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News THE 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE AWARDS

Paris, March 8th 2017 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the L’Oréal Foundation announces the 19th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards that will take place on March 23rd 2017. This ceremony will honour 5 exceptional women scientists and their world-changing discoveries in the physical sciences. 15 promising young researchers will also be celebrated. Following in the footsteps of Marie Curie, born 150 years ago, these women scientists are each contributing in their own way to change the world for the better.


THE 2017 LAUREATES: WOMEN AT THE CUTTING-EDGE


The 2017 Edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards celebrates the excellence, the creativity and the intelligence of 5 eminent women scientists. The 5 Laureates will receive an Award of 100,000 € each on March 23rd at La Maison de la Mutualité in Paris to commend their scientific contributions in the fields of quantum physics, physical science and astrophysics.


Because promoting women in science requires raising public awareness, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO organize a week of public speaking training sessions, as well as an international communication campaign that will launch on March 15th 2017 in the Paris and Dubai airports, where travellers will discover unique exhibitions of the 5 Laureates, in partnership with JCDecaux and Aéroports de Paris.

Because science is universal, it is essential to mobilize an international audience. That is why, for the first time, this year, the ceremony will be transmitted live for international viewers to follow along on the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science, ELLE & UNESCO social networks. Beginning on March 26th 2017, an exclusive documentary series – “The women researchers of the future” – will be broadcasted every Sunday evening on France 24.


AFRICA AND THE ARAB STATES

Professor Niveen M. KHASHAB

Associate Professor of Chemical Sciences at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, SAUDI ARABIA

For designing novel nanoparticles that could improve early detection of disease.

Her work in analytical chemistry could lead to more targeted and personalized medical treatment.


ASIA PACIFIC

Professor Michelle SIMMONS

Director, Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

For pioneering ultra-fast quantum computers.

Her work on atomic-scale transistors could give birth to tomorrow’s computers.


EUROPE

Professor Nicola A. SPALDIN

Head of the Materials Theory Group at the Swiss Federal Technical University in Zurich, SWITZERLAND

For reinventing magnetic materials for next-generation electronic

devices.

Her research on multiferroic materials could lead to a new generation of electronic equipment components.


LATIN AMERICA

Professor Maria Teresa RUIZ

Professor at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Chile, CHILE

For discovering a new type of celestial body, halfway between a star and a planet, hidden in the darkness of the universe.

Her observations on brown dwarfs could answer the universal question of whether there is life on other planets.


NORTH AMERICA

Professor Zhenan BAO

Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, UNITED STATES

For inventing skin-inspired electronic materials.

Her research on flexible, stretchable and conductive materials could improve the quality of life of patients with prostheses.


THE 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE AWARDS:


Since 1998, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have been committed to women in science, to increase the number of women working in scientific research. 150 years after Marie Curie’s birth, still only 28%* of researchers and only 3% of Scientific Nobel Prizes are awarded to them. That is why, for the past 19 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to honour and accompany women researchers at key moments in their careers. Since the programme began, it has supported more than 2,700 young women from 115 countries and celebrated 97 Laureates, at the peak of their careers, including professors Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Ada Yonath, who went on to win a Nobel Prize.


THE INTERNATIONAL RISING TALENTS


The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme also supports more than 260 young women scientists in 2016 who are the “scientists of tomorrow” by accompanying them at a key moment in their careers, during their PhD thesis or post-doctoral studies. A L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship is awarded to these researchers at national and regional ceremonies that take place in more than 45 different countries.


Each year, among the national and regional fellows, the fifteen most promising young researchers are also honoured as “International Rising Talents”. For the first time, these researchers will be recognized at a Gala dinner on March 21st, to celebrate their work in the following 5 categories:


WATCHING THE BRAIN AT WORK

- Doctor Lorina Naci, CANADA.

In a coma: is the patient conscious or unconscious?

- Associate Professor Muireann Irish, AUSTRALIA.

Recognizing Alzheimer’s before the first signs of the disease appear.


ON THE ROAD TO IMAGINING NEW MEDICAL TREATMENTS

- Doctor Stephanie Fanucchi, SOUTH AFRICA.

Better understanding the immune system.

- Doctor Hyun Lee, GERMANY.

Neurodegenerative diseases: untangling aggregated proteins.

- Doctor Nam-Kyung Yu, KOREA.

Rett syndrome: neuronal cells come under fire.

- Doctor Julia Etulain, ARGENTINA.

Better tissue healing.


FINDING POTENTIAL NEW SOURCES OF DRUGS

- Doctor Rym Ben Sallem, TUNISIA.

New antibiotics are right under our feet.

- Doctor Hab Joanna Sulkowska, POLAND.

Unraveling the secrets of entangled proteins.


GETTING TO THE HEART OF MATTER

- Nazek El-Atab, UAE.

Miniaturizing electronics without losing memory.

- Doctor Bilge Demirkoz, TURKEY.

Piercing the secrets of cosmic radiation.

- Doctor Tamara Elzein, LEBANON.

Trapping radioactivity.

- Doctor Ran Long, CHINA.

Unlocking the potential of energy resources with nanochemistry.


EXAMINING THE PAST TO SHED LIGHT ON THE FUTURE – OR VICE VERSA

- Doctor Fernanda Werneck, BRAZIL.

Predicting how animal biodiversity will evolve.

- Doctor Sam Giles, UNITED KINGDOM.

Taking another look at the evolution of vertebrates thanks to their braincases.

- Doctor Ágnes Kóspál, HUNGARY.

Looking at the birth of distant suns and planets to better understand the solar system’s.


*UNESCO Science Report Toward 2030, 2015

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