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Honoring the accomplishments of young female scientists

Five female scientists were recently named recipients of the 2012 L'Oréal USA Fellowships For Women In Science, a program that recognizes and rewards women researchers early in their careers. Among this year’s recipients is Stanford geneticist Joanna Lynne Kelley, PhD, who works in the lab of Carlos Bustamante, PhD.

Kelley's work focuses on how populations diverge and adapt to the environments they encounter. She traces her interest in science back to childhood, when she would spend hours exploring the outdoors with her siblings and would routinely discuss scientific questions and math problems with her family during dinner.

Kelley said the L'Oréal award will enable her to execute a research project that she developed on her own – something that not every postdoctoral scholar is able to do. “It's really special for postdocs to be able to be more independent about their research and about the way that their funding works,” one of her co-recipients, UCLA's Christina Agapakis, PhD, agreed.

In the video above, the five researchers, who recently traveled to New York for the awards ceremony, discuss their work and elaborate on how the award will benefit them. I especially like this quote from ceremony attendee and New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who comments on the potential impact of female-geared programs like these:

To see these women be honored and supported by a major company like L'Oréal I hope will send an inspiring message to each one of those young women and girls here tonight that they can be the next great scientist…

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