Laureates of the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Awards

, France

Paris, 2 October 2015 – The L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO today reveal the five exceptional laureates of the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, in the field of Life Sciences. They will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held on 24 March 2016 in Paris.

Nominated by more than 2,600 leading scientists, 2016’s five laureates were then selected by an independent and international jury of 13 prominent scientists in the international scientific community. This year’s President of the Jury is Professor Elizabeth H. Blackburn, 2008 Laureate L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science, 2009 joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the first woman Jury President in the history of the awards.

The jury is therefore pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 edition, five women scientists who will be awarded on 24 March 2016 at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne in Paris. Each laureate will receive a Prize of €100,000 to reward their contribution to science.

On the occasion of this 2016 Edition and for the first time in the prize’s history, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO are proud to award a research duo. Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier, a French researcher based in Germany and Professor Jennifer Doudna, from the U.S., for their collaboration in genome editing technology. This historical first demonstrates how crucial collaboration is for innovation. The growing specialization within scientific disciplines together with the increasing complexity of research motivates scientists to work together, creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts:

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

For Professor Blackburn, “2016’s laureates bring an extraordinary vision and immediate solutions to major human health issues, encompassing HIV, avian flu or dengue fever and have revolutionized genome editing, enabling precise ‘rewriting’ of the DNA genetic code. All their careers are exceptional, their discoveries truly new, and they epitomize top-level research.”


About the L’Oréal Foundation
Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. The convictions, the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s commitment to women everyday. A commitment divided into two main areas - science and beauty.
Through its’ For Women in Science programme, a worldwide partnership with UNESCO, the L’Oréal Foundation motivates girls in High School to pursue scientific careers, supports women researchers and rewards excellence in a field where women remain underrepresented.
Through its beauty programmes, the Foundation assists women affected by illness, who are economically disadvantaged or isolated, to recover their sense of self-esteem and femininity in order to feel better and to fare better. Its’ actions also include providing training programmes for beauty industry professions.

Since its’ creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people. UNESCO assists countries in the development of their public policies and in building their capabilities in the fields of science, technology, innovation and scientific education. In addition, UNESCO leads several intergovernmental programmes for the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, for biodiversity protection and to promote science’s role in combating climate change and natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting gender equality.

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