The 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards

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24 March 2016


On March 24th 2016, the international scientific community gathered for the 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, celebrating 5 exceptional women scientists and their ground breaking 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: TOWARDS TOMORROW

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 were awarded on March 24th at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris and received 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.

ASIA/PACIFIC
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.

LATIN AMERICA
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.

EUROPE
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.

NORTH AMERICA
Professor Jennifer DOUDNA
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, United States
FOR REINVENTING GENETIC RESEARCH.
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.”

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