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Life Sciences 2018: Nomination and Acceptance Speeches

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

On the awards night, nomination and acceptance speeches were read out whilst the piece of heirloom jewellery was passed from the current award holders to the 2018 recipients. You can read these below.


Professor Kia Nobre, University of Oxford, UK, nominated Professor Cathy Price, University College London, UK

Professor Kia Nobre says, “I chose Cathy Price as my nominee because of the multifaceted way in which she is an inspiring scientist. Cathy is a pioneer in brain-imaging and in the study of language in the human brain, and she is director of the world-leading Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging. She blossomed through the trenches of a very macho world with gentle words, generous deeds, scientific commitment and rigour, genuine translation of research to clinical benefit, and humour."


Dr Lori Passmore, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK, nominated Professor Rebecca Voorhees, California Institute of Technology, USA

Dr Lori Passmore says, “I met Rebecca Voorhees when she was a PhD student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. She has made outstanding contributions towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of the fundamental processes of protein translation and translocation. She tackled these challenging problems with enthusiasm and provided a unique perspective. Rebecca is also an excellent colleague – she is thoughtful, provides mentorship to junior colleagues and offers advice to others. Her ambition and insights have been inspirational - this is why I have nominated her to receive the suffrage science heirloom.”

Professor Rebecca Voorhees says, “It is a tremendous honour to have been nominated for a Suffrage Science award, and I am very disappointed that I cannot attend the ceremony in person. It is especially meaningful that the award is being passed on by my colleague and friend, Lori Passmore, whom I hold in the highest esteem as both a scientist and mentor. Recognition from Lori and Suffrage Science is particularly valuable at this challenging and exciting time in my career, having started my independent research group this year. It is a privilege to be a part of this community of women scientists.”


Dr Déborah Bourc'his, Institute Curie, Paris, France, nominated Professor Claire Rougeulle, Paris Diderot University, France

Dr Déborah Bourc'his says, “Claire is a great researcher: she is not afraid of thinking outside the box and adventuring onto unbeaten paths, she is a free thinker, is fair and has an acute sense of analysis. Secondly, our relationship illustrates that being a scientist can bring you much more that science-related satisfaction: it can bring you intense friendship. Having role models and mentors is important for women in science. But having a soul mate, with whom to naturally exchange as you both mature scientifically and personally, is an invaluable chance. It makes you stronger and more confident.”


Dr Uraina Clark, ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA, nominated Professor Denise Head, Washington University in Saint Louis, USA

Dr Uraina Clark says, “Denise is conducting an innovative program of cognitive neuroscience research that advances our understanding of factors that contribute to memory and cognitive declines in older adults. Her work also reveals how simple interventions (such as exercise) might help to slow these declines. Dr. Head’s neuroimaging research, with its focus on understanding and maintaining cognitive health in older adults, is both timely and critical.”


Dr Airlie McCoy, University of Cambridge, UK, nominated Professor Jenny Martin, Griffith University, Australia

Dr Airlie McCoy says, “The Suffrage Science Award is a perfect fit to Jenny's contributions: she is an eloquent and effective advocate of women in STEM; was recently awarded Companion of the Order of Australia for her scientific achievements; and is a former D.Phil. student with Louise Johnson. Apart from these public and worthy reasons for passing the heirloom to Jenny, I also have a private one. Jenny was the first female scientific speaker I heard in a scientific meeting. I was at the very start of my PhD, and her presentation was intellectually exciting and delivered with her hallmark calm authority. I remember it well, and it has been a template I have aimed to emulate ever since.”

Professor Jenny Martin says, “I am deeply humbled and honoured to be nominated for this award, especially considering I live on the other side of the world. Regrettably, because I live on the other side of the world, I am unable to attend the Suffrage Sciences Award ceremony in person. Nevertheless, I am delighted to be there with you in spirit and to applaud such a wonderful initiative. Thank you.”


Dr Michelle James, Stanford University, USA, nominated Professor Anna Wu, UCLA, USA

Dr Michelle James says “Professor Anna Wu runs a highly successful research laboratory that is developing cutting-edge imaging techniques to help diagnose and better treat cancer, she also serves as the Director of the Cancer Molecular Imaging Program at UCLA, has a family that she loves spending time with, and is the co-founder and chief scientist of ImaginAb. Moreover, she spends a considerable amount of time talking with trainees in the field to encourage and help guide them in making decisions about their academic pursuits and career path. She is an incredibly brilliant scientist, a lovely person, and a wonderful role model for women (and men) that want to pursue a career in academia and/or industry.”


Professor Marja Jäätelä, Danish Cancer Soc. Res. Centre, Denmark, nominated Professor Mikala Egeblad, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, USA

Professor Marja Jäätelä says, "Mikala Egeblad is an Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in the USA. I admire Mikala’s extraordinary courage to keep posing scientific questions of her deepest interest, even when they require the most challenging, time-consuming and costly methods.”


Professor Corinne Houart, King’s College London, UK, nominated Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, UK

Professor Corinne Houart says, “The award needs to be given to a successful scientist in the peak of her career, whom combines her research achievements to activities promoting women in science. Prof. Irene Miguel-Aliaga fits these criteria perfectly. She is developing a very successful and original research program and communicates her findings with passion and great clarity. Alongside her research activities, she mentors younger female scientists and actively participates to initiatives to improve the gender balance at senior level.”

Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga says, “I am thrilled for two reasons. Firstly, the nominator, for whom I have huge respect both as a scientist and as a human being. Secondly for the award, which serves as reminder of how much we have achieved for women in science, but also of how we must continue to nurture women-friendly scientific environments – they are still the exception rather than the rule in a world where, in many countries, women don’t have basic human rights let alone access to science!”


Dr Sally John, Biogen Idec, Boston, USA, nominated Professor Anat Mirelman, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Israel

Dr Sally John says, “Anat Mirelman, is the Director of the Laboratory for Early Markers of Neurodegeneration (LEMON); Associate Director of the Center for the study of Movement; Cognition and Mobility (CMCM) in the Department of Neurology, at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre. Anat is a real pioneer, using a combination of tools including imaging, cognition tests and digital devices to understand and monitor neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. Anat’s dedication and commitment to the patients and her clear vision to enable translational research and detect disease early has really inspired me since I have begun collaborating with her. I nominated Anat because she has all the attributes of a role model in academic science and I have no doubt she will continue to grow, be successful and contribute to scientific knowledge and improvement of patient lives.”


Professor Catherina Becker, University of Edinburgh, UK, nominated Professor Elizabeth Bradbury, King’s College London, UK

Professor Catherina Becker says, “Liz has fundamentally shaped an important and long neglected area of her research field (extracellular matrix in spinal cord injury), she is a fantastic group leader and mentor, consistently contributing to science and science dissemination in this important field. A visible and inspirational female leader.”


Dr Pippa Goldschmidt, Freelance/ University of Edinburgh, UK, nominated Susan M.Gaines, writer/Bremen University, Germany

Dr Pippa Goldschmidt says, “Susan is the author of ‘Carbon Dreams’ – an outstanding example of what is known as ‘lablit’ – a genre of fiction that explores real science and scientific practice. She is also the instigator and director of the ‘fiction meets science’ programme at the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg. Fiction meets science’ is really important in its identification of lablit as an interesting genre worthy of academic consideration, as well as its support for people who write in that genre. Susan works incredibly hard on running this programme and thoroughly deserves a Suffrage Science award.”

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