Recognition of early-career women scientists helps encourage participation in medical research, builds strong research cultures, and inspires a new generation of scientists.
In that light, five medical and life science researchers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin today received the 2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for work that could contribute to life-saving knowledge and therapies worldwide. The prizes were awarded by The Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, to build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world.
The 2013 winners are being recognized for their research excellence and the prize included $5,000 and all-expenses paid attendance at the AAAS annual in Boston. The winners received their prizes during a special ceremony on Saturday, February 16th.
The winners were:
- Central&South Asia: Dr. Nasima Akhter, Center for Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Dhaka Medical College Hospital Campus
- East and South-East Asia & the Pacific: Dr. Namjil Erdenechimeg, Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
- Latin America & the Caribbean: Dr. Dionicia Gamboa, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Department of Cellular and Molecular Sciences, Lima,
- Arab region: Dr. Huda Omer Basaleem, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Aden University, Yemen
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Dr. Adediwura Fred-Jaiyesimi, Department of Pharmacognosy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria
"If we hope to solve the challenges that confront developing nations, we must help young women in science to fully develop their skills and energy," said Professor Romain Murenzi, executive director of TWAS. "The winners of this prize will be an inspiration not only to other young women, but to all scientists of every generation."
Dr. Nasima Akhter, one of this year's award winners, commented, "In developing countries, continuing scientific research is difficult due to lack of resources, infrastructure and appropriate support. For young researchers, especially women, it is more difficult to continue research without cooperation and support from employers, co-workers and even family members. The Elsevier Foundation award is an immense honor and an appreciation of early career women scientists from developing countries who are devoted to continuing their research despite limited opportunity and constrains. It will encourage determination, amongst a new generation of women scientists, to contribute more in scientific development through research using available resources and focusing on community needs in line with national and international development goals."
"These five women are pioneers," said Professor Fang Xin, president of OWSD. "They come from different regions and different cultures, but all of them are doing highly advanced medical and life-science research. Their creativity and achievements will contribute to saving lives around the world, and that is sure to inspire a new generation of young women to pursue their highest ambitions in science and other fields."
David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, said, "The Elsevier Foundation recognizes how important professional visibility is to developing high-profile international scientific careers. Through our New Scholars grant programs we strive to support early-career women scholars with mentoring, research retreats, professional visibility, childcare, work-life integration and recognition programs. The awards for these impressive women scientists represents a cooperative effort supported by Elsevier, OWSD, AAAS and TWAS to build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world - and what better place than the annual AAAS conference to raise awareness among scientists, policymakers, journalists and the public about the need to retain and celebrate top women scientists."
The 2014 awards will be launched on April 2, 2013 and the theme will be Chemistry.