For Women in Science The 10th anniversary of the National For Women in Science Fellowship program in Japan

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Japan’s For Women in Science National Award in the presence of her Imperial Highness Princess Hitachi and three Global Laureates!

On July 8th, the 10th Japanese For Women in Science National Fellowship ceremony was held at the exclusive French Ambassador’s residence with over 100 guests including country manager Klaus Fassbender, the French Ambassador, and key media, as well as high profile members of the government such as Director-General of the Gender Equality Bureau, the Cabinet Office, and Koichiro Matsuura, former Director-General of UNESCO.

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary, Her Imperial Highness Princess Hitachi made a special speech commenting,

“L’Oréal and UNESCO play a significant role by supporting and recognizing talented young women scientists globally. Education leads to gaining interest in diverse field. Therefore, offering a grant to pursue and support continued research is of great value.”

Presence of three Global Laureates

A special touch to the 2015 ceremony was bringing together the three Japanese Laureates for the first time: 2009 Laureate Prof. Akiko Kobayashi who also serves as a national jury member, 2013 Laureate Prof. Reiko Kuroda, and 2014 Laureate Prof. Kayo Inaba who gave an encouraging speech to the fellows.

“Challenge with courage. Bear in mind Responsibility which is about “respond” and “ability”. Respond to expectations without fear and keep moving forward. Have the ability to also respect and show compassion to the next generation.”

10 years of history

The ceremony also highlighted the 36 national Fellows and their diverse careers and life styles since being awarded. The national fellows are continuing their research in Japan and overseas, teaching the next generation, married and having children, and being exceptional role models who are opening up new boundaries, and challenging for a better working environment for women scientists in Japan.

Meet the 2015 Fellows:

Material Sciences

Kumiko Yamamoto (29) Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Development of catalytic asymmetric consecutive aldol reaction

Yoko Yoshimura (26) Kyoto University Graduate School of Science

Development of magnetic domain wall based memory for next generation memory device

Life Sciences

Maki Hayashi (28) Nagoya University Graduate School of Science

Study of molecular mechanism in blue light-induced stomatal opening

Risa Mukai (27) Tokushima Bunri University, Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Development of mechanistic characterization of the disturbance of host cellular functions by HTLV-1 bZIP factor

Special Award

A Special Award which is given to an individual or association that is active in promoting the importance of education including science was presented to Kurara Chibana the first Japanese World Food Program Ambassador. She was recognized for her 9 years of continued dedication in educating about the importance of ending hunger through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) by visiting developing countries, war-torn regions, and regions affected by natural disaster.

Developing the national award with digital communication

As a next step for the program, a dedicated national For Women in Science page on the Japanese L’Oréal website will go live this summer.

As an interactive digital communication tool, national fellows, global Laureates, jury members, lab scientists, and third party members will comment on diverse topics from career path, work life balance, studying overseas, social issues, to promoting the fun of physical sciences.

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