The L’Oréal group, the World’s leader in beauty products, has announced today the three winners of the 2020 edition of its African Hair & Skin Research Grant. The winners, from Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Burkina Faso were chosen by a panel of seven African and international scientific jury. They will be awarded financial and mentorship support for their one-year research projects.
Established in 2013, L’Oréal’s African Hair & Skin Research Grant aims at promoting African scientific excellence, through encouraging clinical and basic research, conducted by scientists from the Continent, on African skin and hair – a field that remains largely unexplored. In its 7 years of existence, the grant scheme has received over 40 research proposal submissions from 17 Sub-Saharan African countries.
In October 2020, at a virtual award ceremony, L’Oréal granted three research grants to three African scientists for the value of their research work on the physiology of African skin and hair. These are:
Dr Yao Isidore KOUASSI, Universite Felix Houphouet Boigny, Ivory Coast for the project on Assessing Adult Acne Risk Factors in Tropical Africa
Pr Pascal NIAMBA, University Joseph Ki-Zerbo Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso for the project on Study of the genetic polymorphism of transforming growth factor receptors (TGF-βRI, TGF-βRII) and susceptibility to keloid scars in Burkina Faso
Pr Rabenja RAPELANORO, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar for the project on Evaluation of the role of filaggrin mutation as a predictive factor of atopic dermatitis in Malagasy patients
The winners were selected from a shortlist of 23 applications, based on their scientific value, quality and originality of their research project. Last year, 3 scientists from Kenya, Senegal and Nigeria, focusing on pollution, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and traction alopecia, respectively, were each awarded a research grant at a prestigious ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal.
In parallel to the Grant’s 2020 Edition, L’Oréal has also unveiled AfricaDerm.com earlier this year, the first dermatological website dedicated to African skin and hair concerns. The website aims at providing a centralised channel for the exchange of scientific information for all hair and skin experts in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As such, the website features a directory of African hair & skin experts in Africa, national dermatologist’s societies in the continent, and free education materials for patients. It will be constantly updated with congress information, grant announcements and public outreach programs happening in the continent.
Dr. Michele Verschoore, Medical Director, L’Oréal Research & Innovation, France, commented: “For more than three decades, L’Oréal has built scientific programs for increasing knowledge on African Hair & Skin. Our collaboration with the medical and scientific communities across Africa have allowed for over 50 scientific publications. The data generated by these African scientists serves the African community, raising awareness and providing guidelines for Hair & Skin care”.