L'Oréal USA has announced the five recipients of the 2016 For Women in Science Fellowship, which awards $60,000 grants to female scientists to advance their postdoctoral research.
The winners were evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence and their commitment to supporting women and girls in science. Applications were reviewed by experienced scientists in the candidates' respective fields through a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which manages the application process.
"By providing support at a pivotal moment in their careers, we hope to empower them to further their work, continue on a path to become future leaders in their fields and perhaps one day join our previous Laureates and win a Nobel Prize."
The winners are:
- Carolyn "Anela" Choy, a postdoctoral fellow in biological oceanography and marine ecology at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI); Choy's research focuses on how food webs within the ocean work, and how they are impacted by plastic pollution and environmental change. Her work seeks to better understand how all life within the open ocean fits together into a complex network of feeding interactions.
- Shruti Naik, a postdoctoral scientist in immunology and stem cell biology at The Rockefeller University; Naik's research focuses on understanding the role adult stem cells play in inflammation and how they can be used to treat inflammatory disorders of the skin, like psoriasis.
- Amy Orsborn, a postdoctoral scientist in neuroscience at New York University; Orsborn's research focuses on how the brain learns to tell our bodies to move and approaches to restore function loss due to neurological diseases and disorders. Specifically, her research aims to create new and improved treatments, like state-of-the-art prosthetics, for people with motor disabilities caused by limb loss, stroke or spinal injury.
- Laura Sampson, a postdoctoral fellow in physics at Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA); Sampson's research focuses on gravitational wave astrophysics. Gravitational waves are a new way of observing the universe predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity and was first observed last year.
- Moriel Zelikowsky, a postdoctoral neuroscientist in the Department of Biology & Biological Engineering at California Institute of Technology; Zelikowsky is researching how neurons in the brain encode traumatic emotional experiences. Specifically, this research is aimed at identifying and mapping the neuronal populations that control the effects of stress on subsequent anxiety, fear and social behavior, with the goal of leading to more advanced and targeted treatments for debilitating mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"We are proud to recognize this group of exceptional female scientists for their innovative research and dedication to inspiring the next generation of women in STEM," said Frédéric Rozé, President and CEO of L'Oréal USA. "By providing support at a pivotal moment in their careers, we hope to empower them to further their work, continue on a path to become future leaders in their fields and perhaps one day join our previous Laureates and win a Nobel Prize."
"The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship was pivotal for my research and career," said Dr. Katie Brenner, 2014 L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellow and current Hartwell Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The funding allowed me to conduct analytical research that led to important conclusions about infant nutrition. The results of this study will change the standard of neonatal care and improve health outcomes for preterm babies."