This year marks L’Oréal USA’s 20th anniversary of helping to advance women in STEM fields through its FWIS program, which has provided more than $5 million in grants to support the work of innovative women scientists.
The 2023 class of L’Oréal USA For Women in Science recipients specialize in the fields of biology, biological engineering, biomedical engineering, data science/biotechnology and microbiology.
The candidates were evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence, and their commitment to supporting women and girls in science.
See the 2023 class of L’Oréal USA For Women in Science recipients below:
Bria Macklin, whose research in data science and biotechnology at the Gladstone Institutes focuses on how we can improve current gene editing strategies for genetic diseases that affect motor neurons. Successful gene therapies have the potential to change lives, and many genetic diseases are currently uncurable. Her research has the potential to generate new cures.
Taylor Medwig-Kinney, whose research in biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focuses on how cells change shape during development, using microscopic worms called C.elegans that allow her to observe cells changing shape in real time. Studying this can help understand when this process goes wrong in humans, which can lead to conditions such as spina bifida.
Joscelyn Mejías, whose research in biomedical engineering at John Hopkins University focuses on studying uterine fibroids, a non-cancerous but painful tumor of the uterus that can impact fertility. Uterine fibroids are extremely common, yet not well understood. She hopes her research will lead to new and better treatment options for targeting uterine fibroids and fibrosis.
Jessleen Kanwal, whose research in biology and biological engineering at the California Institute of Technology focuses on how animals interact adaptively with other organisms, focusing on the rove beetle species to understand how it uses sensory cues that are critical for survival. Understanding this in the beetle brain can help identify core functions of the human brain to identify when we’re aging and where our ability to combine the senses and interact with others starts to decline.
Caitlin Kowalski, whose research in microbiology at the University of Oregon focuses on how the fungi that live on our bodies can help protect humans from infection. There is very little known about how host-associated fungi contribute to human health, and her work emphasizes the importance of considering fungi as a resource to identify new antibiotics.
Read more: revisit last year’s fellows.
“L’Oréal USA is proud to recognize this 20th Anniversary milestone of the For Women in Science program. This initiative has become a hallmark for our company, which for two decades has given women in STEM the visibility and resource contributions needed to help them excel in their fields, advance their careers and establish themselves as leaders and role models for the next generation of girls and young women,” said Marissa Pagnani McGowan, L’Oréal Groupe’s Chief Sustainability Officer for North America.
She added, “We are delighted to showcase this exceptional class of FWIS awardees, who will undoubtedly carry on this legacy, complete groundbreaking research and inspire others to impact the world through their game-changing science.”
L’Oréal USA will recognize the 2023 For Women in Science recipients at an awards ceremony hosted by CBS Evening News Anchor and Managing Editor, Norah O’Donnell, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. on Thursday, November 16th.