Photo - Karolin Koster.
On September 5, 2023, in collaboration with the Baltic States’ Academies of Sciences and UNESCO National Commissions, L’Oréal awarded seven talented female scientists in the prestigious Baltic Young Talents Program for Women in Science. Among them two doctoral students - M.sc.ing. Katrīna Laganovska and M.sc.biol. Cristina Bajo Santos - and Dr.chem. Liene Grigorjeva from Latvia.
Doctoral student M.sc.ing. Katrīna Laganovska is a researcher at the Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia. She receives teh award for a project on the study of optical properties and defects in ferroelectric metal oxides. This will allow further research into ferroelectric field effect transistors, which, if successful and scalable, could be used in next-generation computers, opening the door to a whole new computer architecture.
Doctoral student M.sc.biol. Cristina Bajo Santos is a researcher at the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center. She is receiving support for the development of a new, non-invasive method for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of prostate cancer. It will make it possible to obtain data on the presence of tumor-secreted RNA-type biomarkers in men's urine and blood plasma samples faster and easier. This approach is expected to facilitate early diagnosis of prostate cancer and reduce mortality from prostate cancer.
Dr.chem. Liene Grigorjeva is the leading researcher of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) in the Organic Synthesis Methodology group and a member of the LIOS Scientific Council. Dr.chem. Liene Grigorjeva is recognized for developing a methodology using affordable, non-toxic cobalt catalysts to synthesize valuable organic compounds. These methods yield new as well as known compounds with useful properties, aligning with modern resource efficiency and environmental standards. The title of the awarded research is “Cobalt-Catalyzed C-H Bond Functionalization.”
During the ceremonial award presentation at the Estonian Academy of Sciences in Tallinn, the laureates were greeted by the former President of Latvia (1999-2007), the patroness of the Baltic Young Talents Program for Women in Science, Academician Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga:
“Women in science have been rare for a long time. However, even ancient history has distinguished examples. For instance, Hypatia, the distinguished mathematician of Alexandria, was gruesomely murdered by fanatics of her day simply for being a woman of science. Science, in fact, has been in constant battle against unreason, superstition, and fanaticism throughout its history. The rule of reason is what keeps us from savagery, cruelty, and injustices.”
She wished the young scientists:
“There is a vast universe out there, full of unknowns, despite all the efforts and generations we have dedicated to exploring it. I believe it is a noble mission to continue forward, to do your part, and to strive for your best. I wish you both professional and personal success because your personal happiness is an integral part of your life too.”
Ivars Kalviņš, the President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, pointed out that this year, 36 young female scientists from Latvia applied for the program, including 17 Ph.D. holders and 19 doctoral students, submitting high-quality research projects.
The Women in Science program in Latvia was established 19 years ago by program patron Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (President of Latvia from 1999 to 2007). Currently, the Women in Science program is implemented by L’Oréal in collaboration with the Academies of Sciences of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, as well as UNESCO National Commissions.
M.sc.ing. Katrīna Laganovska, doktorante M.sc.biol. Cristina Bajo Santos and Dr.chem. Liene Grigorjeva.
Photo - Jānis Deinats.