AsianScientist (Feb. 12, 2020) – Four women scientists from the Asia Pacific have been honored at the 22nd L’Oréal-UNESCO International Awards For Women in Science (FWIS). The awards acknowledge outstanding women scientists from all over the world for the excellence of their research in a variety of fields from quantum mathematics to materials science and molecular biology.
Globally, women continue to represent only 29 percent of researchers. Although they are more numerous in certain disciplines, the glass ceiling remains a reality within research as a whole. Men therefore occupy 89 percent of senior academic posts in Europe, and only three percent of Nobel Prizes for Science have ever been awarded to women.
Every year since its creation in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has honored five outstanding women researchers from all regions, totalling 112 laureates to date. It has also supported more than 3,300 talented young women scientists, including doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers, in more than 118 countries. Almost 260 talented young women scientists, doctoral candidates or post-doctoral researchers, are supported each year through the national and regional For Women in Science programmes.
This year, Dr. Firdausi Qadri, a senior scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Bangladesh, was announced as a 2020 FWIS Laureate. She was recognized for her outstanding work in understanding and preventing infectious diseases that affect children in developing countries. She is also deeply involved in promoting early diagnosis and vaccination, and her work has had a global health impact.
Meanwhile, three early-career scientists from the Asia Pacific were announced as International Rising Talents. From China, Dr. Bai Rui of Westlake University was highlighted for her research in RNA splicing, a critical biological process that has implications for health and disease.
The second International Rising Talent is physicist Dr. Loh Huanqian, a principal investigator at the National University of Singapore. Loh’s research revolves around the manipulation of molecules at the single-molecule, single-quantum-state level. Her findings could pave the way for quantum computing and quantum information storage.
Last but not least, Dr. Shin Mikyung, a researcher at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea, was recognized for developing biomaterials such as hydrogels that self-heal, arrest bleeding or deliver drugs. Her work may help clinicians better treat patients with wounds or chronic diseases.
The scientists’ achievements will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on March 12, 2020, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France.
Source: L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science.
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