The 12Th Annual L’Oréal-Unesco Awards For Women In Science Honour Five Exceptional Women Who Are Making Contributions To The Future Of Humankin Group


Paris, October 14, 2009 – The L’ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership today announced the five exceptional women scientists from around the world who will receive the 2010 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards in the Life Sciences.

An international network of nearly 1,000 scientists nominates the candidates for each year’s awards. The five laureates are then selected at a meeting of the jury presided by Pr. Günter Blobel, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1999. The 2010 laureats are:

- Rashika El Ridi (Africa & the Arab States): Professor at Cairo University in Egypt, for paving the way towards the development of a vaccine against the tropical disease Schistomiasis/Bilharzia.

- Lourdes J. Cruz (Asia-Pacific): Professor at the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines Diliman in the Philippines, for the discovery of marine snail toxins that can serve as powerful tools to study brain function.

- Elaine Fuchs (North America): Professor at The Rockefeller University in the United States, for her contributions to our knowledge of skin biology and skin stem cells.

- Anne Dejean-Assémat (Europe): Professor at the Pasteur Institute in France, for her contributions to our understanding of leukaemia and liver cancers.

- Alejandra Bravo (Latin America): Professor at the Institute of Molecular Microbiology of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for her work on a bacterial toxin that acts as a powerful insecticide.

The awards ceremony will take place on March 4th 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Each Laureate receives US $100,000 in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of science.

A Pioneering Programme: Twelve Years of Encouraging Passion and Promoting Excellence

Since the launch of the partnership, L’Oréal and UNESCO have been actively supporting the cause of women in science. In the context of economic crisis and the fluctuations of modern society, the partners believe that today, more than ever, the world needs science. At the heart of this commitment, L’Oréal and UNESCO are acting to promote women scientists who are devoting their lives, with strength and passion, to finding solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.

In 12 years, the programme has recognised 62 Laureates, 150 International Fellows, 700 National Fellows. It is today a benchmark of international scientific excellence, and an invaluable source of motivation, support, and inspiration for women in the scientific field.

A Jury Made Up of Eminent Scientists

The 2010 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards Jury is made up of 18 eminent members of the international scientific community from five continents, with Gunter Blobel, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine 1999, serving for the third time as President of the Life Sciences jury. Professor Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1974, is the Founding President of the Awards, and Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, is Honorary President.

Professor Blobel said: “For a dozen years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards have recognized and promoted exceptional women who, by the excellence of their research, contribute to the advancement of science. As we announce the laureates of the 2010 Awards, we are very proud to note that two laureates of the 2008 Awards will receive 2009 Nobel Prizes. The L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards laureates are among world’s best scientific talents and will serve as role models for the future of science.”

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About The L’Oréal Corporate Foundation

The L'Oréal Corporate Foundation, created in 2007, pursues the goal of making the world a better place each day. It draws on the Group's values and business to strengthen and perpetuate the Group’s commitment to social responsibility.
As the second-largest corporate foundation in France with a multi-annual budget of €40 million, the L'Oréal Foundation is committed to three types of action: promoting scientific research in the fundamental and human sciences, supporting education and helping individuals made vulnerable by alternations to their appearance to reclaim their rightful place in society.

About UNESCO

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has pursued the mission of promoting science for peace. Today, UNESCO aims to reinforce international cooperation in the basic sciences among its 192 Member States and promotes ethical norms in science. The Organisation has also been dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination and promoting equality between men and women. As well as developing educational programmes in science particularly designed for girls, UNESCO has established a network of academic chairs creating links between women in science around the world.