L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Six Promising Malaysian Women

L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Six Promising Malaysian Women

Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA May 2022 — L’Oréal Foundation is celebrating the achievements of six distinguished Malaysian women scientists who won the L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship – Young Talent Program Awards for the years 2020 and 2021.

A total of RM180,000 grant money was given away to the winners and the objective of the award is to encourage more young women to take up studies in STEM while recognising their groundbreaking research in science for the betterment of humankind.

The programme aims to help bridge the gender gap for women scientists locally and worldwide.

These six women scientists have pushed the boundaries of science, to build a more sustainable, more resilient and inclusive world for all.

According to Tomas Hruska, Managing Director of L’Oréal Singapore and Malaysia, “L’Oréal understands the urgent need to mould and cultivate the younger generation.

“As a science-based company, we are encouraging young women to take up STEM studies and pursue careers in science and innovation. We award and honour these exceptional young talented women in science, in order to inspire the next generation of scientists in Malaysia.”

L’Oréal has extended the application date for FWIS 2022 applicants. Visit here to apply!

Fighting climate change

Malaysia has generated great talent in the worldwide fight against global warming who will most likely remain anonymous in the country. The L’Oréal-UNESCO partnership has also helped them gain exposure.

We met the Malaysian jewels and brains, all ladies with amazing potential who are making significant sacrifices to improve our lot, thanks to this honour.

In the year 2020, L’Oréal-UNESCO FWIS Young Talent Program selected three winners with the best research in fighting global warming which will help the nation to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve low carbon emissions.

Datin Dr Rozeeta’s scientific research focuses on using nanotechnology to reduce carbon emissions by petrol vehicles.

She has successfully created a nanopatch using biomass materials which can be used directly onto fuel tanks and will reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.

The grant money has enabled her to create a company called Naglus Industries which now has gone into producing the Dr. Z NanoFuelTM patch. A clever initiative.

Separating carbon dioxide

Meanwhile, the second winner in 2020 is Dr Goh Pei Sean, her research is creating a system using membrane filtration to separate carbon dioxide from its source and using the microalgae photoreactor to dismantle the carbon emitted.

Her research of membrane-based gas separation is known as one of the most straightforward approaches to combat global warming.

Through the tailoring of the membrane structure, the membrane can act as a barrier to separate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from any given mixture.

Dr Goh is currently Associate Professor at the School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, University Technology Malaysia (UTM).

CO2 adsorption

In addition to these two outstanding women, L’Oréal-UNESCO FWIS also honours IR Dr Umi Fazara Md. Ali, born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, now resides in laid back Perlis.

She did her PhD at the Imperial College of London, UK. Her experimental interest is in the fundamentals and applied separation processes such as wastewater treatment, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) adsorption using ionic liquid (ILs), deep eutectic solvent (DES) and alkanolamine functionalized activated carbon produced from agricultural waste.

She is also actively involved in community services, she encourages young underprivileged students to pursue STEM studies and find fulfilling careers in engineering and science.

And the amazement isn’t over yet. There are many more brilliant Malaysian minds who will astound you with their work.

Medical breakthrough in science

There are three winners in 2021 and topping the list is Dr Cindy Teh Shuan Ju. She is a microbiologist and a lecturer at the University of Malaya Faculty of Medicine.

Dr Cindy’s research is to fight the Antimicrobial Resistance of Superbug. These super bugs are basically bacteria, viruses, fungi and germs who don’t react to medicine as can cause fatality if not treated correctly.

She is developing and assay to detect these dangerous bugs from the blood sample of patience, which eventually will literally save lives. 

DNA mutations

Following suit is Dr Felicia Chung, she has found a way to determine cancer cells by researching DNA mutations and how there are telltale signs in being cancerous cells.

These pattern in DNA modification, has opened the door to scientist to take a guess what causes cancer and a suitable prevention method could be achieved.

Dr Felicia Chung comes from Sabah, East Malaysia and she graduated from Monash University, Malaysia Campus and served at the International Agency for Research of Cancer, in Lyon, France.

DNA Biosensors

In addition to the above, 2021 saw Dr New Siu Yee as the winner as well. She was born in the seaside tourist town of Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

Dr Siu Yee and team are currently working on the research which focuses on discovering an efficient way to construct new generation of DNA Biosensors.

These DNA sensors are used to detect miRNA, a short nucleotide which potentially can be used as a cancer biomarker.

The Malaysian Fellowship for Women in Science was first awarded in 2006 to recognize and promote the works and contributions of women scientists in Malaysia. Globally, women are massively underrepresented in the field of STEM.

The Fellowship for women

According to a UNESCO report, women only make up about 28% of researchers worldwide, and only 3% percent of Nobel Prize winners in sciences have been awarded to women. 

As Malaysia recovers from the pandemic, and progresses to becoming a knowledge-based economy, the nation’s women being critically important part of the workforce must be able to support the country’s growth.

And L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science – Young Talent Program is without a doubt, an important catalyst to push these women to the forefront of scientific innovation field in Malaysia.

As a commitment to the causes L’Oréal-UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science – Young Talent Program registration for 2022 is now open. Details of application requirement can be found at this site