Stéphanie Jacquet, Ida Tucker and Monu Kaushik, winners of the 2020 L'Oréal-UNESCO Young Talent Award

Stéphanie Jacquet, Ida Tucker and Monu Kaushik, winners of the 2020 L'Oréal-UNESCO Young Talent Award

Fri, 09/10/2020

Honors and awards

Stéphanie Jacquet, Ida Tucker and Monu Kaushik are among the 35 Young Talents of the 2020 L'Oréal - UNESCO Prize for Women and Science.

Monu Kaushik is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the CRMN; Ida Tucker is currently a Doctoral student at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the University of Bordeaux, part of the Laboratory of Parallel Computer Science and the Institute of Mathematics in Bordeaux. Stéphanie Jacquet is a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory of Biometrics and Evolutionary Biology.

686 candidates were shortlisted by a committee of 87 experts representing major research institutions in France and covering a wide variety of disciplines. The candidates were then presented to an independent jury of eminent researchers from the Academy of Sciences who selected the 35 Young Talents for the 2020 Prize.

Monu Kaushik
Monu Kaushik ©L'Oréal France

Originally from Sonepat in Haryana State, India, Monu Kaushik was initially denied access to Robotic Engineering training, considered "too masculine" a field. She was eventually admitted to the Indian Institute of Technology, considered the best Research University in India, after an extremely selective examination. She then undertook a Master's degree in nanoscience and nanotechnology at Delhi University. The grant enabled her to carry out a year of research at the Office of the Commissioner for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy in Grenoble.

It was in Frankfurt, at Goethe University, where she completed her PhD in which she undertook fundamental research on dynamic nuclear polarization, a technique that improves the signal quality of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NRM). In June 2018, she returned to France for a post-doctoral fellowship at the RMN Centre for Very High Fields (CRMN) in Lyon, where she is currently conducting her research.

Monu Kaushik's work on nanomaterials aims to advance sustainable industrial development. The value of her research is recognized and has been awarded many times: one of her doctoral publications has become the most cited publication in her field and she is the 2017 prize winner of an outstanding research publication.

Monu Kaushik is convinced that "to develop great dreams, it is essential to draw inspiration from models." She would like to use some of the funding for the Young Talent Award to raise awareness of scientific careers among Indian girls.

Excerpt from the Young Talent Awards France press release.

Portrait of Ida Tucker
Ida Tucker ©L'Oréal France

Ida Tucker was born in Manchester, in the UK, but grew up in Helette, a village in the French Basque Country. After obtaining a Bachelor's degree, she left her childhood village for the University of Bordeaux, then the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon.
The interest of a career in scientific research came later in the student's academic career. It was whilst completing a Master's degree, during an internship in a research laboratory in Montpellier, that she discovered a real passion for research in cryptography, a discipline that offers a perfect balance between mathematics and computer science. Ida Tucker finds exciting goals on important contemporary topics, such as anonymizing the confidential data of computer system users.
Over the past fifty years, as a result of the rise of computing, the role of cryptography has gone beyond the simple encryption and decryption of confidential messages. Discipline today concerns as much the management of encrypted data as the use of biometric measurements: a fingerprint can be interpreted as a user's secret key, to sign in.
Ida Tucker designs cryptographic systems that are both versatile and efficient, combining sophistication and system security.

A teacher at university, whom Ms. Tucker describes as a strong woman, who was an exceptional scientist, marked the young researcher's career. Without this teacher, a positive model for Ida, she acknowledges that she might not have continued her studies.
Passionate about mountain sports and white-water rafting, Ida Tucker also loves playing the flute in a band in Lyon.

Excerpt from the Young Talent Awards France press release.


Portrait of Stéphanie
Jacquet Stéphanie Jacquet ©L'Oréal France

Stéphanie Jacquet, originally from Saint-Martin, left her native Caribbean island to pursue higher education in Montpellier to become a teacher. Fascinated by the richness of the mechanisms used by parasites to replicate and transport from one host to another, she decided to move towards a career in scientific research to study the interactions that govern the living world. The researcher then specialized in the study and understanding of the ecological, evolutionary and molecular processes that shape the interactions between hosts and parasites. In her thesis, she demonstrates, among other things, that certain environmental factors, such as the wind or sea, and ecological factors, such as the mode of dispersal or life cycle, have an impact on the range of a type of gnat that is the main vector of a bovine disease. Her most recent work aims at understanding how bats, hosts of many pathogens transmitted to humans, coexist with viruses. To do this, she studies the genetic and functional diversity of their innate immune system, namely the cellular mechanisms that allow bats to defend against viruses, compared to other mammals.

Stéphanie Jacquet highlighted certain genetic characteristics specific to bats that would contribute to their unique antiviral defenses. Surrounded, supported and encouraged throughout her academic career by women, whom she considers to be models in science, Stéphanie Jacquet flourishes today in the many facets of her research. Contributing to the enrichment of the knowledge of our world, sharing knowledge within our society and training young people in academic research are in particular the essence of her vocation. Through this Young Talent Award, she hopes to inspire other girls and hopes to encourage them to fully fulfill themselves in scientific pathways.

Excerpt from the Young Talent Awards France press release.

* Laboratory of Biometrics and Evolutionary Biology (LBBE), Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS (UMR 5558), International Research Centre for Infectiology (CIRI), INSERM (U1111), CNRS (UMR5308), Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, École normale supérieure de Lyon, LabEx Ecofect, Université de Lyon.