Professor Cecilia Bouzat, Laureate for Latin America
Named a National Fellow by Argentina’s L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Jury in 2007, Prof. Bouzat is now an international leader in neurotransmitter pharmacology. She is being honored for her contribution to our understanding of how brain cells communicate among themselves and with muscles. Her world-renowned discoveries enabled the identification of the communications problem between the brain and muscles that causes major neurological disorders. Prof. Bouzat’s work has opened the door to potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, depression and certain addictive behaviors.
Professor Brigitte Kieffer, Laureate for Europe
Named to the French Academie des sciences in December 2013, Prof. Kieffer is being honored for her decisive work on the brain mechanisms involved in pain, mental illness and drug addiction. In 1992, she was the first to clone and isolate the gene for an opioid receptor in the brain that plays a key role in alleviating pain, a puzzle which scientists around the world had been attempting to solve for the previous fifteen years. Her findings led the way to new treatments for fighting pain, addiction and depression.
Professor Laurie Glimcher, Laureate for North America
The first woman dean of a medical school in New York, Prof. Glimcher is a worldwide pioneer and leader in the field of immunology. She is being honored for discovering key factors involved in controlling immune response (T-bet) in allergies and in autoimmune, infectious and malignant diseases. Her findings are paving the way for the development of new treatments for allergies, asthma, multiple sclerosis, childhood diabetes and cancer.
Professor Kayo Inaba, Laureate for Asia-Pacific
The first female associate professor at Kyoto University’s Faculty of Science and deeply committed to bringing more women to scientific research, Prof. Inaba is being honored for her critical discoveries concerning the mechanisms triggered by the immune system when it is faced with a threat such as a virus or bacteria or by abnormal cells such as cancer cells. Specialized in the study of dendritic cells, Prof. Inaba was the first scientist to prove that these cells could be treated outside the body and then reintroduced into the organism to stimulate immune system response. Her discovery marked a turning point in cellular therapy and has already led to a new type of anti-cancer treatment.
Doctor Segenet Kelemu, Laureate for Africa and the Arab States
The first women from her region to attend what was then Ethiopia’s only university, Dr. Segenet Kelemu is being honored for her research on how microorganisms living in symbiosis with forage grasses can improve their capacity to resist disease and adapt to environmental and climate change. Her work is providing new solutions for ecologically responsible food crop production, especially by local, small-scale farmers. After having studied in the United States and worked in Colombia, she returned to Africa and is now at the heart of an impressive international scientific research network.