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L'OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science Names Professor Deborah Jin 2013 Laureate for North America

NEW YORK, NY and PARIS--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) -  The L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO announce the five exceptional women scientists from around the world who have been selected to be the 2013 L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureates. The research of the 2013 Laureates demonstrates exceptionally original approaches to fundamental research in the Physical Sciences, from contributing to better understanding climate change to advancing research on neurodegenerative diseases and potentially uncovering new energy sources.

An international network of scientists review the candidates for each year's Awards. An independent, international Jury, comprised of 13 members and presided over by Professor Ahmed Zewail, winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, selected this year's five Laureates. 

"We are very proud to have changed the face of science by supporting women in science," said Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal and Chairman of L'Oréal Foundation. "We are convinced that science and women bring hope and foster discovery, innovation and excellence. All the best talents must be called upon to accomplish this mission. L'Oréal believes in women, L'Oréal believes in science."


Professor Deborah Jin is a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Quantum Physics Division, JILA Fellow at NIST-JILA at the University of Colorado, and Professor Adjoint in the Physics Department at the University. 

Jin's research focuses on ultracold trapped atoms. Her experiments use laser cooling, magnetic trapping, and evaporative cooling to reach temperatures below one microKelvin, where quantum statistics dominate the behavior of atoms. By cooling fermions, in addition to bosons, we can explore a variety of phenomena such as Bose-Einstein condensation, Cooper pairing of fermions, ultracold atomic interactions, and superfluidity in dilute atomic gases.

Professor Deborah Jin earned a Ph.D. in physics from The University of Chicago in 1995, after graduating from Princeton with an A.B. in physics in 1990. In 1997, Jin was hired by NIST, elected a Fellow of JILA, and appointed Professor Adjoint in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado. There she began studying ultracold gases of fermions, a class of particles (including electrons) that cannot share the same quantum state. In 1999, her group cooled a gas of fermions (potassium atoms) to less than a millionth of a degree above absolute zero. Science Magazine hailed this accomplishment as a "Science Breakthrough of the Year."

Jin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her other honors include the American Physical Society's Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, NIST's Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, The Franklin Institute's 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the Service to America Medal, and the 2009 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement.

Along with Professor Deborah Jin, the other Laureates recognized for their scientific achievements include:

Professor Francisca Nneka OKEKE, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria)
"For understanding of daily variations of the ion currents in the upper atmosphere which may further our understanding of climate change."

Professor Reiko Kuroda, Tokyo University of Science (Japan)
"For discovering the functional importance of the difference between left handed and right handed molecules which has applications for research is neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's."

Professor Pratibha Gai, University of York (United Kingdom)
"For advancing our understanding of insulin secretion and of neonatal diabetes."

Professor Marcia Barbosa, Federak University if Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre (Brazil)
"For discovering one of the peculiarities of water which may lead to better understanding of how earthquakes occur and how proteins fold which is important for the treatment of diseases."

The Awards Ceremony takes place on March 28, 2013 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. As outstanding role models for the next generation of scientists, each Laureate receives $100,000 in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of science.

A Jury Made Up of Eminent Scientists
The 2013 L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards Life Sciences Jury is made up of 13 eminent members of the international scientific community. The President of the jury is Professor Ahmed Zewail, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1999. Professor Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1974, is the Founding President of the Awards; Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO, is Honorary President.

A Pioneering Program for the Promotion of Women in Science
For the past 15 years, the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO have supported women researchers throughout the world who contribute to moving science forward. Each year, the For Women in Science Program highlights scientific excellence and encourages promising talent.

Since 1998, the L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards have recognized 73 Laureates, all exceptional women who have made great advances in scientific research. Two of which have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize. 

In its aim to promote and encourage women throughout their scientific careers, the For Women in Science partnership has also developed a global network of International, Regional and National Fellowship programs aimed at supporting young women who represent the future of science. To date, Fellowships have been granted to more than 1,300 women in 106 countries, permitting them to pursue their research in institutions at home or abroad. The program has become a benchmark of scientific excellence on an international scale.

About the L'Oréal Foundation
The L'Oréal Foundation, created in 2007, pursues the goal of making the world a better place each day. It draws on the Group's values and business to strengthen and perpetuate the Group's commitment to social responsibility. As the second-largest corporate foundation in France, the L'Oréal Foundation is committed to three types of action: promoting scientific research in the fundamental and human sciences, supporting education and helping individuals made vulnerable by alternations to their appearance to reclaim their rightful place in society.

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has pursued its mission of promoting science at the service of sustainable development and peace. It focuses on policy development and building capacities in science, technology and innovation and promoting and strengthening science education and engineering. UNESCO fosters the sustainable management of freshwater, oceans and terrestrial resources, the protection of biodiversity, and using the power of science to cope with climate change and natural hazards. The Organization also works to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to promote equality between men and women, especially in scientific research.