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Shruti Naik Awarded L'Oréal USA Fellowship

Press Release

Shruti Naik  has been named one of five recipients of L'Oréal USA’s ‘The 2016 For Women In Science Fellows’ for their postdoctoral research, according to a press release Sept. 26.

Over the last 13 years, L'Oréal USA's For Women in Science Fellowship program has awarded 65 postdoctoral women scientists over $3 million in grants at this critical stage of their career.

Naik, a postdoctoral scientist in immunology and stem cell biology at The Rockefeller University, will be awarded $60,000 to advance her postdoctoral research, visit the White House, the National Academy of Sciences, the New Jersey public schools and L'Oréal headquarters

"We are proud to recognize this group of exceptional female scientists for their innovative research and dedication to inspiring the next generation of women in STEM," said Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L'Oréal USA. "By providing support at a pivotal moment in their careers, we hope to empower them to further their work, continue on a path to become future leaders in their fields and perhaps one day join our previous Laureates and win a Nobel Prize."

The 2016 Fellowship candidates were evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence and their commitment to supporting women and girls in science. The Fellowship program also includes a requirement to ensure recipients are committed to serving as role models for younger generations. Applications were reviewed by experienced scientists in the candidates' respective fields through a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which manages the application process.

Naik's research focuses on understanding the role adult stem cells play in inflammation and how they can be used to treat inflammatory disorders of the skin, like psoriasis. The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship will enable Naik to produce a series of interviews with prominent female scientists in hopes of inspiring the next generation of women in STEM careers. This work will build on Naik's long-standing commitment to advocacy for gender equality, mentorship and community outreach.

At The Rockefeller University, Naik, 31, has grown the Women in Science at Rockefeller program from six to over 250 members and has established a weekly breakfast series for trainees to network with prominent female scientists. The Indian American scientists received her B.S. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program.

Raised in India until she was 12 and then Maryland, Naik now lives in New York City, where she loves seeing performance theatre, including opera, ballet, plays, musicals and improv.

Created in 1998, the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award identifies and supports accomplished female scientists around the world. Specifically, the program recognizes Laureates for their contributions to the advancement of life or physical sciences and encourages more young women to pursue STEM—a field where women remain underrepresented. Through the international program and the nearly 50 national and regional programs, such as the L'Oréal USA For Women in Science program, nearly 2,500 female scientists from more than 100 countries have been granted fellowships to pursue promising research projects.

L'Oréal USA will host an award ceremony for the Fellows in Washington, D.C. Oct. 6. The Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with L'Oréal and other STEM leaders throughout the greater New York and Washington, D.C. communities the week of Oct. 3, leading up to the ceremony. It will begin with a visit to L'Oréal USA's new corporate headquarters at Hudson Yards in New York City, followed by a mentoring session with students at Harrison Elementary School in Roselle, N.J., where they will guest-teach alongside L'Oréal scientists. They will then travel to Washington, D.C. for a discussion at the White House about issues impacting women in STEM, followed by a roundtable discussion at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, conducted by the organization's first female president, Marcia McNutt.

L'Oréal USA is the largest subsidiary of the L'Oréal Group, one of the world's leading beauty companies.

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