Women scientists who will matter in 2015 (Part 1)

This week, DiscovHER shares the first part of a list of remarkable women scientists who greatly contribute to advancing science: 5 outstanding women, from all fields and ages, who constantly prove that women can make a difference in all scientific fields.

Geneviève Almouzni

The French researcher Geneviève Almouzni is the first woman since Marie Curie and her daughter to head the Research Department of the prestigious Curie Institute dedicated to fighting cancer. A specialist of the genome, this talented scientist is also Research Director at the CNRS (French National Center For Scientific Research), where her team studies the organization of DNA in the nucleus of cells. In 2013 she won the FEBS/EMBO European Women in Science Award and became a Fellow of the French Academy of Sciences.

Fabiola Gianotti

Fabiola Gianotti, from Italy, will be the first woman Director General of CERN, the Center for European Nuclear Research, one of the world’s major research centers. Elected project leader of the ATLAS experiment in 2009, it was she who announced to the world in 2012 the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson. At ATLAS, she manages 3,000 scientists from 38 countries, proving her natural leadership skills. When she assumes the responsibilities of head of CERN in 2016, she will confirm her position as one of the most important figures in science today.

Jo Handelsman

A microbiologist and professor at Yale, Jo Handelsman was named by President Obama last July as Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She is responsible for analyzing the implications of science on domestic and international affairs, and advising the President. She is also known for her commitment to improving science education and promoting women in science.

Kanyawim Kirtikara

Kanyawim Kirtikara is a leading scientific figure in Thailand. She is the Executive Director of the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), one of Thailand’s major research centers, with over 500 staff including 155 PhDs. She is also a member of the Thai Academy of Science and Technology Foundation.

Hayat Sindi

Hayat Sindi, a pharmacologist from Saudi Arabia, is committed to putting her innovative vision and love of science at the service of populations in need. She has founded the non-profit Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity (i2institute) to provide solutions to unemployment in the Middle-East. In addition, she co-founded the “Diagnostics for All” Institution that aims at offering low-cost diagnostics, using biotechnology and micro fluids, to the 60% of the population that lives in developing countries far away from hospitals and medical facilities. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and was named one of the “150 women who shake the world” by Newsweek in 2012.

Next week, when DiscovHer presents the rest of the list, you'll meet six more extraordinary women in science.  

Photo Credit: Kris Krüg for PopTech. Picture of Hayat Sindi at PopTech 2011. Licence : Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).  

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