2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards

This year’s Laureates once again exemplify women’s scientific excellence and their potential for leading the global community in positive, productive directions. These women scientists who are on the cutting edge of science were nominated by over 2,600 leading scientists. An international independent jury of 13 eminent scientists made the final selection. For this year’s award, a new jury was led by former Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, Professor Elizabeth H. Blackburn.

The Jury has recognised the tenacity, the creativity and the intelligence of the 5 eminent women scientists who bring their transformative science to change the world.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards are presented every year to five women, one from each world region (Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America) in recognition of their scientific accomplishments. Each scientist has had a unique career path combining exceptional talent, a deep commitment to her profession and remarkable courage in a field still largely dominated by men.

Laureates

Africa and the Arab States

Professor Quarraisha ABDOOL KARIM
Professor, CAPRISA, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa
Medicine and Health Sciences/Women’s Health

For her remarkable contribution to the prevention and treatment of HIV and associated infections, greatly improving the quality of life of women in Africa. 

Asia / Pacific 

Professor Hualan CHEN
Professor, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin, China
Biological Sciences/Veterinary Sciences

For her outstanding research into the biology of the bird flu virus, leading to the development and use of an effective vaccine.

Europe

Professor Emmanuelle CHARPENTIER
Director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
Biological Sciences/Molecular Biology

For her game-changing discovery, alongside Professor Jennifer Doudna, of a versatile DNA editing technique to “rewrite” flawed genes in people and other living organisms, opening tremendous new possibilities for treating, even curing, diseases.

Latin America

Professor Andrea GAMARNIK
Professor, Molecular Virology Laboratory, Fundación Instituto Leloir, CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Biological Sciences/Virology

For her seminal discoveries on how mosquito-borne viruses reproduce and cause human diseases, particularly Dengue Fever.

North America  

Professor Jennifer DOUDNA
Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, United States of America
Biological Sciences/Molecular Biology

For her game-changing discovery, alongside Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier, of a versatile DNA editing technique to “rewrite” flawed genes in people and other living organisms, opening tremendous new possibilities for treating, even curing, diseases.

When two women scientists join forces

© L'Oréal Foundation
Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology

Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier, 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for Europe and Professor Jennifer Doudna, 2016 L’Oréal- UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for North America, each contributed key insights to the development of a ground breaking new technology that has set the scientific world on fire, reinventing genetic research and making it possible to perform microsurgery on DNA, the genetic material of plants, animals and humans. Working in collaboration, the two researchers discovered an easy way to alter any organism’s DNA. Known as CRISPR-Cas9, this genome editing technique enables scientists to remove and add pieces of genetic material with exquisite precision. It can be used to disable genes, correct genetic disorders or to insert genes to create animal models of human disease.

2016 Awards Jury in Life Sciences

PROF. Elisabeth H. BLACKBURN
President of the Jury L’Oréal-UNESCO
2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Professor Emerita, University of California San Francisco, United States
L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate 2008

PROF. ANA BELÉN ELGOYHEN
Investigator at the Institute for Research on Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), ARGENTINA
L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate 2008

DR. APPOLINAIRE DJIKENG
Director, Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) Hub, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), KENYA

PROF. RAYMOND N. DUBOIS
Dean; College of Medicine, Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, USA

PROF. PHILIP HIETER
Professor of Medical Genetics, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, CANADA

PROF. NANCY Y. IP
Dean of Science, Morningside Professor of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, CHINA
L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate 2004

DR. KANYAWIM KIRTIKARA
Executive Director of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), THAILAND

 

DR. JACQUES LECLAIRE
Scientific Director L’Oréal, Research & Innovation FRANCE

PROF. KHALED MACHACA,
Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Associate Dean for Research, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, QATAR

PROF. MACIEJ NALECZ
Director, Executive Secretary of the International Basic Sciences Programme, UNESCO, FRANCE

PROF. CHRISTINE PETIT MD, PHD
Professor at College de France, Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) Head of Genetics and Physiology of Hearing Laboratory, Inserm UMRS 1120 – UPMC, Institut Pasteur, FRANCE
L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate 2004

PROF. AUGUSTO ROJAS-MARTÍNEZ
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine and Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, MEXICO

PROF. MACIEJ ZYLICZ
Head of the Department of Molecular Biology, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, POLAND

© L'Oréal Foundation
L'Oréal-UNESCO 2016 Awards, International Jury

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