Dr. Janet Rossant, a long-time friend of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, has been chosen by UNESCO and the L’Oréal Foundation as one of five outstanding female scientists from around the world.
Dr. Rossant is being recognized for contributing to the understanding of how tissues and organs are formed in the developing embryo, according to a news release from the University of Toronto. Her research is helping combat birth defects and other serious medical conditions.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this award in the company of the other amazing laureates from around the world,” says Dr. Rossant. “I hope to use this opportunity to encourage more girls globally to take up careers in science, math, engineering and medicine. The future is theirs to grasp.”
Along with her duties as a U of T professor, Dr. Rossant is a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and is president of the Gairdner Foundation. Originally from the United Kingdom, she trained at Oxford and Cambridge universities before coming to Canada in 1977.
“Janet has been a world leader in advancing the therapeutic potential of stem cells,” says James Price, President and CEO of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, where Dr. Rossant chairs the Science Leadership Council. “Having done so much for science, she is completely deserving of this honour.”
The Women in Science Awards ceremony takes place in Paris in March. The other recipients are:
- Heather Zar, Professor, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Director, Medical Research Council Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Meemann Chang, Professor, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- Caroline Dean, Professor, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
- Amy T. Austin, Professor, Agricultural Plant Physiology and Ecology Research Institute, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Rossant is the second Canadian woman to be honoured with the award in recent years. Dr. Molly Shoichet, a University of Toronto biomedical engineering professor, was named a laureate in 2015.