2015 For Women in Science International Rising Talents

Dedicated to both honoring distinguished women scientists as well as supporting promising young women researchers throughout their careers, the L’Oréal-UNESCO programme has established the International Rising Talent Grants, awarded annually to 15 PhD students and post-doctoratal Fellows.

Chosen from among the winners of the 236 fellowships awarded locally by L’Oréal subsidiaries and UNESCO around the world, these young researchers are indeed the future of science.

International Rising Talents are chosen from countries in each world region, Africa & Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.  This year’s International Rising Talents are already making significant contributions in disciplines as varied as ecology and sustainable development, physics, pharmacology, epidemiology, medical research, neuroscience and evolutionary biology.

  • Press release on nominations (pdf)

2015 International Rising Talents

Africa and the Arab States

Doctor Nourtan Abdeltawab - Immunogenetics of Infectious Diseases
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo,

For her project on the pharmacogenetics of Hepatitis C virus new triple therapy in Egypt: Study of the effects of host genetics on the outcomes of the new triple therapy of Hepatitis C virus in the Egyptian population.

Doctor Sanaa Sharafeddine - Computer and Communications Engineering
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Lebanese American University, Beirut,
For her project towards optimized smart grid network design and operation in developing countries.

Ms Adriana Marais - Physics, Quantum Biology
Doctoral student, Quantum Research Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban,
For her project on the quantum origins of life: A description of the emergence of life from the inanimate matter.

Asia / Pacific

Doctor Kathryn Holt - Pathogen Genomic Epidemiology
Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne,
For her project on tackling an emerging drug resistant superbug.

Doctor Chan Yoke-Fun - Molecular virology
Senior lecturer, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur,
For her project on the development of novel therapeutic peptides targeting host autophagy machinery against enterovirus A71 infection.

Doctor Tran Ha Lien Phuong - Pharmaceutical sciences, Cancer
Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering Department, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City,
For her project on the development of fucoidan-based polymeric micelles for cancer treatment and diagnostic.


Doctor Signe Normand - Plant Ecology, Macroecology, Biogeography
Assistant Professor, Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University,
For her project on tundra change at the dawn of drone ecology.

Doctor Aurore Avarguès-Weber - Cognitive Neurosciences
Postdoctoral fellow , Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition Animale, CNRS, Université Toulouse 3,
For her project on cracking the neurobiological mechanisms of visual cognition in a miniature brain.

Doctor Eva M. Pellicer - Materials Science, Nanotechnology
'Ramon y Cajal' Researcher , Physics Department , Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,
For her project on advanced nanoporous materials for high efficient hydrogen production.

Latin America

Doctor Carolina Andrade - Medicinal Chemistry
Laboratory for Molecular Modeling and Drug Design, Universidade Federal de Goias,
For her project on multi-target drug discovery for Leishmaniasis using integrated strategies in Medicinal Chemistry.

Doctor Ariela Vergara Jaque - Computational Structural Biology
Postdoctoral research fellow, Center for Bioinformatics and Molecular Simulations Universidad de Talca,
For her project on the exploration of the structural basis of membrane transporter mechanisms through computational methods: one step closer to understanding neuropathological conditions.

Doctor Matilde Jimenez Coello - Infectious Diseases
Lecturer/researcher, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi” de la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán,
For her project on the expression and validation of potential cardiac biomarkers in an animal model infected with Trypano

North America

Doctor Vanessa D’Costa - Immunogenetics of Infectious Diseases
Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, University of Toronto,
For her project on Salmonella Typhimurium Pathogenesis: Characterization of the Role of a Bacterial Effector in the Evasion of Host Innate Immunity.


Doctor Mary Stoddard - Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Ornithology
Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, The Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge
For her project on Avian Eggshell Engineering: Evolutionary Innovations in Color and Structure.

Doctor Bhama Ramkhelawon - Medicine (diabetes and obesity)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Langone Medical Center, Leon H Charney Division of Cardiology, Marc and Ruti Bell Program in Vascular Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York
For her project on of Hypoxia sustains low-grade inflammation by inducing Netrin-1 expression in adipose tissue resident macrophages in obesity.

Back to top