FNP winner honoured in L’Oréal-UNESCO international competition

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Dr Bernadeta Szewczyk, a neurobiologist from the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, was recognized in the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science competition in the category of International Rising Talents.

Dr Bernadeta Szewczyk, a winner in the START and POMOST/BRIDGE programmes of the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), was honoured for her research into understanding the molecular basis of depression , explaining the mechanisms responsible for the action of anti-depressant drugs, and seeking new compounds with anti-depressant properties. Dr Szewczyk is affiliated with the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where she is writing her postdoctoral thesis at the Department of Neurobiology. In 2005–2007 she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. She has published 73 research papers. She is also a reviewer of works for several foreign scientific journals.

Dr Szewczyk is one of 15 winners of research grants in this year’s edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards in the category of International Rising Talents. The 13-member jury, led by Prof. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009, awarded grand prizes (of EUR 100,000 each) to five women researchers: Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier (Europe) and Prof. Jennifer Doudna (North America) for redefining genetic research, Prof. Quarraisha Abdul Karim (Africa and the Arab States) for controlling the spread of HIV, Prof. Hualan Chen (Asia) for protecting life against deadly flu viruses, and Prof. Andrea Gamarnik (Latin America) for limiting the spread of dengue.

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science was established in 1998. Its goal is to promote the scientific achievements of talented women researchers and to encourage them to continue their work contributing to the advancement of science. A grant programme is also conducted by the Polish subsidiary of the L’Oréal Group. In the Polish competition For Women and Science, 70 women have been honoured so far in such fields as medicine, biotechnology and biology.

*Photo: Dr Bernadeta Szewczyk (L’Oréal Polska archive)