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Our favorites – February 2022: The winners of the L’Oreal-Unesco contest

Dear reader, As you surely know (or not :p ), since 2015 the UN has declared February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. If you want to know more about the various initiatives put in place during this day of February 11, I strongly invite you to inquire on social networks where many profiles of women scientists have been described under the hashtags #WomeninScience or #InternationalWomensDay. This is the case of the Twitter account of the College de France which allows to have a small overview of the many testimonies and interviews carried out by the PLS University in Paris to encourage women to embark on scientific careers. Finally, other events will soon take place with the implementation of Women’s Rights Day, March 8. You can participate in March in the webinar organized by the French Club of Young Immunologists with the presentation of the work of two women immunologists or the one proposed by The Equal Group to discuss the place of women in Science.

“One in three researchers is a woman” According to Unesco, february 2021

To support women scientists in their research and to enhance their careers throughout the year, UNESCO and l’Oreal are joining forces to reward them with various titles such as international prizes such as the Young Talents Prize and national ones such as the UK National Commission UNESCO and The Irish National Commission For UNESCO program. Whether they are in the field of scientific research, solidarity beauty or climate change, these women bring new hope by developing innovative ideas or techniques. So by discovering this UNESCO declaration, we wanted to introduce this new section by sharing with you our favorites among these women who have won prizes and shine today in the world of science thanks to their research:


Geneticist Anette Uwineza received the 2020 Young Talents Award for Sub-Saharan Africa by revolutionizing diagnostic methods for rare genetic diseases in Africa. Her work has made it possible to facilitate clinical examinations by diversifying the observational data of pathologies mainly described from observations made on Europeans. Dr. Uwineza’s research is improving patient care by giving access to broader resources to hypothesize from clinical examinations and thus refer patients to targeted molecular studies.

In addition, if you want to know more about rare genetic diseases, we advise you to take an interest in the various events set up on February 28, which is the day of the 15th edition of International Rare Disease Day. For more information, click here.


Astrophysicist Simona Lombardo is one of the few women to specialize in astronomical instrumentation. The 2020 Young Talents Award for France was awarded for her work carried out during her thesis on the development of the Calar Alto Schmidt-Lemaitre telescope (CASTLE) installed in Spain. The construction of this new tool is based on innovative technologies in opto-mechanics. It offers a better understanding of the evolution of galaxies and the role of dark matter.


Chemist Catherine Ngila received the 2021 International Prize for Women in Science. Her work has aimed to improve the quality and availability of water for the population of South Africa. Innovation is based on the use of nanotechnologies that filter and purify polluted water. Professor Catherine Ngila is currently based at Kenyatta University in Kenya. Through her acting role as Director of the African Academy of Sciences, she has become a mentor to many young students who wish to pursue or complete a scientific course.


Computer scientist Shafi Goldwasser is a pioneer in digital security. She received the 2021 International Prize for Women in Science for her work on digital data protection in particular. Her cryptography skills have helped prevent and combat cyberattacks. In addition, Professor Shafi Goldwasser is one of three women to have received the Turing Prize, which recognizes technical contributors to the field of computer science.

If you want to know more about the l’Oréal-UNESCO program, click here.

Written by Mathilde L.

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