L'Oreal Foundation and UNESCO Recognize Three U.S.-Based Women Scientists for Accomplishments in STEM


Posted on 10 November, 2014

NEW YORK, March 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of International Women's Day, L'Oreal USA today announced that three U.S.-based women scientists will be recognized in Paris on March 18, 2015 as International Rising Talents for their ongoing and exceptional contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The International Rising Talents program is a new component of the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science program, which began seventeen years ago to promote scientific excellence and reward the contributions of women scientists from around the globe.


The International Rising Talents were chosen from among the recent winners of the more than 236 For Women in Science fellowships awarded locally by L'Oreal subsidiaries worldwide, including the L'Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship program. The program seeks to boost the careers of 15 doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows by offering them additional grant support and international exposure. This year's International Rising Talents are already making significant contributions in disciplines as varied as neuroscience and evolutionary biology.


"The women selected for the International Rising Talents program represent the future of science, and L'Oreal is proud to honor these promising young researchers at a critical juncture in their careers," said Lauren Paige, Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at L'Oreal USA. "L'Oreal is committed to supporting the next generation of women in STEM who are conducting groundbreaking research at some of the world's leading institutions."


In addition to grants of 15,000 euros each, the female scientists being recognized through the International Rising Talents award will receive special mentorship and training from other top L'Oreal-UNESCO female scientists to further empower and prepare them for a long-lasting career. A video highlighting the International Rising Talents program can be found here.

U.S.-based winners:

Dr. Mary Caswell Stoddard, Cambridge, MA – A Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and member of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Dr. Stoddard uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore the evolution and engineering of bird eggs, leading to new discoveries about material science, biodiversity and the environment. She combines tools from computer science, genomics and bioengineering to address questions about the evolutionary history of birds. Her work has implications for the future: understanding avian eggs could help prevent the loss of biodiversity and protect bird populations threatened by climate change. Dr. Stoddard completed her PhD in Zoology at the University of Cambridge and has worked with the BBC One Show, the Natural History Museum (UK), and the Harvard Museum of Natural History to make her work accessible outside the academic sphere. Throughout her career, she has also served as a mentor to young women in science; she used part of her 2013 L'Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship to support undergraduate student research in her field and currently mentors female graduate students at Harvard.


Dr. Ariela Vergara-Jaque, Bethesda, MD – A Postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health's (NIH), Dr. Vergara-Jaque is using complex computer modeling to study proteins located in cell membranes, whose dysfunction has been implicated in neurological disorders. She can observe the virtual "proteins" from all sides, see their movements in three dimensions and manipulate them according to various hypothetical scenarios to observe how they might behave. Dr. Vergara-Jaque's ultimate goal is to identify which parts of the protein might be targeted by drugs in order to fight disease. A native of Chile, first generation Bioinformatics Engineering graduate and PhD in Applied Science of the University of Talca, Dr. Vergara-Jaque received the L'Oreal Chile-UNESCO For Women in Science Award in 2013.


Dr. Bhama Ramkhelawon, New York, NY – A Postdoctoral fellow at New York University's Langone Medical Center School of Medicine, Dr. Ramkhelawon is at the forefront of cardiovascular research as it relates to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Ramkhelawon and her team previously uncovered a relationship between the body's clean-up cells and a substance called Netrin-1, which prevents the body from carrying away fatty tissues and unwanted fat cells. This discovery could open the door to new and more effective treatments for the numerous inflammation-related diseases associated with obesity. A native of Mauritius and the region's 2014 L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellow, Dr. Ramkhelawon hopes her research will contribute to the health and well-being of Small Island Developing States and other areas which suffer from high rates of diabetes and obesity.

To read more, visit : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/loreal-foundation-and-unesco-recognize-three-us-based-women-scientists-for-accomplishments-in-stem-300048063.html


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