Women in Science – Celebrate 2011 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards!


A Celebration of Women

 is excited to share more Women Taking Action




Outstanding Women Scientists

to receive


2011 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards (3 March)


Fellowships (2 March)





Five exceptional women scientists, one from each continent, will receive the 2011 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards at a ceremony on 3 March at UNESCO Headquarters (Room I, 6.30 p.m.). The day before, on 2 March, 15 women post-doctoral researchers – three from each continent – will be presented with the UNESCO- L’Oréal International Fellowships for Women in Science (Room II, 7 p.m.).



The Laureates of the 13th Annual L’Oréal-UNESCO 2011 For Women in Science Awards are:

Africa and Arab States:
Professor Faiza Al-Kharafi, Professor of Chemistry, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait
For her work on corrosion, a problem of fundamental importance to water treatment and the oil industry.

Asia / Pacific:
Professor Vivian Wing-Wah YAM, Professor of Chemistry and Energy, The University of Hong Kong, China
For her work on light-emitting materials and innovative ways of capturing solar energy.

Professor Anne L’Huillier, Professor of Atomic Physics, Lund University, Sweden

For her work on the development of the fastest camera for recording events in attoseconds (a billionth of a billionth of a second).

Latin America:
Professor Silvia Torres-Peimbert, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Astronomy, Mexico City University (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico

For her work on the chemical composition of nebulae which is fundamental to our understanding of the origin of the universe.

North America:
Professor Jillian Banfield, Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, United States

For her work on bacterial and material behaviour under extreme conditions relevant to the environment and the Earth.

An International Awards Jury presided by Professor Ahmed Zewail, (1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) selected the laureates, who will each receive US $100,000. The Awards, recognizing work that addresses major challenges in modern science, will be presented by the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and the Chairman of L’Oréal Corporate Foundation Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.

The 2011 For Women in Science International Fellows will each receive up to US$40,000 over two years to help them pursue research outside their countries of origin. They are:

  • Germaine L. Minoungou (Burkina Faso), virology
  • Justine Germo Nzweundji (Cameroon), plant biotechnology
  • Fadzai Zengeya (Zimbabwe), agricultural sciences
  • Andia Chaves Fonnegra (Colombia), marine ecology
  • Isabel Cristina Chinchilla Soto (Costa Rica), ecology
  • Alejandra Jaramillo Gutierrez (Panama) parasitology
  • Jiban Jyoti Panda (India) biotechnology
  • Ladan Teimoori Toolabi (Iran), medical biotechnology
  • Nilufar Mamadalieva (Uzbekistan), plant biochemistry and pharmacology
  • Reyam Al-Malikey (Iraq), ecology
  • Mais Absi (Syria), molecular endocrinology
  • Samia Elfékih (Tunisia), molecular biology
  • Triin Vahisalu (Estonia), plant molecular biology
  • Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv ( Israel), neurobiology
  • Tatiana Lopatina (Russia), cell biology


This year, celebrating the Marie Curie Nobel Prize Centennial, a new Special Fellowship “in the footsteps of Marie Curie” will be awarded to a former recipient of a For Women in Science International Fellowship who, through her outstanding career over the past 10 years, incarnates the future of science. The first “Special Fellowship” goes to biotechnologist Marcia Roye (Jamaica), a Fellow in 2000 for her research on geminivirus, a crop-destroying insect-borne virus.

For the past 13 years, the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have sought to recognise women scientists who, through the scope of their work, have contributed to overcoming the global challenges of tomorrow. Each year, the For Women in Science Programme highlights scientific excellence and encourages talent.



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