Friday, October 16, 2009

Celebrating Women in Science

From Reuters:
The L'OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership today announced the five exceptional women scientists who will receive the 2010 L'OREAL-UNESCO Awards in the Life Sciences.

This year, the Laureate for North America is Professor Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at The Rockefeller University in New York. She is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Professor Fuchs was selected for her contributions to our knowledge of skin biology and skin stem cells. Her research focuses on how the skin and its hair follicles regenerate and maintain the balance of cell loss and cell replacement. Professor Fuchs was also recently awarded the National Medal of Science for her work.

Along with Professor Fuchs, the other 2010 For Women in Science Laureates recognized for their scientific contributions are:
  • Rashika El Ridi (Africa & the Arab States): Professor at Cairo University in Egypt, for paving the way towards the development of a vaccine against the tropical disease Schistomiasis/Bilharzia.
  • Lourdes J. Cruz (Asia-Pacific): Professor at the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines Diliman in the Philippines, for the discovery of marine snail toxins that can serve as powerful tools to study brain function.
  • Anne Dejean-Assemat (Europe): Professor at the Pasteur Institute in France, for her contributions to our understanding of leukemia and liver cancers.
  • Alejandra Bravo (Latin America): Professor at the Institute of Molecular Microbiology of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for her work on a bacterial toxin that acts as a powerful insecticide.
The 2010 Laureates join an esteemed group of women researchers, including two 2008 L'OREAL-UNESCO Award For Women in Science recipients, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Ada Yonath, who were recently named to receive the Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Chemistry respectively.

A Pioneering Program: Twelve Years of Encouraging Passion and Promoting Excellence:
Since the launch of the partnership in 1998, L'Oreal and UNESCO have been actively supporting the cause of women in science. In the context of economic crisis and the changes within modern society, both partners believe that today, more than ever, the world needs science. At the heart of this commitment, L'Oreal and UNESCO are acting to promote women scientists who are devoting their lives, with courage and passion, to finding solutions to tomorrow's challenges.

In the past 12 years, 62 Laureates, 150 International Fellows, 700 National Fellows have been recognized through the For Women in Science program. The partnership of L'Oreal and UNESCO and the For Women in Science program serve as a benchmark for international scientific excellence, and an invaluable source of motivation, support, and inspiration for all women in the sciences.

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has pursued the mission of promoting science for peace. Today, UNESCO aims to reinforce international cooperation in the basic sciences among its 192 Member States and promotes ethical norms in science. The organization has also been dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. As well as developing educational programs in science particularly designed for girls, UNESCO has established a network of academic chairs creating links between women in science around the world.

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