The women who move science forward: 14th For Women in Science Awards

For the 14th edition of the For Women in Science program, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards were presented to women scientists from across the world. The annual Awards, consecrating scientific excellence and role models, distinguished 5 exceptional

15 Fellowships were granted to promising young women to help them pursue their research in prestigious institutions outside
their home country. A Special Fellowship “…in the footsteps of Marie Curie” was also awarded to a woman at mid-career who has
demonstrated excellence and determination in the pursuit of her career in research.

The five Laureates of the 14th edition of the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO AWARDS FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE received their recompense at a ceremony in Paris on March 29, 2012.  The Laureates, who work across the spectrum of the Life Sciences, were chosen on the basis of their ground-breaking achievements and contributions to scientific progress.

The L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards Laureates were selected by an international jury of 18 eminent members of the scientific community, resided by Pr. Günter Blobel, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1999.  Pr. Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1974, is Founding President of the Awards.

Chosen in recognition of her exceptional achievements, one Award Laureate is named from each of five regions: Africa and Arab
States; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; and North America. The Laureates receive individual awards of US$100,000.  Life
Sciences and Physical Sciences are recognized in alternating years.

The winners are:

Africa/ Arab States : Jilil Farrant
For the elucidation of mechanisms by which plants overcome drought conditions.
(PLANT MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY, Research Chair in Plant Molecular Physiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,
University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Asia-Pacific : Ingrid Scheffer
‘For identifying genes involved in some forms of epilepsy.’

Europe : Frances Ashcroft
‘For advancing our understanding of insulin secretion and of neonatal diabetes.’
‘To make a discovery is extraordinarily exhilarating. If you are lucky enough for that to happen to you, you are hooked for life.’

Latin America : Susana Lopez
‘For her studies on rotaviruses that cause the death of 600,000 children each year.’

North America : Bonnie Bassler
‘For understanding chemical communication between bacteria and opening new doors for treating infections.