Baek Sung-hee, professor of biological science at Seoul National University, was on Tuesday awarded the Korea L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Life Science in recognition of her study of cancer.
The award, jointly given by the France-based beauty company’s Korean branch, UNESCO and Women’s Bioscience Forum, is regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes awarded to female scientists here.
Baek, 40, is the world’s first scientist who has succeeded in verifying the mechanism and control of the cancer metastasis suppressor gene KAI-1 in 2005, with her study paper published in the prominent scientific journal Nature. She has gained international recognition over the past years as her study contributes to the development of a new anti-cancer medicine and genetic treatment.
Her winning of the award came six years after she was awarded with a fellowship program, which is given to young female scientists on the sidelines of the main award.
“In order to fight cancer, which is one of the top three diseases that threaten people’s life here, I’ll study harder to contribute to our society as well as creating a better research environment for talented young female scientists,” she said.
As part of its social contribution activities, L’Oreal Korea launched the regional award in 2002 in line with L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Program, which was established in 1998 under the slogan “The world needs science, science needs women.”
Along with the winner of the main prize, three other female scientists aged 40 or younger are selected for fellowship program every year.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)