29 No. 3
and information on IUPAC, its fellows, and members organizations
See also www.iupac.org/news
Margaret Brimble Wins Major International Award
Brimble, a member of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Organic Synthesis
of the Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division, received
the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award
in Paris on 22 February 2007. Professor Brimble holds
the chair of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University
of Auckland. She received the award for her research on the
synthesis of biologically active natural products that provide
new lead compounds for the development of new drugs.
Based in Paris and now in its ninth year, the annual awards recognize and encourage women scientists. Professor Brimble received USD 100 000 for the award and travelled to Paris for the awards ceremony at UNESCO headquarters, which was attended by 2 000 distinguished guests. Brimble also presented her research to her peers at the highly regarded French Academy of Science.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim—professor of Organic
Chemistry and pro-vice-chancellor, University of Mauritius,
Mauritius—for her exploration and analysis of plants
from Mauritius, and their bio-medical applications.
Margaret Brimble—chair of Organic and Medicinal
Chemistry, University of Auckland, New Zealand—for
her contributions to the synthesis of complex natural
products, especially shellfish toxins.
Tatiana Birshtein—Institute of Macromolecular
compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg,
Russia—for her contribution to the understanding
of the shapes, sizes and motions of large molecules.
Ligia Gargallo—Department of Physical Chemistry,
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile—for
her contributions to understanding solution properties
Mildred Dresselhaus—institute professor
of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA—for her
research on solid state materials, including conceptualizing
the creation of carbon nanotubes.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award which reflects not only the work I have been involved in, but also the contribution made by my research students at The University of Auckland,” said Brimble. “I hope this award will serve to stimulate added interest in science amongst young women of New Zealand, gain recognition for scientific excellence in our country, and close the gender gap that exists in this rewarding field.”
The L’Oréal-UNESCO awards partnership comprises five laureates and 15 fellowships. The laureates are awarded to five eminent scientists for excellence in research, with one chosen from each of the world’s five major regions: Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Laureates are selected based on scientific excellence by a jury of eminent members of the international scientific community led by Günter Blobel who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1999.
main therapeutic areas that Brimble’s research focuses
on are treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease, peptic
ulcer disease, anti-fungal agents and Alzheimer’s disease.
She describes her group’s work as a complex game of
molecular chess whereby chemical reactions reproduce the complex
chemical structures of nature. By producing the molecules
in the laboratory, improvements can be made and many similar
yet unique molecules with even better biological activity
can be used to develop new drugs. Brimble’s group comprises
13 Ph.D. students, three honors students, and several postdoctoral
annual L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards
are designed to inspire new scientific vocations while overcoming
the gender gap in the world of science and to promote excellence
in scientific research. Laureate nominations are submitted
from each country via 2000 members of the global scientific
community and UNESCO to the awards’ international jury
last modified 15 June 2007.
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