The five women scientists, one from each continent and all physicists or chemists, to receive the 9th L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science are: Prof. Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (Mauritius), Prof. Ligia GARGALLO (Chili), Prof. Mildred DRESSELHAUS (United States), Prof. Margaret BRIMBLE (New Zealand) and Prof. Tatiana BIRSHTEIN (Russia).
The distinctions were presented the 22nd February 2007 at UNESCO Headquarters by Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and CEO of L’ORÉAL.
Photo: (left to right) Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, Pr. Mildred Dresshaus (Laureate, North America), Pr. Ligia Gargallo (Laureate, Latin America), Pr. Tatiana Birshtein (Laureate, Europe), Pr. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, President of the Awards Jury, Pr, Margaret Brimble (Laureate, Asia/Pacific), Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman of L’Oréal, Pr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Laureate, Africa) ©GAMMA CORPORATE
More details on the Laureates:
Prof. Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (Mauritius) Laureate for Africa. Professor of Organic Chemistry and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius, “For her exploration and analysis of plants from Mauritius and their bio-medical applications.” Analysis of the antibacterial and antifungal properties of plants from Mauritius is paving the way for their use as safe and effective alternatives to commercial medicines, including potential diabetes therapies. Professor Gurib-Fakim created the first-ever full inventory of the medicinal and aromatic plants on Mauritius and neighboring island Rodriguez. (Internet Site)
Prof. Ligia GARGALLO (Chili) Laureate for Latin America. Professor, Department of Physical Chemistry, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, “For her contributions to understanding solution properties of polymers”. Data published as a result of Professor Gargallo’s studies helps drug designers visualize how new compounds will interact with enzymes in the body and opens the door to the rational design of synthetic enzymes. (Internet Site)
Prof. Mildred DRESSELHAUS (United States) Laureate for North America. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, “For her research on solid state materials, including conceptualizing the creation of carbon nanotubes.” Due to their small size, high strength and electrical conductivity, carbon nanotubes are ideal for new materials used in objects such as lightweight bicycles and flat-panel screens.
Prof. Margaret BRIMBLE (New Zealand) Laureate for Asia-Pacific. Chair of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Auckland, Auckland, “For her contribution to the synthesis of complex natural products, especially shellfish toxins.” Professor Brimble has focused on the synthesis of shellfish toxins that are useful for the design and development of drugs for clinical conditions including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, hypertension, stroke, and cancer.
Prof. Tatiana BIRSHTEIN (Russia) Laureate for Europe. Professor, Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg. ”For her contribution to the understanding of the shapes, sizes and motions of large molecules.” Professor Birshtein's work has shed new light on the self-organizing properties of many remarkable polymeric systems essential to plastics used in soft-drink bottles, plastic bags and other familiar materials such as nylon, rayon, Styrofoam, Plexiglas and Teflon. (Internet Site)
The 2007 Laureates, who each received US$100,000, were selected after deliberation by the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards International Jury in the Material Sciences, presided by Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Nobel Prize in Physics, in the presence of Professor Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1974 and Founding President of the Awards.
Click below to read in full: Press Release, UNESCOPRESS N°2007-15, 22-02-2007
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