Marking International Women’s Day, five of the world’s women leaders in science each received the $US100,000 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science at a ceremony in Paris.
The five laureates have diverse interests – from light-based cancer therapy to the life of stars. There are no Australian recipients this year.
The 2009 International Laureates are:
- Africa & the Arab States: Pr. Tebello Nyokong, Rhodes University in South Africa, for her work on harnessing light for cancer therapy and for environmental clean-up.
- Asia-Pacific: Pr. Akiko Kobayashi, Nihon University in Japan, for her contribution to the development of molecular conductors and the design and synthesis of a single-component -organic metal.
- North America: Pr. Eugenia Kumacheva, University of Toronto in Canada, for the design and development of new materials with many applications including targeted drug delivery for cancer treatments and materials for high density optical data storage.
- Europe: Pr. Athene M. Donald, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, for her work in unravelling the mysteries of the physics of messy materials, ranging from cement to starch.
- Latin America: Pr. Beatriz Barbuy, University of São Paulo in Brazil, for her work on the life of stars from the birth of the universe to the present time.
In Australia, L’Oréal provides $20,000 fellowships for early-career researchers. Several past winners are available to talk this weekend about their work, and about the importance of young women retaining an interest in science through school, university and life.
The L’Oréal Australia Fellows are:
Big ecology: from tundra to rainforest, desert to savanna: Angela Moles, UNSW
Evolutionary biologist Angela Moles visited 75 ecosystems in her effort to understand the big picture – how and
why plants vary. She and her team are still mining the data but are already making intriguing findings. For example: plant seeds in the tropics are, on average, 300 times bigger than seeds in colder places.
Are nanoparticles safe? Amanda Barnard, CSIRO Vic
Nanotechnology is being used in catalysts, in surface treatments for glass, in cosmetics and in drug delivery. Many more applications are just around the corner. But how will these particles behave in the environment?
Crystallising a career in immunology: Natalie Borg, Monash University
Protein chemist Natalie Borg is analysing protein crystals with synchrotron light, to figure out how our bodies mount
a rapid defence when we are attacked by viruses.
Unravelling the immune system: Erika Cretney, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne
Immunologist Erika Cretney is fascinated by the human immune system. She is investigating T cells that play a role
in controlling inflammation and in auto-immune diseases.
Studying black holes: Ilana Feian, CSIRO NSW
Black holes are some of the most bizarre objects in the universe. They can have as much mass as a billion stars
combined. How did they form and how did they get so big?
Further information visit the website at www.scienceinpublic.com