During the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO revealed the laureates of the 22nd international awards for women in science.
Convinced that the world needs science and that science needs women, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are committed to promoting women in science. Their aim is to give women scientists greater visibility, to make their talent more widely known, and to inspire women and girls to engage with science. Since 1998, 112 laureates have been rewarded and more than 3,300 talented young women scientists, Ph.D students and post-doctorate graduates have been supported and recognized in 118 countries, thanks to the Women in Science program.
Since 1998, L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO have held the For Women in Science Awards, which recognize five outstanding women scientists from different regions of the world for the excellence of their work in life sciences. Each laureate will receive €100,000. In 2020, the International L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science has gone to researchers whose work is particularly remarkable in the field of life sciences: biotechnology, ecology, epigenetics, epidemiology and infectious diseases.
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 aging in low- and middle-income countries and their impact on health and social policy programs.
Asia-Pacific: 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.
Europe: 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, 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.
Latin America: 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, 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.
North America: 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.
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