Five Female Chemists Win TWAS Awards

Five chemists from Indonesia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Uzbekistan and Yemen have won at the second Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.

AsianScientist (Feb. 18, 2014) – Five female chemists from the developing world have received US$5,000 prizes at a ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, United States.

The winners of the second Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World come from Indonesia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Uzbekistan and Yemen, according to TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), which co-awards the prizes.

TWAS focuses on sustainable prosperity in the developing world and has more than 1,100 elected fellows from 90 countries — 15 of them are Nobel laureates. It also relaunched its website this week with the aim of making it easier to access information about the organization, its research grants and policy work.

“Women need science, science needs women and they need to work together,” the winner from Indonesia, Ritmaleni from the Gadjah Mada University, said in a press release.

Ritmaleni is being honored for her work on using organic synthesis to develop tropical medicines. This year’s awards focus on research into the medicinal properties of natural compounds.

The other winners are: Eqbal Mohammed Abdu Dauqan from the Al-Saeed University, Yemen; Taiwo Olayemi Elufioye from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Nilufar Mamadalieva from the Institute of the Chemistry of Plant Substances, Uzbekistan; and Simone Ann Marie Badal McCreath from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

The awards aim to recognize and encourage scientific research carried out by women in the least scientifically advanced developing countries.

“These awards could bring them exciting new opportunities for research,” said TWAS executive director Romain Murenzi in a press release.

“We also believe that, over time, these researchers also will fulfill their potential as teachers and mentors, as partners in international projects and as advisors to governments. Such leadership can make a long-lasting contribution to global science.”

The winners stressed the awards’ importance to building their confidence and encouraging female scientists.

“Such an award is also vital [for] increasing awareness and consequently interest among the private sector and governmental communities, and will encourage the development of an anti-cancer research facility of excellence in Jamaica and, by extension, in the Caribbean,” said McCreath, who won for her work on the cancer-fighting properties of Jamaican natural compounds.

The prizes, launched in 2012, are jointly awarded by TWAS, the Elsevier Foundation and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World.

Last year’s winners, from Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru and Yemen, worked in the life sciences. After this year’s focus on chemistry, the 2015 prize will be for physics and mathematics.


Source: SciDev.Net; Photo: TWAS.
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