Reiko Kuroda, a leading Japanese scientist and a graduate of the Ochanomizu University Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, has been named a Laureate of the 2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards.
The award, which recognizes women's activities in the sciences and supports scientific vocations, goes to female scientists who have made major contributions to scientific development.
Kuroda, currently a professor at the Research Institute for Science & Technology at the Tokyo University of Science (and Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo), was named a winner "for her work on the concept of handedness in the natural world and discovering the functional importance of the difference between left-handed and right-handed molecules, which has wide applications, including research on neurodegenerative diseases." Through her research, Kuroda has shown the importance of the "molecular chirality" (handedness) phenomenon observed in genes, proteins, and other elements of the natural world, a finding that has significant implications for applied research in organic/inorganic compounds, Alzheimer's, and many more fields.
For her remarkable efforts, Kuroda will receive 100,000 USD (approximately 8,000,000 yen) at an Awards ceremony at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on March 28, 2013.
Kuroda is the fourth Japanese female scientist to win the award. She joins:
Since L’Oréal and UNESCO established the "For Women in Science" award in 1998 to elevate the standing of women in science around the world, the award has recognized 72 women who have made valuable contributions to scientific progress. For the 2013 award, organizers selected five world-class recipients responsible for exceptional work in the physical sciences. With an impressive list of past recipients that includes Elizabeth Blackburn (the North American Laureate for L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science in 2008) , who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and Ada Yonath (the European Laureate for L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science in 2008), who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, many consider the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award to be the "Nobel Prize for women."
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