Two US-based women scoop L’Oréal-UNESCO science awards

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Two US-based women scoop L’Oréal-UNESCO science awards

Related tags Science Gene Scientist

The winners of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Awards have been announced today and two US-based scientists are amongst the 20 outstanding achievers to be recognized.

The US winner of the North American Laureate title is Dr. Jennifer Doudna, an investigator at the Howard Huges Medical Institute and Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, who is recognized for her role played in the development of CRISPR-Cas9, a gene editing technology that has the power to “rewrite” DNA.

This technology allows scientists to explore the function of genes and correct mutations, and opens new possibilities in everything from gene therapy and genetic disease cures to agriculture and biotechnology.

Laureate and International Rising Star prizes

Dr. Doudna will be joined on the winners podium by Dr. Sabrina Stierwalt, a postdoctoral scientist in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Virginia who has won the International Rising Talent accolade for her work on the study of how galaxies evolve.

Both women are expected to attend the 18th​ annual awards ceremony, which will be held in Paris on March 24, alongside the 18 other outstanding female scientists from across the globe.

Five women will receive Laureate titles, while the awards will also acknowledge the contributions made by 15 young female researchers deemed to have made significant contributions in a variety of scientific disciplines who will receive rising talent awards.  

Top prizes for the winners

Each Laureate receives a prize of €100,000 (US$112,000) for their achievements, while the International Rising Talents winners, now entering its second year, will each get €15,000 as their reward.

“The extraordinary work of Dr. Doudna and Dr. Stierwalt clearly demonstrates that women in science have the power to change the world,”​ said Lauren Paige, Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at L’Oréal USA.

“As a company that benefits from the contributions of women in STEM fields every day, L’Oreal USA is proud to honor these two incredible American women and congratulate them on the success of their scientific research and discoveries.”

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