On 24 March 24 2016, the international scientific community will gather for the 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards (fwis.fr), to celebrate 5 exceptional women scientists and their groundbreaking work, as well as 15 promising young researchers.
In the face of unprecedented global challenges, from climate change to healthcare to sustainable energy, their discoveries are offering new solutions and answering vital questions. They are proving time and time again that women in science have the power to change the world.
THE 2016 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE AWARDS:
Since 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme aims to ensure that research in every field takes full advantage of the intelligence, creativity and passion of one-half of the population of the planet. Over the past 18 years, the program has honoured 92 distinguished Laureates and supported 2,438 greatly talented women for their outstanding accomplishments that contribute to making the world a better place.
Impacting the lives of people around the planet, their discoveries are offering new solutions and answering vital questions. Their ground breaking innovation is advancing entire fields of research and even opening new ones. The Laureates’ work and research is contributing to curing diseases, increasing food supplies, enabling sustainable development, helping ensure the survival of our planet to better understand our universe, adding to our knowledge of the very foundations of life.
This year, 5 brilliant women are recognised from each of the following regions: Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. The 5 Laureates were nominated by more than 2,600 leading scientists and then selected by an independent and international jury of 13 prominent scientists in the global scientific community.
Professor Elizabeth H. Blackburn, 2008 Laureate L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science, 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, is this year President of the jury and the first woman to be at the head of the Jury in the history of the Awards.
THE 2016 LAUREATES: AT THE CUTTING-EDGE
The 2016 Edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards celebrates the tenacity, the creativity and the intelligence of 5 eminent women scientists. The 5 Laureates will be awarded on March 24th at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne in Paris and will receive a Prize of €100,000 each to reward their contribution to science:
AFRICA AND THE ARAB STATES
Professor Quarraisha ABDOOL KARIM
CAPRISA, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
FOR CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF HIV.
36.9 million people live with HIV infection worldwide. Professor Abdool Karim’s research has empowered women to help prevent HIV infection in Africa.
Professor Hualan CHEN
Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin, China
FOR PROTECTING LIVES FROM DEADLY FLU VIRUSES.
Thanks to her research, the world has been protected from pandemics through innovative vaccines.
Professor Andrea GAMARNIK
Molecular Virology Laboratory, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Conicet, Buenos Aires, Argentina
FOR LIMITING THE SPREAD OF DENGUE VIRUS.
Every year, 390 million people suffer from Dengue infection. Professor Gamarnik’s research has the potential to control the spread of the disease.
Professor Emmanuelle CHARPENTIER
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
FOR REINVENTING GENETIC RESEARCH.
There are over 10,000 incurable conditions caused by single genetic defects. The gene editing technology developed by Professor Charpentier has the power to “rewrite” DNA.
Professor Jennifer DOUDNA
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, United States.
There are over 10 000 incurable conditions caused by single genetic defects. The gene editing technology developed by Professor Doudna has the power to rewrite DNA.
For Professor Blackburn, the 2016’s laureates bring an extraordinary vision and immediate solutions to major human health issues, encompassing HIV, avian flu or dengue fever and have revolutionized genome editing, enabling precise ‘rewriting’ of the DNA genetic code. All their careers are exceptional, their discoveries truly new, and they epitomize top-level research.
This year, to raise awareness and bring visibility to women in science who are changing the world, an International campaign will be launched on 16 March 2016.
Among other actions, millions of people on the streets of Paris and travellers passing through the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will discover two unique exhibitions of the 5 Laureates, thanks to exclusive partnerships with JCDecaux and Aéroports de Paris.
Viewers worldwide will also be able to stay up to date on the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards week through short daily video updates on the L’Oréal Foundation’s YouTube channel from 21 to 25 March 2016.