Five Top U.S. Female Scientists Earn Prestigious L'Oreal USA For Women in Science Fellowship Grants

Female Researchers Honored for their Breakthrough Scientific Research

Sep 23, 2010, 12:09 ET from L'Oreal USA

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Frederic Roze, President and Chief Executive Officer of L'Oreal USA, today awarded five talented female scientists research grants totaling $300,000 during an awards ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The highly-esteemed L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science recognizes and rewards the most promising postdoctoral female scientists from across the country.

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This year's awardees are working on breakthrough scientific research to address critical global challenges related to life-threatening diseases such as Alzheimer's and HIV, neurological disorders like autism and epilepsy, creating new advancements in medical imaging technology and researching nuclear power as a sustainable energy source.

Each Fellow receives $60,000 to support her groundbreaking research. Additionally, the L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science offers professional development workshops for awardees and helps these Fellows build networks with accomplished female leaders in corporate, academic, governmental and scientific fields.  

"The 2010 L'Oreal USA Fellows represent some of the most exceptional female scientists in their respective fields, and their contributions are driving significant technological and scientific progress," said Mr. Roze. "L'Oreal USA celebrates the contributions of these Fellows and believes they serve as role models for all women wishing to pursue careers in science."

During the awards ceremony, Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, and Andrew W. Reynolds, Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State, each delivered a keynote address to the Fellows and esteemed guests.  Both experts addressed timely issues pertaining to the U.S. scientific community.

The 2010 L'Oreal USA Fellowship grants will support the following female scientists and their work:

Dr. Brenda Bloodgood, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass. – neuroscientist, exploring some of the basic mechanisms employed by a neuron to regulate the balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition, which she hopes will lead to more targeted interventions for neurological disorders such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia. With the support of the L'Oreal USA Fellowship grant, Dr. Bloodgood will further her research on neuron regulation.

Dr. Gigi Galiana, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. – physicist and spectroscopist, exploring technology that could improve complex imaging applications and reduce time needed for conducting medical image scans. The L'Oreal USA Fellowship will allow Dr. Galiana to further develop her research, focusing on reducing a large MRI image into a series of smaller images using radio frequency pulses, and acquiring these smaller images in an interspersed fashion without slowing down overall imaging time.

Dr. M. Nia Madison, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn. – microbiologist and virologist, aiming to address knowledge gaps in the molecular basis of racial health disparities associated with global HIV infection rates. Her findings may also reveal novel targets for a host-directed, molecular strategy for prophylaxis against sexual transmission of HIV. The L'Oreal USA Fellowship will allow Dr. Madison to continue her work on basic, clinical and translational research with respect to early modulators of sexual transmission of HIV and the potential of these molecules to contribute to racial health inconsistencies associated with HIV infection.

Dr. Peggy L. St. Jacques, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. – cognitive neuroscientist, focusing on distinguishing healthy aging vs. memory loss from disease by examining the cognitive and neural basis of personal memory. The L'Oreal USA Fellowship will allow Dr. St. Jacques to test the idea that the constructive nature of memory supports both the retrieval of the past and simulation of the future. She will characterize the ability to remember the past and simulate the future in people with healthy aging and those with Alzheimer's disease, to determine whether the pattern of impairment reflects different underlying processes in each group.

Dr. Lindley Winslow, Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Cambridge, Mass. – particle physicist, focusing on answering the question of why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe. Her main project is the Double Chooz experiment, a European-American-Japanese collaboration that measures the flux of anti-neutrinos, particles generated whenever protons change into neutrons, made by a nuclear reactor.  The experiment's findings are particularly relevant as the ability to track nuclear fuel has become more important for countries considering nuclear power as a sustainable energy source. The L'Oreal USA Fellowship will allow Dr. Winslow to design and build a novel particle detector based on quantum dots, which could lead to a new method of monitoring the operation of nuclear reactors and tracking nuclear fuel.  

The 2010 L'Oreal USA Fellows were selected from a competitive pool of candidates by a Review Panel and Jury of distinguished career scientists. The Jury selected the Fellows based on several criteria, including exceptional academic records and intellectual merit, clearly-articulated research proposals with the potential for scientific advancement and outstanding letters of recommendation from advisers and overall excellence.

L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science was created to support the advancement of women in science and to address the issues related to underrepresentation of women in scientific fields. During the past seven years, L'Oreal USA has recognized and rewarded career contributions of 35 young postdoctoral women researchers in the life and physical/materials sciences, awarding more than $1 million in Fellowship grants.  

Prior to the awards ceremony, L'Oreal USA convened a Congressional briefing with DISCOVER magazine featuring a panel of distinguished experts who explored new research and the complex issues affecting the advancement of women in science. A recent survey of 1,300 male and female scientists, commissioned by L'Oreal USA and fielded by the American Association for the Advancement of Women in Science (AAAS), exposed the insurmountable barriers women encounter in pursuit of scientific careers. Survey respondents included male and female scientists who hold doctoral degrees and are registered users of Science online, including members of AAAS. The survey revealed:

  • Nearly all female scientists (98 percent) know a female colleague who left the science field because she encountered barriers to her professional success
  • More than half of female scientists (52 percent) have experienced gender bias during their career
  • More than one in three female scientists (37 percent) faced barriers in having/raising children

According to the research, the four most helpful resources to overcoming career barriers in the sciences were colleagues or peers, personal friends or family, mentors and grants/fellowships.

The L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science is a national extension of the global L'Oreal – UNESCO For Women in Science program, which since 1998 has awarded Laureate prizes to 62 distinguished women scientists from 28 countries and 864 international fellowship grants to young women researchers from 93 countries. National For Women in Science Fellowship programs are now present in 37 countries.

For more information, please visit or the L'Oreal For Women in Science Facebook page.


For Women in Science is a global effort by L'Oreal to celebrate women who have dedicated their careers to scientific research and to encourage emerging talent to pursue scientific discoveries. The program includes:

  • The L'Oreal–UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, which honors five distinguished female scientists each with a $100,000 grant annually
  • The UNESCO-L'Oreal For Women in Science International Fellowships which aims to encourage international scientific cooperation and awards 15 young women researchers each with grants up to $40,000 annually
  • The L'Oreal USA Fellowships For Women in Science, a national extension of the international fellowship program, which recognizes and rewards five U.S.-based young women researchers each with a $60,000 grant annually


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