HKIAS Senior Fellow Professor Nieng Yan wins the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award 2024

30 May 2024


Professor Nieng Yan

The Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) of City University of Hong Kong congratulates our Senior Fellow, Professor Nieng Yan, on winning the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award 2024. This recognition celebrate Professor Yan's exceptional contributions to structural biology.

Professor Yan is rewarded for discovering the atomic structure of multiple membrane proteins that mediate the traffic of ions and sugars across the cell membrane, revealing principles that govern cross-membrane transport. Her exceptional research has informed multiple disorders such as epilepsy and arrhythmia and guided the treatment of pain syndrome. As a leading authority in her field, Professor Yan inspires female scientists globally and is a strong advocate for gender equality in research and science education. She also encouraged the female scientific researchers through sharing her personal experiences, say “I have a message to all the girls and everyone watching this: It can be challenging to be a female scientist, but not the extent that anyone can be stopped. So, be brave, be yourself.”

Professor Yan received her B.S. degree from the Department of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology, Tsinghua University in 2000. She then pursued her PhD in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University under the supervision of Professor Yigong Shi between 2000 and 2004. In 2005, she became the regional winner of the Young Scientist Award (North America), co-sponsored by Science/AAAS and GE Healthcare. In 2019, she was elected as an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards honour an exceptional woman from each of the five broad regions: Africa and the Arab States; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and North America. The five laureates of this 26th edition have been selected from among 350 candidates worldwide by an independent international jury.

Read more at UNESCO.

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