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Posted On: 10 February 2022 03:08 pm
Updated On: 10 February 2022 03:30 pm

Two scientists from Qatar honored at L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science ceremony

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th, taking place at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO hosted the first For Women in Science Young Talents Awards Ceremony for MENA. The event took place in the Dubai Exhibition Center at Expo 2020 Dubai to honor and recognize 14 Arab female scientists from the MENA region for their groundbreaking research in the fields of Life and Environmental sciences, Physical sciences, Mathematics and Computer sciences. This program is part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO’s global For Women in Science initiative that has recognized over 3,900 phenomenal researchers and 122 Laureates from more than 110 countries and regions since its inception in 1998.

The Ceremony awarded a total of 14 Young Talents – five from various countries in the GCC, three from Egypt and six from Levant – in the PhD students and post-doctorate researchers categories, underscoring their role in solving today’s challenges as well as inspiring the future generation of females.

Since its inception in the region in 2010, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents program has awarded more than 160 female scientists and 11 Laureates from MENA. Among them, 16 Arab female scientists have also won an additional international recognition through the International Rising Talent program.

The event also welcomed a group of esteemed panelists to discuss how Arab Women scientists are breaking through barriers and inspiring the next generation of leaders and changemakers. The panelists included H.E. Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, the Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Dr. Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO Office in Doha and Representative for the Gulf and Yemen, and Rana El Chemaitelly, the Founder and CEO of ‘The Little Engineer’. The panel was moderated by Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer and CEO of the Fondation L’Oréal.

Based on the conviction that the world needs science and science needs women, the Fondation L'Oréal and UNESCO are committed to the promotion of women in science to make them more visible, to make their talent known and to inspire careers for future generations.

According to the latest UNESCO Science Report published in June 2021, although the number of women in scientific careers is increasing, reaching just over 33% of researchers worldwide, this evolution is still too slow.

In the various MENA countries, while gender parity is almost reached at the PhD level or at the start of a scientific career, there are still strong disparities to be observed depending on the countries and the disciplines. The glass ceiling remains a reality in research: the number of female researchers decreases as they access higher levels in their careers due to tremendous obstacles and barriers.

About the 2021 MENA Young Talents:

PhD students:

  • Arij Yehya (Qatar): For her research on identifying factors that drive the widening of the gender gap in personality traits to further evaluate current and future gender policies.
  • Halima Alnaqbi (UAE): For her research on enhancing the existing organ transplantation system to include Arab ethnic groups.
  • Rachel Njeim (Lebanon): For her research on the contribution of NETosis to the pathogenesis of Diabetic Kidney Disease.
  • Sama Hassan Ali Rahmatullah (Iraq): For her research on anti-pollution caused by genetic variation of plants associated with soil contaminated of petroleum hydrocarbons.
  • Sarah Abdelkader (Egypt): For her research on on-site sustainable treatment methods for agricultural wastewater treatment to be reused in irrigation.

Post-doctorate researchers:

  • Dr. Ghada Dushaq (UAE): For her research on discovering novel materials and structures across photonics to enhance the speed, capacity and accuracy of conventional technologies.
  • Dr. Hend Alqaderi (Kuwait): For her research on the use of oral fluids as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for early diagnosis and disease management of COVID-19 and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Dr. Nura Adam Mohamed (Qatar): For her research on developing nonconventional, novel therapeutic tools to prevent the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Dr. Ingy Ibrahim Abdallah (Egypt): For her research on overcoming receptor mutations in cancer targeted therapy.
  • Dr. Irene Samy Fahim Gabriel (Egypt): For her research on manufacturing of Sugarcane Bagasse-Based tableware in Egypt.
  • Dr. Heba Alzaben (Jordan): For her research on the use of thermal remote sensing to monitor ecosystem health.
  • Dr. Hiba N. Rajha (Lebanon): For her research on food waste valorization through incorporation and nanoencapsulation of grape skin polyphenols in various cosmetic products.
  • Dr. Nirmeen Elmadany (Palestine): For her research on targeting immunosuppressive proteins in Glioblastoma Microenvironment for a better tumor response to immunotherapy.
  • Dr. Waad Saftly (Syria): For her research on galaxy evolution through the history of the universe.

RELATED: Qatari scientist recognised by L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East

Source and cover image credit: Press Release