On the night of September 21st, in the halls of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, the awards ceremony for The Scholarship Aids for Young Scientist was held, sponsored by L'Oreal and with the support of Unesco and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. At the entrance, there was an enormous plaque with the following saying: "The world need science, and science needs women", to welcome the quests.
The president of L'Oréal Brazil, François Xavier Fenart, considered it a great honor to be celebrating the great scientists and the great Brazilian Women. "L'Oréal has been engaged in research for many years, but it is the first year we launch this program, which reaffirms our commitment to boost science by helping young researchers, and reinforces our bonds with the Brazilian Scientific community", he said. Fenart thanked the Brazilian Academy of Sciences for the support to their president Eduardo Krieger, of their vice-president Jacob Palis and "specially for the support of the three great mentors of the program here in Brazil, Mayana Zatz, Belita Koiller and Lucia Previato, who during the whole year worked together with us to make this initiative a success".
Pedro Lessa, coordinator of the Unesco in Brazil office, the third partner in this project congratulated the five scientist finalists for the distinct quality of the projects presented in the program. "Unesco has among its main objectives, the aim towards promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. With that in mind, this recognition contributes towards highlighting the conquest of a space traditionally dominated by men, it proves women are successful in this knowledge field, and confirms the importance of the role of Brazilian women scientists in this scenario". He concluded by saying that Unesco hopes that the moment will rapidly arrive, where gender, ethnic, race or beliefs in the fields of professions are no longer relevant.
The three Academics who won the International L'Oreal Prize for Women in Science, Mayana Zatz, Belita Koiller and Lucia Previato, presented the young winners contemplated with the scholarship aids, highlighted the quality of the more than 500 projects presented and described the awarded researches. The representative from MCT, Luis Fernandes, ended the event saying that he was impressed with the beauty of the scientists, and that he even began thinking that perhaps this was one of L'Oreal's criteria, but concluded saying that this was just an innate condition f Brazilian women, generating laughers from the audience.
Meet the winners of 2006.
Professor and researcher of the Immunogenetics Laboratory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), graduated in Biology at the same institution, where she also obtained her Master and Doctorate degree in Biochemistry and later her post doctorate in genetics. She was awarded for her research on Cellular therapy utilizing mesnchymal stem cells of the animal type of Parkinson disease. "It is very important to know that the work we do is being valued, because there is no maybe in science, either you dedicate yourself or you dedicate yourself. My project was very wished for by my entire team, and it is very expensive, I am going to invest this prize in its development".
Researcher and professor of the Biochemistry Department of UFRGS, graduated in Chemistry from the Federal University of Santa Maria, got her Master and Doctorate degree in Biochemistry from UFRGS and her post doctorate from the University of Coimbra (Portugal). She was contemplated for her work Caffeine as a prevention strategy of the cognitive decline in aging and in an experimental model of Alzheimer disease. "L'Oreal's incentive is an excellent one particularly important one in Latin America. This prize, aimed at a specific group of young women was a very intelligent one; other financing organs should do the same".
Professor and researcher of the Chemistry Department of the University of Sao Paulo (USP), graduated on Pharmacy and Biochemistry at USP, obtained her Masters in Nutrition at the University of Tokushima (Japan) and completed her Doctorate and Post Doctorate degree in Biochemistry at USP. She was contemplated for her research Modified Lipids and biological implications. "I will invest my prize in the continuity of my project, in which imported materials are utilized and are very expensive. Aside from financing the scientific work itself, it is very important to advertise it; I want to invest part of the prize in participating in congresses abroad".
Associate professor of the Centro Universitário Franciscano (Unifra) in Santa Maria, in Rio Grande do Sul, completed her bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in Physics at the University of Santa Maria (RS). She was awarded for her research Study on carbon nanostructures of chemical and biological interest. "This prize was very important, not only for its worth, but also because it showed my institution and the students of my region that recognition does not only come from Rio-Sao Paulo. It was very interesting because they foresaw something which seemed impossible, and the prize showed them that if you work hard, are dedicated and a good researcher, you can stand out in any part of Brazil".
Graduated in biological Sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), obtained her Master's and Doctorate degree in Biological Chemistry at the same university. She as contemplated for her research Biophysical and functional studies of the interaction of the prion protein with the nucleic and glycominoglycan acids. "I have recently been hired as a professor of UFRJ, and shall earn some space within a year or so. I am starting from zero, and have never received a grant before. I plan on expanding my space and equipping my new lab. This initiative was wonderful, and an incredible surprise. Now I know that there are eyes turned towards me and my work, I therefore need to feel deserving of this recognition and show the scientific community that I indeed am worth it and will continue to develop".
Researcher and professor at the Physics Institute of UFRJ, received honorable mention for her research Confinement and Manipulation of charges and spins of magnetic semiconductors. A graduate from UFRJ, she concluded her Master's and Doctorate degrees at UFF and obtained two degrees of post doctorate in Physics, one from the University of Notre Dame and the other from UFRJ. "I loved my prize, which was not expected: my work has been recognized, has proven important. Just the visibility this prize will bring will make it easier for me to earn grants from other sources. The process was very transparent; the five researchers who won have excellent works, experimental works which require more resources than mine".