On February 11th, 2019, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO For Women in Science programme announced the list of International Rising Talents. The list features 15 most promising researchers, and among them is Dr Urtė Neniškytė, a neuroscientist at Vilnius University’s Life Sciences Centre (VU LSC).
She will accept the award together with other talented scientists during a ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The ceremony is a part of the “For Women in Science” week, during which eminent international scientists come together to celebrate the contribution of women to the development of science.
“It is a great honour for me to be a part of such an incredible community of exceptional women who are passionate about searching for answers to the burning questions of modern science and constantly expand mankind’s knowledge. Receiving this award is proof to me, that I am on the right path. It is a boost to my self-confidence in scientific research. I am so excited that my research and findings were acknowledged by the selection committee. It means that my work is important for science and for society. In addition, the award will help me to bridge the gap between postdoctoral and independent investigator funding, thus ensuring a smooth transition into independent position,” says Dr Urtė Neniškytė, who is also a recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2017 fellowship.
Dr Urtė Neniškytė studies how our brains develop in early childhood (from 6 months to 6 years old), with reference to anomalies that can lead to serious mental illnesses. She is currently exploring why excessive synapses (connections between neurons) sometimes remain, rather than being removed or “pruned” for optimum efficiency.
“Yet, there still is a philosophical question of whether a system, like the human brain, can understand itself. We might not be able to know everything about our brains, but I want to get as close as we can and I’m happy to be contributing to this endeavour,” says Dr Urtė Neniškytė.
Among the almost 280 national and regional fellowship winners the foundation supports each year, the “For Women in Science” programme selects the 15 most promising researchers. The full list of International Rising Talents.
The ceremony for International Rising Talents will be held on the 14th of March in Paris. The award is granted annually to fifteen promising women scientists from different countries, who aim to change the world by developing their potential and conducting scientific research.