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L’Oréal USA celebrates 15th year of For Women in Science Fellowship

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NEW YORK — L’Oréal USA today announced the recipients of the 2018 For Women in Science Fellowship, which annually awards five female postdoctoral scientists grants of $60,000 each to advance their research. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the program, which has recognized 75 postdoctoral female scientists with over $3.8 million since 2003.

The program is centered on L’Oréal’s belief that the world needs science and science needs women, because women in science have the power to change the world. The For Women in Science 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 providing vital grant money, For Women in Science fellows receive mentorship, career coaching and media training.

From neuroscience to mechanical engineering, the 2018 For Women in Science fellows are being honored for their important research across a wide range of fields:

  • Amber Alhadeff, whose research in neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania is helping inform the way we think about treating obesity, eating disorders and type II diabetes.
  • Stacy Copp, whose research in soft matter physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory focuses on developing new materials that produce and manipulate light, with potential applications in biomedical diagnostics, solar energy and energy-efficient lighting.
  • Brecca Gaffney, whose research in biomechanics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louisstudies the mechanics of human movement, and aims to improve treatment for patients who are seeking rehabilitation for an injury or movement disorder.
  • Fan Liu, whose research in infectious diseases at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is focused on predicting how bacteria become antibiotic resistant, with the goal of designing new therapies and medicines to slow resistance in the future.
  • Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert, whose research in geomicrobiology at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is helping determine how life sustains itself in harsh conditions, potentially providing insight into how life evolved on Earth and where it could exist beyond our planet.

“I am inspired by the work this year’s For Women in Science fellows are doing, both in the lab and in their communities as role models for the next generation of women in STEM,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA. “At L’Oréal, beauty is based in science, which is central to our belief that science makes progress possible. On the fifteenth anniversary of the For Women in Science program, we proudly celebrate the groundbreaking scientific contributions of these female leaders.”

“The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship helped me establish myself as a successful researcher early in my career,” said Dr. Sridevi Sarma, 2008 For Women in science Fellow and Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Biomedical Engineering. “The funding accelerated my research on Parkinson’s Disease and honed my leadership skills, which led me to be a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012 and has been critical to my current work on epilepsy.” 

L’Oréal USA will recognize the 2018 fellows at an awards ceremony hosted by CBS This Morning Co-Host Norah O’Donnell at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

The ceremony serves as a capstone to a week of dedicated programming for the For Women in Science fellows; earlier events in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C, include:

  • An evening with L’Oréal USA and NPR’s Invisibilia, a science show hosted, produced and edited by an award-winning team of women journalists, exploring the science of human strength and resilience. The event will unite the research of women scientists with engaging human stories that demonstrate how science and storytelling have the power to change the world. The event is open to the public and will take place at 7:30 pmon October 24 at NPR’s Studio One in Washington, DC; tickets will be available on September 26 here.
  • A roundtable discussion at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, featuring high-level leaders in STEM at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and with distinguished members of the National Academies.
  • An afternoon dedicated to STEM literacy with the New York Academy of Science’s Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program.
  • A visit to Capitol Hill for a discussion with leading Congressional staff on science policy and careers.
  • A lab tour of L’Oréal USA’s Research & Innovation facility in Clark, New Jersey.

As part of its efforts to further advance women’s participation and leadership in STEM fields, L’Oréal USA is announcing its support for a new study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in STEM. The 16-month study will be conducted by a distinguished committee of leaders and scholars and will identify strategies for removing the institutional barriers to women’s representation in STEM with a focus on highlighting the most successful policies and practices that have been effective in increasing women’s participation. The study’s results will be shared broadly given its important implications for stakeholders throughout academia, industry, government, Congress and professional societies.

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 2,500 female scientists from more than 100 countries have received fellowships to pursue promising research projects.

The 2018 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 USAfellowship program also 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.


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