Five outstanding GCC postdocs and Ph.D. student were awarded for their groundbreaking research, and for inspiring future generations.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. November 27th, 2018: The fifth edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship Awards ceremony was held yesterday to recognize five extraordinary GCC women for their contribution to the field of science. The awards ceremony was hosted at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City Hotel, in partnership with Zayed University.
This year’s awards celebrated the contributions of distinguished female scientists and researchers in the GCC, whose works have contributed significantly to the scientific development in the region. The inspiring women fellows were each awarded EUR 20,000 for the Postdoc Researchers category and EUR 8,000 for the PhD Students category, in recognition of their outstanding achievements in their respective fields of study.
On behalf of Her Excellency Noura Bint Mohamed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture And Knowledge Development and President of Zayed University, His Excellency Professor Reyadh Al Mehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University said, “The L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship’ has become an inspirational platform in the field of scientific discovery, thanks to its impressive track record of achievements in science and technology in our region and beyond.' She added, “Scientific research is an effective and influential way to prosper as a civilization and also contributes in the development of societies, dissemination of our culture, and a sustainable future. Today, we honor five exceptional individuals for their interest in scientific research and their ability to change the world for the better. They use their research and scientific discoveries to serve humanity and build a brighter future for generations to come.”
The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East program was founded on the belief that ‘the world needs science and science needs women, because women in science have the power to change the world.’ Not only were the female fellows recognized for their achievements; they were also highly commended for their advocacy of the field of research and for influencing young women to tread similar paths.
Dr. Mouin Hamzé, President of the Jury & Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon (CNRS-L), said: “It has been my honour to chair the Jury Committee of this incredibly inspiring program for the fifth year in a row. This competition grows in intensity each year, which is a testament to our evolving community. All winning Fellows have truly impressed us and have shed light on some fascinating topics in the fields of physical and life sciences, including early detection of ovarian cancer, exploring second and third generation biofuels for clean and sustainable energy and targeting mental health and depression through examining the connection between sleep and stress. We wish them the very best in their continued pursuit of knowledge and excellence within their respective fields – they are on the path to changing the world.”
The L’Oréal Foundation for Women in Science Program was launched in the GCC region in collaboration with Zayed University and is intended to change the way young women feel about a scientific and research-based career, in hopes of shattering stereotypes of it being male-dominated. In line with this initiative, both L’Oréal’s and Zayed University’s core values are deeply rooted in empowering women to explore fields that they can truly excel in and will ultimately benefit the world around them. With UNESCO, the Foundation has honored almost 100 laureates for their research achievements – three of whom, have gone on to win a Nobel Prize., such as Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.
Mr. Rémi Chadapaux, Managing Director, L’Oréal Middle East said: “In line with our commitment to women around the world, this program continues to encourage gender diversity in scientific research, which is such an important field for global advancement. Women comprise one half of humanity, and their contribution to this key discourse is crucial to human progress. We have been privileged to learn more about the research conducted by these extraordinary women today and how it adds greatly to the world’s body of knowledge, ultimately propelling different innovations forward and finding solutions for our future. I would like to thank them deeply for their passion, perseverance and for inspiring us all.”
The 2018 Fellows Are:
Postdoc Researchers Category:
· Dr. Basma Radwan (United Arab Emirates), New York University in Abu Dhabi: For her research in examining the connection between sleep and stress to further identify enhanced and effective therapeutic solutions targeting depression and mood disorders.
· Dr. Ashwag Albukhari (Saudi Arabia), King Abdulaziz University: For her research in developing pre-clinical models to investigate the mechanism(s) of developing ovarian cancer. This will aid in the early detection of ovarian cancer with a substantial impact on improving patient survival.
· Dr. Lamya Al Haj (Oman), Sultan Qaboos University: For her two-streamed research on exploring second, third and fourth generation biofuels as clean and sustainable energy resources and investigating the potential of utilizing algae strains for the production of high-value products.
· Dr. Saja Fakhraldeen (Kuwait), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research: For her research on identifying local sources of biologically active materials to reduce dependency on foreign imports and incorporating genetic analysis to existing bioprospecting efforts to maintain a delicate balance between minimizing environmental disturbance while maximizing derived benefits.
PhD Students Category:
· Ghofran Othoum (Saudi Arabia), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology: For her research in establishing the ability of Red Sea species as microbial cell factories that thrive in their natural environment without the need for complex processes of water desalination and sterilization.
The L’Oréal Foundation helps women fight prejudice, tear down gender barriers, and conquer new areas in science. Nearly 2,998 women in over 115 countries have been the recipients of Fellowship. Since 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has honored 102 Laureates for groundbreaking discoveries or seminal contributions to their field of research.