L'Oréal USA announced the recipients of its 2020 For Women in Science (FWIS) Fellowship, including Puerto Rican scientist, Dr. Nancy Padilla-Coreano. The annual program awards five female postdoctoral scientists grants of $60,000 each to advance their research. Now in its seventeenth year, the applications for applications for the For Women in Science 2021 program have started, and post-doctoral women scientists from Puerto Rico are eligible. The For Women in Science program has recognized 80 postdoctoral female scientists and contributed over $4 million to the advancement of critical research in fields as diverse as neurobiology, metabolic diseases, physics and material science, integrative biology, and biomedical engineering.
Dr. Nancy Padilla-Coreano, Puerto Rican winner of the For Woman In Science award in the United States, receives a $60,000 fellowship grant. Her research in neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, explores how the brain controls social behaviors. Dr. Padilla-Coreano is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus with a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology.
"The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship has been incredible in supporting my transition to independence in my work, which focuses on neurobiology and understanding how the brain encodes social information, and how it can aid the development of potential therapies for social deficits. Through the program, I hope to be able to inspire other young Puerto Ricans to continue developing their scientific careers, to serve as leaders and role models in their fields until female scientists are so prevalent that we equalize opportunity at all levels of achievement", said Dr. Nancy Padilla-Coreano, winner of FWIS 2020.
“We are proud a young Puerto Rican scientist received the prestigious global program L’Oréal For Women In Science award. We offer our program to more outstanding Puerto Rican women in the STEM fields of science and encourage postdoctoral candidates to apply and commit to serve as role models for younger generations to come,” said Dave Hughes, General Manager of L'Oréal Caribe.
The For Women in Science program is rooted in L'Oréal's core belief that the world needs science and science needs women, because women in science have the power to change the world. The program provides funding and support during a critical time in female scientists' careers. Although the number of women in science is increasing, there remains a "leaky pipeline," with significant career drop-off happening during the years between postdoc and tenure track. In addition to grant funding, FWIS Fellows receive mentorship, media training, career coaching and recognition.
The 2020 For Women in Science fellows are being honored for their important research across a wide range of fields, from Integrative Biology to Material Science & Engineering:
• Nancy Padilla-Coreano, whose research in Systems Neurobiology at The Salk Institute of Biological Studies – San Diego, explores how the brain encodes social dominance. Understanding how the healthy brain encodes social information and, how circuits control social behavior, can aid the development of potential therapies for social deficits.
• Cara Brook, whose research in Integrative Biology at the University of California-Berkeley, focuses on understanding wild bats to illuminate pathways involved in mammalian disease and aging. Currently, Cara’s emphasis is on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and seeking development of therapeutics to combat these processes in the human population.
• Wendy Brown, whose research in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California – Irvine, focuses on growing cartilage from cells in anatomical shapes and sizes for surgical implantation. Her research seeks to help millions of people around the world with facial damage due to cancer, burns, congenital defects, or other physical trauma.
• Kayla Nguyen, whose research in the field of Physics and Material Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is dedicated to taking pictures of the smallest building block in the universe—the atom—using a tool called the electron microscope. Taking increasingly detailed, higher resolution images of atoms promises to improve drug delivery systems, quicken computer processing, and make fuel cell cars more accessible, to name a few examples.
• Silvania da Silva Teixeira, whose research in metabolic diseases at the University of Colorado, focuses on the treatment of late-stage Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) by stimulating insulin secretion with a daily pill instead of managing insulin levels with daily injections. The proposed research can positively affect the quality of life of millions of Americans.
The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science program is the U.S. component of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards, a global program created in 1998 that recognizes and rewards women scientists around the world. Through the international program and the nearly 50 national and regional programs—which includes the For Women in Science program—more than 3,400 female scientists from 116 countries have received fellowships to pursue promising research projects.
The 2020 For Women in Science fellowship candidates were evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence and their commitment to supporting women and girls in science. The L'Oréal USA fellowship program includes a requirement to ensure recipients are committed to serving as role models for younger generations. Applications were reviewed by experienced scientists in the candidates' respective fields through a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which manages the application process. The applications for the For Women In Science 2021 program are open until January 29, 2021. Those interested can apply at https://lorealfwis.aaas.org/login/indexA.cfm.
About For Women In Science The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science (FWIS) fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations. Since 2003, L'Oréal USA's FWIS program has supported 80 outstanding female postdoctoral scientists from across the country, awarding them $4 million in grants. L'Oréal USA partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to manage the program's application and peer-review process. The program is the U.S. component of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards, a global philanthropy created in 1998 that has recognized and rewarded over 3,400 women scientists from more than 116 countries.