On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO reveal the winners of the 22nd International For Women in Science Awards, which honours five exceptional women scientists from diverse regions of the world. They are awarded for the excellence of their work in the field of Life Sciences.
They will each receive €100,000 and will be recognised alongside 15 talented young women scientists from across the world, at a Ceremony on 12th March 2020 at UNESCO House in Paris.
FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE: A COMMITMENT SINCE 1998
Convinced that the world needs science, and science needs women, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are actively supporting women in science, in order to give them more visibility, raise awareness of their talent and inspire more women to enter science.
Since the creation of the For Women in Science programme in 1998, we have honoured and supported 112 laureates and more than 3,300 talented young women scientists, including doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers, in more than 118 countries.
Globally, women continue to represent only 29% of researchers. They are more numerous in certain disciplines, however, the glass ceiling remains a reality within research as a whole. Men therefore occupy 89% of senior academic posts in Europe, and only 3% of Nobel Prizes for Science have ever been awarded to women.
REVOLUTIONARY DISCOVERIES IN LIFE SCIENCES
Steadfast in their commitment, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO celebrate the scientific excellence of 5 outstanding women researchers each year from diverse regions of the world. And this year, the International L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards will recognise women scientists in the field of Life Sciences: biotechnology, ecology, epigenetics, epidemiology and infectiology.
The 2020 For Women in Science laureates are:
Africa and the Arab States
Professor Abla Mehio Sibai – Medicine and Health sciences, Professor of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, for her pioneering research and advocacy to improve healthy ageing in low- and middle-income countries and their impact on health and social policy programmes.
Doctor Firdausi Qadri – Biological sciences, Senior Scientist, Head Mucosal Immunology and Vaccinology Unit, Infectious Diseases Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, for her outstanding work to understand and prevent infectious diseases affecting children in developing countries, and promote early diagnosis and vaccination with global health impact.
Professor Edith Heard – Biological sciences, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Chair of Epigenetics and Cellular Memory at the Collège de France, Paris, France, and former Director of the Genetics and Developmental Biology Unit at the Institut Curie, Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), for her fundamental discoveries concerning the mechanisms governing epigenetic processes, which allow mammals to regulate proper gene expression and are essential for life.
Professor Esperanza Martínez-Romero – Ecology and Environmental sciences, Professor of Environmental Science at the Genomic Science Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, for her pioneering work on the use of environmentally friendly bacteria to support plant growth for increased agricultural productivity and reduced use of chemical fertilizers.
Professor Kristi Anseth – Biological sciences, Distinguished Professor, Tisone Professor and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado, Boulder, United States of America, for her outstanding contribution in converging engineering and biology to develop innovative biomaterials that help tissue regeneration and drug delivery.
The 15 Rising Talents are:
Africa and the Arab States
Dr Laura-Joy Boulos – Neuroscience
Levant, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon
Dr Nowsheen Goonoo – Biomedicine
Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Mauritius
Dr Nouf Mahmoud – Health Sciences
Levant, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan
Georgina Nyawo – Molecular Biology, Medical Microbiology
Sub-Saharan Africa, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Dr Rui Bai – Biological sciences
China, Westlake University
Dr Huanqian Loh – Physics
Singapore, National University of Singapore
Dr Mikyung Shin – Biomaterials
Republic of Korea, Sungkyunkwan University
Dr Paula Giraldo Gallo – Physics
Colombia, University of the Andes
Dr Patrícia Medeiros – Biological sciences
Brazil, Federal University of Alagoas
Dr Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert – Earth Science /Environmental Science
United States of America, Arizona State University
Dr Vida Engmann – Material Engineering
Denmark, University of Southern Denmark
Dr Serap Erkek – Molecular biology / Epigenetics
Young Talents Awards – Turkey, Cancer Epigenomics Laboratory, Biomedicine and Genome Center
Dr Jennifer Garden – Chemistry
Young Talents Awards – United Kingdom, University of Edinburgh
Dr Cristina Romera Castillo – Marine sciences
Young Talents Awards – Spain, Institute of Sea Sciences
Dr Olena Vaneeva – Mathematics
Young Talents Awards – Ukraine, Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine
For Women in Science: A commitment since 1998
Convinced that the world needs science, and that science needs women, UNESCO and L’Oréal Foundation actively support women in science, in order to increase their visibility, raise awareness of their talent and inspire more of them to work in science.
Every year since its creation in 1998, the For Women in Science programme has honoured and supported five outstanding women researchers from all regions, totalling 112 laureates to date. It has also supported more than 3,300 talented young women scientists, including doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers, in more than 118 countries.
Almost 260 talented young women scientists, doctoral candidates or post-doctoral researchers, are supported each year through the national and regional For Women in Science programmes. The 15 most promising researchers of this group, listed above, will be honoured in a ceremony at the French Academy of Sciences on 10 March.
Globally, women continue to represent only 29% of researchers.  Although they are more numerous in certain disciplines, the glass ceiling remains a reality within research as a whole. Men therefore occupy 89% of senior academic posts in Europe,  and only 3% of Nobel Prizes for Science have ever been awarded to women.