5 Remarkable Women Scientists Receive The 2006 L’Oreal-Unesco Award Group

5 remarkable women scientists receive the 2006 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award

The L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Tribute for UNESCO’s 60th anniversary is awarded to Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, 1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine

5 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science have been presented for Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Paris, March 2nd – Today at UNESCO House in Paris, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal, and Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, presented the 2006 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science to 5 exceptional women:

-Pr Habiba BOUHAMED CHAABOUNI (Tunisia), Laureate for Africa, "For her contribution to the analysis and prevention of hereditary disorders". Medical Genetics, University of Tunis.

-Pr Jennifer GRAVES (Australia), Laureate for Asia/Pacific, "For her study on the evolution of mammalian genomes". Head of Comparative Genomics Research Group and ARC Centre for Kangaroo Genomics, Australian National University, Canberra.

-Pr Christine VAN BROECKHOVEN (Belgium), Laureate for Europe, "For her genetic investigations of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders". Molecular biology and genetics, University of Antwerp, Research Director at the Institute Born-Bunge, Scientific Director of the Department of Molecular Genetics, Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, Flanders.

-Pr Esther OROZCO (Mexico), Laureate for Latin America, "For her discovery of the mechanism and control of infections by amoebae in the tropics". Molecular Pathology, Experimental Pathology Department, Center for Advanced Research (CINVESTAV), National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City.

-Pr Pamela BJORKMAN (USA), Laureate for North America, "For her discovery of how the immune system recognizes targets". Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena.

The Laureates were selected by the international Jury for the 2006 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards in Life Sciences, 15 eminent scientists presided by Professor Gunter Blobel, Nobel Prize in Medicine, and in the presence of Professor Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine and Founding President of the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards. The Awards recognize five Laureates, one from each of the five continents: Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Each Laureate receives $100,000.

The L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Tribute for UNESCO’s 60th anniversary

UNESCO has just turned 60. To celebrate this event, during ceremonies on the evening of March 2, L’ORÉAL and UNESCO awarded a special tribute to Professor Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, 1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine, "For her efforts in supporting highly qualified women with children to facilitate their progress in science". The Tribute was accompanied by a $100,000 donation to the Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation.

Pr Nüsslein-Volhard created the foundation in 2003 to alleviate the difficulties that women face in reconciling family life and research. Through the foundation, she hopes to make a contribution to the advancement of highly qualified women in leading scientific research institutions. She is currently the Director of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany. http://www.cnv-stiftung.de/

The three actions of the L’OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science program

The L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Award is part of the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science program, which is built around three actions:

¦ Consecrating excellence through the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards, the founding act of the program. These prestigious annual distinctions, awarded to five leading women researchers, one per continent, identify exceptional women as role models for the generations to come.

¦ Encouraging talent through the UNESCO-L’ORÉAL International Fellowships. Granted annually since 2000 to 15 promising young women scientists, doctorate or post-doctorate, they encourage international scientific cooperation and the developing of cross-cultural networks. The beneficiaries of the 2006 Fellowships were announced on March 1st.

¦ Developing diversity through the L’Oréal National Fellowships with the support of the UNESCO National Commissions, which anchor the “For Women in Science” program in countries around the world, while respecting their particularities and specific needs. Every year, nearly sixty fellowships are allocated in some twenty countries.

Created in 1998, the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership is the fruit of an exemplary collaboration, illustrating the way that the private sector and an intergovernmental institution can pursue joint projects to support women of science, encourage the advancement of knowledge, and enhance development on a global scale.

For more information on the Laureates, the Tribute for UNESCO’s 60th anniversary, and the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO partnership, please see: http://www.forwomeninscience.com

L’Oréal is a worldwide leader in the cosmetics industry, developing innovative products to meet the diverse needs of customers in 130 countries worldwide. Nearly 2,900 people work in the Group’s 14 research centers, located in France, Asia and America. Their findings are responsible for the registration of hundreds of patents annually. Women represent 55% of the research workforce – a percentage unmatched anywhere else in the industry. http://www.loreal.com

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has been dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. While designing scientific education programs intended especially for young women, UNESCO has created several academic chairs that connect women of science around the world. The international report on science, technology and gender that UNESCO will shortly publish is intended help its 191 Member States develop appropriate policies in this area. http://www.unesco.org/science/women

For more information and to set up interviews with Laureates and Fellows, please contact:

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