2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award Winners Announced

For their outstanding contributions to their fields of research, these four women scientists from Asia received 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards.

AsianScientist (Mar. 13, 2018) – Four women scientists in Asia have been recognized for scientific excellence under the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program.

Women continue to be under-represented in public and professional life, particularly in science, where the “glass ceiling” is still a reality. Today, only 28 percent of scientists are women and only 3 percent of Nobel Prizes for Science have been awarded to women since the awards began in 1901.

To promote gender equality in science, UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation have, for the past 20 years, shone a spotlight on the research endeavors and achievements of women scientists, raising their profile in the international scientific community. It has honored 102 laureates to date, with three of these laureates going on to receive Nobel Prizes for Science.

Professor Chang Mee-Mann of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in China joins the ranks of L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureates for her pioneering work on fossil records leading to insights on how aquatic vertebrates adapted to life on land. Her research over the past 50 years has contributed significantly to our understanding of the evolution of species. The title comes with a prize of €100,000 (~US$120,000).

Meanwhile, three other young scientists from Asia have been recognized as 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Rising Talents. They are among 15 young women scientists selected from 275 national and regional fellows of the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program.

Dr. Ho Weang Kee of the University of Nottingham Malaysia was awarded the title for her research on targeted screening for breast cancer. She analayzes combined genetic data sets from a number of major breast cancer studies conducted in Asian countries to identify candidate common genetic markers that are useful for Asian breast cancer risk prediction.

Dr. Nguyen Hiep of the International University—Vietnam National University was also acknowledged as an International Rising Talent for her work on a 21st century first-aid kit. Her most recent project involves the development of a smart gel that accelerates tissue regeneration and can be used as a carrier for silver and curcumin nanoparticles for specific applications.

Finally, Dr. Yukiko Ogawa of the National Institute of Materials Science, Japan, was honored for creating next-generation structural materials. Her findings have the potential to improve fuel efficiency in vehicles, make electronic devices more portable and open up new possibilities for medical devices.

In addition to an awards ceremony celebrating these outstanding women scientists, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has launched an international communications campaign in seven international airports (Paris, New York, Beijing, London, Dubai, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg) and on the streets of Paris to raise public awareness of their achievements.


Source: L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program.; Photo: L’Oréal Corporate Foundation.
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