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Life Sciences 2020: Nomination Speeches

The 2018 Suffrage Science Awardees on why they have nominated the next recipients of their award.


Professor Cathy Price of University College London, nominated Professor Karalyn Patterson of University of Cambridge. Professor Price said:

"Professor Karalyn Patterson is a founding cognitive neuroscientist whose work pioneered our understanding of semantic memory and reading, and their disorders in neurological patients. Karalyn’s intellectual rigor, her ability to translate science into comprehensible words, and her passion for nurturing the careers of young colleagues have inspired not only me, but countless others throughout her career."


Professor Rebecca Voorhees of the California Institute of Technology, nominated Dr Kelly Nguyen of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Professor Voorhees said:

"Kelly is absolutely deserving of the Suffrage Science Award. We were PhD students around the same time at the MRC LMB. I've always been impressed by the way she approached scientific problems: with a combination of rigor, tenacity and optimism. Her scientific intuition and technical skills have enabled her incredible success in structural biology. On top of her ground-breaking scientific achievements, she's a supportive colleague and friend. Having recently started her own group, I have no doubt she will continue to be an extraordinary mentor.”


Professor Claire Rouguelle of Paris Diderot University, nominated Dr Cécile Martinat of I-STEM France. Professor Rouguelle said:

"Cécile is a great scientist. She conducts cutting edge research in basic science with strong therapeutic perspectives. She also takes leading roles in developing and structuring stem cell research in France and internationally, and promotes science and its communication to the general public. I admire her scientific qualities, but also for her tireless investment for the community, her generosity and humility. On top of it, she manages to balance an intense scientific career with her family life, being mother of 2 young boys. Cécile is thus an inspiring figure for women, and men, in science."


Professor Denise Head of Washington University in St Louis, nominated Associate Professor Laura Colgin of University of Texas Austin. Professor Head said:

"Dr. Colgin conducts impactful research focused on enhancing knowledge of the relationship between hippocampal brain rhythms and memory. Importantly, Dr. Colgin is a passionate mentor for undergraduate and graduate students. She is devoted to providing a supportive and rigorous research training environment for all students."


Professor Jenny Martin of University of Wollongong, nominated Professor Elspeth Garman of University of Oxford. Professor Martin said:

"Elspeth has always been a wonderful role model for me, and many others in the field of structural biology. She is an inspirational leader who has made huge impact in her research, developing and applying new methods to tackle difficult problems. Elspeth has won numerous awards including the 2019 Max Perutz prize of the European Crystallography Association.”


Professor Anna Wu of City of Hope nominated Professor Naomi Matsuura of University of Toronto. Professor Wu said:

"Naomi has applied her training in physics and materials science to develop innovative nanomaterials for applications in molecular imaging. Her ability to work across disciplines has led to advances in detection and imaging of cancers, and she was recognised by WISE Women for her work in breast cancer treatment. I know Naomi best through her work as Chair of the Leadership Committee of the Women in Molecular Imaging Network, where she has worked tirelessly to support and advance the careers of women, with a focus on trainees and early-stage professionals. She’s a great scientist and an inspiring leader.”


Professor Mikala Egeblad of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, nominated Professor Zena Werb (1945 – 2020) of University of California, San Francisco. Professor Egeblad said:

"I admire Zena Werb’s numerous ground-breaking discoveries and her ability to develop innovative scientific ideas and paradigms. She was driven by her curiosity and sense of what is important and did not turn away from answering a scientific question just because it was difficult. She was a trailblazer for women in science: supporting women through her work in the American Society of Cell Biology, inspiring women through her own career, and mentoring generations of successful women in her field."


Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga of MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, nominated Professor Gisou van der Goot of EPFL. Professor Miguel-Aliaga said:

"I wish to nominate Gisou for her original research exploring how cellular membranes and organelles function, and how they are targeted by pathogens, but also for her efforts towards increasing equality and representation for female scientists in Switzerland, where female Faculty numbers are unusually low, at least by European standards. These efforts have most recently included a national strike for equal pay."


Professor Anat Mirelman of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, nominated Prof Mazzà of University of Sheffield. Professor Mirelman said:

“I chose to present this award to Claudia as I think she embodies the qualities that we want to see in great female scientists; innovation, professionalism, excellence and leadership. I have had the great privilege to see Claudia in action as we are collaborating on the MOBILISE-D project and Claudia is leading the technical arm of this project. This is a heavily male dominated area, yet Claudia is beautifully steering this group. It is my true honour to hand over this award to such an inspiring scientist."


Professor Elizabeth Bradbury of King’s College London, nominated Dr Veronique Miron of University of Edinburgh. Professor Bradbury said:

"I am nominating Veronique because she is an inspirational scientist in many ways. Not only is she breaking new ground with the novel and innovative research programme that she is developing, she is also an inspirational and supportive group leader, mentor and champion of women in science. She is a great role model and truly deserving of a Suffrage Science award."


Susan M. Gaines of Bremen University, nominated Professor Samantha ‘Mandy’ Joye of Univeristy of Georgia. Gaines said:

"I have never heard anyone talk about bacteria with more affection and contagious excitement than Mandy. Among the first to document the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, she was adamant about communicating accurately to the press — despite threats and censorship from all sides. She has appeared in documentaries, kept an active public science blog, inspired students, testified to congress, as well as being one of the main scientific advisors for the BBC’s 'Blue Planet' series. All this, while running an active research lab and raising three marvellous daughters!"

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