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Christine Roden, a postdoctoral researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill, was one of five women honored this month for the work in STEM fields by L’Oréal USA, as part of the cosmetics company’s For Women in Science Fellowship program.

L’Oréal recognized the 2019 fellows at a November 7 awards ceremony hosted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

Now in its sixteenth year, the fellowship program, which includes a $60,000 cash award, is administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The program has recognized eighty female postdoc students with over $4 million since 2003, according to a news release on Tuesday.

Roden is a thirty-two-year-old RNA biologist and Pennsylvania native. She earned a Ph.D. in genetics at Yale University and an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh.

The fellowship will enable her to spend time learning new techniques for RNA profiling. She can also use the funding to hire an undergraduate to assist her with experiments and data collection. 

“Her research in RNA biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill seeks to understand how disrupted RNA structures can result in diseases like ALS or cancer, with the potential to improve treatments for these types of diseases,” a L’Oréal USA spokeswoman, told the INDY in an email. 

The press release says the program’s funding and support for women scientists comes at “a critical time in their careers.”

“The For Women in Science Fellowship program is rooted in L’Oréal’s core belief that the world needs science and science needs women because women in science have the power to change the world,” the release states. “Although the number of women in science is increasing, there remains a ‘leaky pipeline,’ with significant career drop-off happening during the years between postdoc and tenure track. In addition to grant funding, fellows receive mentorship, media training, career coaching, and recognition.”

The fellowship candidates were evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence, and commitment to supporting women and girls in science. The fellowship winners are required to serve as role models for younger generations, according to the release.

Roden and the four other fellowship recipients “are being honored for their important research across a wide range of fields, from neuroscience to paleoceanography.”

Women interested in applying for the fellowship can learn more here

Contact staff writer Thomasi McDonald at 

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