Sunday, July 8, 2012

L’Oréal Philippines FWIS Awards Two Young, Exceptional Female Scientists



As my support for the outstanding women scientists of today, I attended  the 2011 FWIS (For Women In Science) Press Conference and Awarding Ceremony that was held at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel last week.  I believe these women deserve to be supported and encouraged through the concerted efforts of the international community. That being said, I'm glad that L'Oréal Philippines and UNESCO are there to support the women who dream of making a big difference in the field of Science.

L’Oréal Philippines believes that science is the enabler of progress and that women have an essential role to play to bring about progress. Today, women are increasingly making their marks in their respective fields, yet they remain underrepresented at the top levels of scientific research.


To celebrate the work of women scientists, L’Oréal Philippines, the worldwide leader in cosmetics and UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, renew their joint commitment in promoting scientific careers and recognizing outstanding women scientists through For Women In Science (FWIS). FWIS is one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated international programs in the scientific community today.


Luc Olivier-MARQUET, Managing Director of L’Oréal Philippines explains, "FWIS is one of the strongest programs L’Oréal has globally today, mainly because it values key components in our company DNA –science and women. Through this program, we have been able to create a community of women who move science forward in the hopes of making the world a better place."


As L’Oréal Philippines marks the third year of FWIS in the Philippines, it is working together with its partners, UNESCO and the Department of Science and technology, to empower and inspire Filipina scientists to pursue their dreams to achieve progress.
Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow 

Dr. Ma. Cecilia Conaco, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow 
 In this light, L’Oréal Philippines is proud to announce the second batch of L’Oréal FWIS National Fellows--Dr. Ma. Cecilia Conaco and Dr. Aletta Yñiguez. After a grueling judging process headed by the first Filipino FWIS ASEAN Laureate, Professor Lourdes Cruz, both women stood out among the rest and will be awarded PhP 400,000 grants each to aid their research.

From left to right: Luc Olivier-Marquet, L’Oreal’s  Managing Director; Dr. Ma. Cecilia Conaco, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow; DOST Undersecretary Fortunato dela Peña; Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow and Dr. Virginia Miralao, Secretary Genaral of UNESCO National Commission 

From left to right: Dr. Ma. Cecilia Conaco, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow; Luc Olivier-Marquet, L’Oreal’s Managing Director and Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow

"Through the FWIS Program we have encountered so many exceptional women and heard their incredible stories of hard work and dedication. It is very heart-warming to know that through the program, we have somehow helped bring these women a step closer to achieving their dreams and move science forward," said Pamela Picazo-Garcia, L’Oréal Philippines Corporate Communications Manager.




Dr. Ma. Cecilia G. Conaco, a 34-year old Balik Scientist, is a post-doctoral researcher at the Neuroscience Research Institute, University of California, USA where she is also a recipient of the Excellence in Neuroscience Research Award. She received the FWIS National Fellowship grant for her research proposal entitled Dynamic Gene Regulation in Marine Sponges which aims to identify novel sponge genes and the mechanisms that allow the organism to monitor and adapt to its environment. Through her research, Dr. Conaco hopes to understand the impact of ecological change in marine life better.



The second National Fellow, Dr. Aletta T. Yñiguez is currently an Assistant Professor at the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines. She received the FWIS National Fellowship grant for her research proposal entitled Enhancing robustness of plankton models and monitoring systems by understanding fine-scale biophysical processes. This project intends to better understand how primary producers in the marine environment shift and contribute to the fisheries or turn into toxic blooms.


From left to right: Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow and Dr. Ma. Cecilia Conaco, 2011 For Women in Science National Fellow
"I am deeply honored to recognize the two very young and accomplished Filipina scientists, who demonstrated excellence and dedication in their craft. All of their hard work will certainly be an inspiration for generations to come", adds Luc – Olivier Marquet.
 
But wait, there's more! :) 


The Search for National Fellows continues. This is simply the beginning for L’Oréal Philippines as it continues the search for the next FWIS National Fellows. This year, L’Oréal Philippines will bring outstanding Filipina scientists in the spotlight. FWIS National Fellowships is now accepting research proposals related to the Life and Material Sciences from applicants who hold or are currently pursuing Master’s or Ph.D. degrees in any field of Life and Material science and are not more than 45 years old. Two fellowship grants worth PhP400,000 each, will be given to two deserving women based on the judging criteria of an esteemed jury composed of representatives from L’Oréal Philippines, UNESCO and the DOST. Deadline for submission is March 2013.

To know more about FWIS National Fellowships – Philippines, log on to
www.fwis.com.ph or email the FWIS Secretariat at FWISsecretariat@eon.com.ph / call 893-5642 loc. 136.




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