The L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO reveal the Laureates of the Women in Science Awards


Proposed by a community of more than 2,000 leading scientists, the five laureates were then selected by an independent international jury of 12 prominent scientists presided this year by Professor Christian Amatore, member of the French Académie des sciences.
The jury is therefore pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 edition, five outstanding women scientists who will be celebrated on March 23rd 2017 at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. Each laureate will receive a Prize of €100,000 to reward their contribution to science.

Professor Niveen KHASHAB

Associate Professor of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), SAUDI ARABIA 
Organic chemistry
“For her innovative contributions to synthesize smart hybrid materials aimed at drug delivery and for developing responsive assemblies for monitoring and sensing.”

Professor Michelle SIMMONS 

Professor, Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology - University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA
Quantum physics
“For her pioneering contributions to quantum and atomic electronics, constructing atomic transistors en route to quantum computers.”

Professor Nicola SPALDIN 

Professor and Chair of Materials Theory, ETH Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Materials Science
“For her groundbreaking multidisciplinary work predicting, describing and creating new materials that have switchable magnetic and ferroelectric properties.”


Professor Zhenan BAO
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, USA
Material Chemistry
“For her outstanding contributions and mastery of the development of novel functional stretchable polymers for consumer electronics, energy storage and biomedical applications.”


Professor Maria Teresa RUIZ 
Professor, Department of Astronomy, Dept. / Universidad de Chile, CHILE
“For her discovery of the first brown dwarf and her seminal work on understanding the faintest stars, including stars at the final stages of their evolution (white dwarfs).”

L’Oréal Foundation
Ludivine DESMONTS-MORNET / +33 (0)1 47 56 77 47

George PAPAGIANNIS / / +33 (0)1 45 68 17 06

Agence MATRIOCHKA for the L’Oréal Foundation
Delphine HILAIRE / / +33 (0)6 22 68 29 64

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 program, 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 programs, 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 programs 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 peace. 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 the promotion of the role of science in combating climate change and handling natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting equality between women and men.