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(E) Silvia Bilokapic Receives Unesco L'Oreal Fellowship
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/9/2004 | Science | Unrated
(E) Silvia Bilokapic Receives Unesco L'Oreal Fellowship


Silvia Bilokapic Receives Unesco/L'Oreal Fellowship

Europe & North America
Croatia: Silvia Bilokapic - Molecular Biology
Romania: Elena Luminita Bradatan - Medicine/Oncology
Turkey: Semra Aygun - Molecular Biology Latin

Attention News Editors:

L'OREAL and UNESCO Making a Real Difference for Women Scientists
Five outstanding world-class women scientists named L'OREAL-UNESCO
Laureates in recognition of their contribution to scientific
research.Fifteen promising young researchers around the world, the future
scientific leaders of tomorrow, receive Fellowships to carry out
promising international research projects. Two will pursue their research projects in Canada by joining the Montreal McGill University and the Quebec Laval University
laboratories in August 2004.

MONTREAL, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - L'OREAL and UNESCO announced today
the five Award Laureates, one from each continent, and fifteen Fellowship
beneficiaries of the 2004 "For Women in Science" program.
The L'OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership, now in its
sixth edition, is a unique example of how the private sector and an
intergovernmental institution can work together to recognize the
achievements of women scientists and raise the profile of women in science globally.
Since the program's creation in 1998, 91 women scientists from 45 countries
across the world have been recognized for excellence in research or received
encouragement to pursue their careers.
The L'OREAL-UNESCO Award Laureates, women who work across the
spectrum of Life Sciences from cellular biology to immunology and disease
prevention, were selected on the basis of their groundbreaking achievements and potential
contributions to scientific progress. The Laureates receive individual
awards of $100,000. More than 800 prominent scientists from around the world nominated
the candidates. The Award Laureates were then selected by an international
jury of 15 eminent members of the scientific community, led by Christian de
Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine and Founding President of the Awards.
The 2004 Award Laureates, one from each continent, who have led
scientific advances in fields as diverse as T-Cell research,
agricultural productivity, neuroscience, genetics and parasitic disease, are:

- Africa - Jennifer Thomson (South Africa): "For her development of
transgenic plants resistant to viral infections, drought, and other
- Asia-Pacific - Nancy Ip (China): "For her discoveries on the molecular
control of growth, differentiation, and synapse formation in the
nervous system."
- Europe - Christine Petit (France): "For her elucidation of the
genetic defects in hereditary deafness and other sensory disorders."
- Latin America - Lucia Mendonça Previato (Brazil): "For her
achievements in the understanding, treatment and prevention of
Chagas disease."
- North America - Philippa Marrack (USA): "For her characterization
of the functions of T lymphocytes in immunity and the discovery of superantigens."

There is a long-standing imbalance between men and women in scientific
research. Women not only remain under-represented in scientific professions,
but those women who do enter the field often find that they receive less
support and fewer promotions than their male peers, resulting in a loss
for society in general. According to the Greenfield Report 2002 (commissioned by the UK
government), fewer than ten percent of senior scientific research
positions in any country are held by women.
New research from UNESCO's Institute of Statistics (based in Montréal,
Canada) reinforces these findings by comparing the percentages of women
with undergraduate, masters and postgraduate degrees in science and
technology (S&T) in about 70 countries. For example, in Japan, 18 percent of S&T
postgraduates are women and the figures fall to 15 percent in New Zealand
compared to 38 percent in Turkey. While these low rates are the norm, there
are some startling exceptions, particularly in Latin America, where women make
up 60 percent of S&T postgraduates in El Salvador and 59 percent in
At the same time as the Awards, the 15 UNESCO-L'OREAL Fellows for
2004 were also announced. The Fellowship beneficiaries, promising young women
scientists, receive grants of $20,000 each to support research projects
that they will conduct at major academic centers around the world at the
doctorate or post-doctorate level.
The UNESCO-L'OREAL Fellowships encourage promising young women
scientists to pursue their research in laboratories outside their country of
origin. The fifteen 2004 fellows (three each from these regions: Africa, Arab
States, Asia & the Pacific, Europe & North America, and Latin America & the
Caribbean) were chosen by the Fellowship Selection Committee in Paris from among the
candidates proposed by UNESCO National Commissions. Two of them will
pursue their research projects in Canada this summer. Maria Teresa Abreu will
joint the Laval University Medical Biology Department and Infectious Disease
Center, and Ghinwa Naja will joint the McGill University Chemical Engineering Department.

Mauritius: Bibi Rehana Jauhangeer - Molecular Microbiology
Nigeria: Maryam Aminu - Virology
U.R. of Tanzania: Blandina Lugendo - Marine Biology

Arab States
Lebanon: Ghinwa Naja - Physical Chemistry
Syrian Arab Republic: Mouna Al-Sabbagh - Biotechnology
Yemen: Salwa Hamid Al Khayat - Microbiology

Asia & the Pacific
New Zealand: Diana Webster - Medical Science
Indonesia: Ines Atmosukarto - Microbiology
Pakistan: Farzana Shaheen - Chemistry

Europe & North America
Croatia: Silvia Bilokapic - Molecular Biology
Romania: Elena Luminita Bradatan - Medicine/Oncology
Turkey: Semra Aygun - Molecular Biology Latin

America & the Caribbean
Argentina: Maria Laura Guichon - Ecology
Mexico: Rosa Estela Navarro - Developmental Biology
Venezuela: Maria Teresa Abreu - Cellular Biology

Local Initiatives

In addition to the 2004 Laureates and Fellows, the program "For
Women in Science" is active throughout the year. In cooperation with UNESCO
National Commissions, L'Oréal subsidiaries around the world have established
national initiatives as offshoots of the international program. These include
national fellowships for women scientists in their countries, educational or
mentoring programmes to introduce young women and girls to careers in science, as
well as related conferences and seminars.
In Canada a national program called "Mentorship for Science" was
develop jointly between L'OREAL CANADA, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and
Actua, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the scientific and
technical literacy of young Canadians. This mentorship program, launched last
spring, will partner leading women scientists, such as the FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE
laureates, with young Canadian girls in order to stimulate and encourage
these young girls to pursue careers in science. In December 2003, Canadians
Sari Van Anders and Sophie Breton were awarded by UNESCO and L'OREAL CANADA for
their academic skills and promising research projects.

Note to Editors:

L'Oréal is the world's number one cosmetics company, present in 130
countries worldwide. Nearly 2,900 people work in L'Oréal's fourteen
centers in France, Asia and America, which are responsible for the
registration of over 500 patents annually. 55 % are women - a percentage
unmatched anywhere else in the industry (

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has been dedicated to eliminating
all forms of discrimination and promoting gender equality. While designing
science education programmes specifically for girls, UNESCO has set up a series
of academic chairs to linking women scientists around the world. The
Organization is also developing new indicators to measure women's access to
scientific training and to help develop appropriate policies in its 190 Member
(  ).

For further information: or to arrange interviews with the laureates and
fellows: Media Relations Agency, RUDER FINN, Mai TRAN; Frédérique
IMPENNATI; +33 (0)1 56 81 15 00, Fax: +33 (0)1 43 25 06 06, ; ; UNESCO, Press Service, +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48,
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 56 52, ; L'OREAL, Direction of Partnerships
& Philanthropy, + 33 (0)1 47 56 42 55, Fax. + 33 (0)1 47 56 42 59,  ; L'OREAL, Corporate Press Service, +33 (0)1 47
56 41 95, Fax: +33 (0)1 47 56 40 54, , ;
L'OREAL CANADA, Corporate Communications, Nadine Lajoie, (514) 287-4613,

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