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Seven UPMC PhDs, L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science

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Seven UPMC Doctoral Candidates Received L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Scholarships.

October 14, 2013: The L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Scholarships are awarded every year to 25 young women scientists in the second year of their PhD for the quality and potential of their research. This year, seven UPMC doctoral candidates received this scholarship.




Olga Mula Hernandez is a doctoral candidate at the Jacques-Louis Lions Laboratory (UPMC/CNRS) and at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in the joint research laboratory agreement called MANON (Modeling and numerical approximation oriented toward nuclear energy). Hernandez, a specialist in the digital simulation of nuclear activity, is currently working on a thesis aimed at increasing safety in nuclear reactors by contributing to model the evolution of the population of free neutrons in the heart of reactor in the most accurate way possible.

This young woman’s work has already been presented and received attention at several international conferences.

he LRC siteNouvelle fenêtre (in French)




Adèle Hilico is a doctoral candidate in the laboratory Time and Space Reference Systems (SYRTE - CNRS/UPMC). Studying the possible deviations from the law of gravitation predicted by theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity unification, Adèle’s thesis is on a new type of force sensors, which could lead to the development of a compact gravimeter. The young woman wishes to deepen her research with this scholarship by funding collaboration with a laboratory in the United Kingdom and achieve her doctorate.The SYRTE siteNouvelle fenêtre (in French)






Bénédicte Babayan is a doctoral candidate in the Neurobiology of Adaptive Processes Laboratory(CNRS/UPMC). She studies our ability to situate ourselves in space. Patients with Alzheimer's disease lose these orientation abilities. Babayan wants to explain the normal functioning of the brain areas involved, particularly through collaboration with a team of robotics researchers. Eventually, her work will focus on developing diagnostic tools and behavioral therapies. With her scholarship, Babayan would like to participate in international conferences and to build suitable equipment to more easily explain her work at large public scientific events. 








Also a doctoral candidate in the Neurobiology of Adaptive Processes Laboratory, Audrey Hay has dedicated her thesis to the activities of the cortex and their importance in to memory storage. Her research focuses on the brain and its memory and cognitive faculties. As part of her thesis, Audrey wants to understand how the cortex is influenced by the structures of awakening in particular to create memory. Given the difficulties in studying these networks, Audrey uses a revolutionary tool to activate neurons with light and observe the effects on the cortex.

The Neurobiology of Adaptive Processes siteNouvelle fenêtre








Anna Venancio-Marques is a doctoral candidate in Selective Activation Process Through the Uni-Electronic or Radiative Energy Transfer Laboratory (PASTEUR - ENS/CNRS/UPMC). The young woman is preparing her thesis on the use of a light signal to change interdisciplinary applications covering physics, biology and chemistry. With this light signal, Venancio-Marques has developed strategies to modify the properties of biological, chemical and physical systems. The aim of the thesis is to use these changes in the molecule’s properties to obtain a modification of the properties at the system level, whether this means, for example, influencing the behavior of DNA molecules or the fluid flowing in very small channels. With her scholarship, Venancio-Marques plans to inform the public of her work and to make videos or illustrations of the results.

The PASTEUR Laboratory siteNouvelle fenêtre



A doctoral candidate in the laboratory of Developmental Biology (UPMC/CNRS/Inserm), Sandra Touati has dedicated her thesis to female infertility. She seeks to understand the mechanisms controlling chromosome division, a key phenomenon in the formation of fertilized oocytes and viable embryos. The young woman would like to understand why infertility affects more women that produce embryos with an abnormal number of chromosomes that causes the trisomy 21disorder (Down’s Syndrome). The L'Oréal-Unesco award will enable her to learn scientific mediation and to search for her post-doctorate.

The LBD siteNouvelle fenêtre (in French) 







Doctorante au sein du laboratoire Physiopathologie des maladies du système nerveux central (UPMC/CNRS/Inserm), Stéphanie Miot est spécialisée dans la neurobiologie du vieillissement. La jeune femme consacre sa thèse aux transporteurs vésiculaires du glutamate (VGLUTs), une molécule majeure du cerveau transmettant une information entre deux neurones au travers d’une synapse. Pour Stéphanie et son équipe, les VGLUTs permettent au fonctionnement cérébral/sensoriel de s’adapter au vieillissement. Ils pourraient ainsi être des marqueurs de maladies liées à l’âge et/ou de nouvelles cibles thérapeutiques. Stéphanie effectue sa thèse entre Paris et Montpellier et souhaiterait, grâce à sa bourse, rejoindre le Canada pour travailler avec une partie de l’équipe de son directeur de thèse.

Le site du laboratoire Physiopathologie des maladies du système nerveux centralNouvelle fenêtre










© Photos: L'Oréal