CEO & Co-Founder, VivArt-X

Cinzia Silvestri
CEO & Founder, Bi/Ond

Aisling Foley
Co-Founder, ExCulture

Eva van Rikxvoort
CEO & Founder, Thirona

Hanne Callewaert
CEO & Co-Founder, AstriVax

Sonja Blaauw
CEO, H42

Rising Stars in Industry


Anne Vroon
Vice President, Business Development, Genmab

Natalie de Jonge
Regulatory Affairs Manager, Agomab Therapeutics

Liesbeth Ceelen
CEO & Board Member, BioLizard

Gemma Moiset
Senior Group Leader of Advanced Modalities, Charles River Laboratories

Janneke Ouwerkerk
Division Manager Health & Microbiology, NIZO

Berenice Wulbrecht
Vice President of Solution Enablement, Ontoforce

Claudine van der Sande
VP & Head of CHI Program, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Addy van Dijk
Sr Director CMC Management, Pharming

Satwinder Singh
Director Research, Mendus AB

Cristina Martinez Munoz 
Sr. Director & Head of Cell Therapy Manufacturing, Kite

Rising Stars in Science


Sophie Bots
Assistant Professor, Utrecht University

Marina Trombetta-Lima
Assistant Professor, University of Groningen

Joleen Masschelein
Assistant Professor, VIB-KU Leuven

Anke Lenferink
Assistant Professor, University of Twente

Anke Vandekeere
PhD Student, VIB-KU Leuven

Rochelle Niemeijer
CSO, Nostics

Monique van der Wijst
Assistant Professor, UMCG

Hannah Dugdale
Chair of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Groningen

Susann Ludwig
Team Leader, Wageningen University & Research

Elise Hoek - van den Hil
Food Safety Scientist, Wageningen University & Research

The Awards

For each of these categories, we will select 10 rising stars. In total, 30 rising stars will be selected who will be entitled to benefit from:

  • Exposure on social media and our website
  • Free TOPX Light Membership for 1 year

Among these 30 rising stars, 1 winner will be selected for each category. The 3 final names will win the Females to Follow Award 2024, which is comprised of:

females to follow awards sponsors

InTouch Female Leadership & Career Academy

By Francisca Dias

Successful Speaker NOW

Vera Gelissen Coaching

Rising Star in Industry Award Sponsor

Rising Star in Science Award Sponsor

Rising Star in Entrepreneurship Award Sponsor

All Rising Stars Award Sponsor

TOPX Inclusive-3

This year, TOPX Network also launched the TOPX Inclusive-3 to honour leaders in Life Sciences (male or female) who work relentlessly to make their own organization and/or the sector more diverse and inclusive. On the first day of TOPX Summit 2024, the Inclusive-3 took the stage to share their insights and lessons learned on how to close the gap in life sciences & health.

The TOPX Inclusive-3 of 2024:

With the TOPX Inclusive-3, we aim to give a stage to people and initiatives that close the gap and improve the inclusivity & diversity in Health & Life Sciences. And by doing so, to inspire more professionals to follow in their footsteps on this path to equality.

For more information about the TOPX Females to Follow Awards and TOPX Network, contact us via

To me the TOPX Females to Follow Award is a great symbol of recognition and rewarding. The TOPX platform is a very inspiring environment for young female scientist and empowers women to stimulate them to do what energizes you and makes you happy. Dare to be bold!

           By Jitske Jansen, Assistant Professor, Radboudumc
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