STA, 15 June 2021 - Three Slovenian promising young women researchers specialising in gynaecological oncology, genetic toxicology and natural resources economics have won the national L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science scholarships for 2021.
The EUR 5,000 awards were conferred to Monika Sobočan, Martina Štampar and Tanja Šumrada by L'Oreal Adria and the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO in Ljubljana on Tuesday.
Hailing the winners Vanya Panayatova, general manager for Adria-Balkans at L'Oréal, said the Women in Science programme had in the past 15 years supported 43 exceptional researchers in Slovenia, who would join 3,600 women researchers in 117 countries.
Addressing the award ceremony by video link, Education Minister Simona Kustec said gender equality in science would be one of the priorities in science as Slovenia holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of the year.
Gender equality would also be dealt with in a new bill on research and innovation that is to be put to parliament for discussion shortly.
The awards were conferred to the three researchers in recognition for their excellent research and vital contribution to the development of science and society's progress.
Monika Sobočan, 29, is working on a doctoral thesis at the Maribor Faculty of Medicine and the UKC Maribor medical centre studying biomarkers that could help recognise how aggressive ovarian cancer and how it responds to systemic therapy.
As part of her training at Royal London Hospital and Queen Mary University of London she is working on cancer prevention and preventive surgical procedures in women with genetic risks for gynaecological cancers.
Martina Štampar, 30, in January successfully defended her doctoral thesis where she studied and developed a new liver in-vitro 3D cell model to be used for testing genotoxic activity of xenobiotic substances.
Štampar now works as junior researcher at the genetic toxicology and cancer biology at the National Institute of Biology.
Tanja Šumrada, 29, studies the impact of farming on biodiversity and environmental protection within the Slovenian and EU agricultural policy as part of her post-graduate study.
Europe and the world have seen a sharp decline in biodiversity in recent decades, the main reasons being change in the manners of farming and use of soil, said Šumrada, who is part of a team of researchers at the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty who explore suitable development solutions for rural areas.