Our Women in Science

The 3rd International Women and Girls in Science Day, 11 February 2018, provided an opportunity to rally contributions from our labs in Trieste, Delhi and Cape Town.

It is a measure of the active and vital contribution women are making at all levels in the Life Sciences at ICGEB.

Women are active in pursuing all the instruments of action of the ICGEB: Research, Fellowships, Meetings & Courses, Grants, Technology Transfer, Biosafety and other Institutional Activities. 

ICGEB has 11 Principal Investigators who are women in its research labs in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa and who are active in the Organisation’s pillars of research, training activities and in representing ICGEB on various International. national and local – platforms, while authoring a sturdy percentage of scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals.

Women are driving macroareas of ICGEB research in Infectious Diseases (vector borne and parasitic diseases as well as the ICGEB-EMORY vaccine programme); Non-Communicable Diseases (cardiovascular disorders and immunology); Medical Biology (biosimilar drugs) and Plant Biology and Biotechnology (crop improvement, nutritional improvement, plant transformation, biotic and abiotic stress and plant RNAi biology, as well as Biosafety (in particular GMO regulations).

In 2017, 39 ICGEB Arturo Falaschi Fellowships have been awarded, of which 21 to women, and an additional 45 Fellowships were awarded on external funds (25 to women and 20 to men). Altogether there were 98 women ICGEB Fellows on board across the components during the last year. A strong percentage of ICGEB Alumni, numbering well into the hundreds, are women – women in academia, in industry, in human healthcare, in publishing and in all sectors related to the Life Sciences.

Of the 22 CRP research grants awarded in 2017, 9 went to female Principal Investigators (in Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam).

The International Seminar and Podcast programme in Trieste counts an average of 15 international women speakers each year (approx. one-third overall), while women scientists are particularly active in the outreach and public engagement activities in each Component.

Among the ICGEB recipients for recent Science Awards are:

  • Serena Zacchigna (Trieste), ITWIIN Italian Association of Women Inventors and Innovators
  • Illaria Secco (Trieste), AIRH Italian Association for Research, Prevention and Cure of disabilities
  • Amira Zine El Abidine, awarded her PhD at the Institut Pasteur, Sfax, Tunisia, following an ICGEB short-term Fellowship on Human Papillomavirus studies in Trieste, now at the University of New Mexico
  • Pratima Vasisth, DBT-ICGEB Bioenergy (Delhi), Best Young Scientist Award for her oral presentation at the Advances in Biotechnology of Algae and Cyanobacteria ABAC Conference
  • Thandeka Moyo (Cape Town), Best Oral Presentation at the South African Immunology Society SAIS Conference
  • Lerato Hlaka (South Africa) voted part of The Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans

ICGEB women scientists are active in generating funds through external grants for their research. ICGEB Cape Town is partner in STARBIOS2 – an EU Horizon 2020 Project on Enhancing Responsible Biosciences RRI, in which one of key issues is Gender in science.

ICGEB’s Governance comprises a Management Team that represents a 50% gender balance, while overall, women constitute 45% of the ICGEB workforce (of a total 692 personnel currently on board, 317 are women). The Vice-President of the Board of Governors is a woman, one third of its 63 Appointed Governors and Scientific Liaison Officers from Member States are women as are three eminent members of the Council of Scientific Advisers; all great role models and part of a valuable network of women in science.

Download additional information:

ICGEB Trieste

ICGEB New Delhi

ICGEB Cape Town

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