Kelly Nguyen, group leader in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has been chosen to receive a Suffrage Science award. The awards, curated by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS), celebrate women in science and engineering and encourage others to enter science and reach senior leadership roles.
The 11 awardees are chosen by the previous award holders for their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others. This scientific “relay” takes place every two years, and creates an inspiring network of women connected by their link to the scheme. Rebecca Voorhees, Assistant Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, who nominated Kelly, said:
“Kelly is absolutely deserving of the Suffrage Science Award. We were PhD students around the same time at the LMB. I’ve always been impressed by the way she approached scientific problems: with a combination of rigor, tenacity and optimism. Her scientific intuition and technical skills have enabled her incredible success in structural biology. On top of her ground-breaking scientific achievements, she’s a supportive colleague and friend. Having recently started her own group, I have no doubt she will continue to be an extraordinary mentor.”
On being chosen to receive the award, Kelly explained what it means to her:
“It is a huge privilege for me to be recognised by this award and to be part of this community of women scientists. The predecessors of this award, Rebecca and Lori [Passmore], have always been my role models. They are not only amazing at the science they do but also helpful and supportive of their colleagues and younger trainees, like myself. Coming from the point of never imagining that I would go on to have a career in science, I have been fortunate to have such supportive mentors and colleagues, who have guided me scientifically and personally. Having started my own lab at the LMB recently, it surely motivates me not only to tackle important scientific problems but also to provide a supportive and inclusive environment, where people can thrive scientifically and personally.”
Kelly will receive her award at a special event on Friday 6 November 2020, the sixth Suffrage Science awards celebration for women working in the Life Sciences The awards themselves are hand-crafted “heirloom” items of jewellery created by art students from Central Saint Martins-UAL, who worked with scientists to design pieces inspired by research and by the Suffragette movement, from which the award scheme takes its name.
Professor Dame Amanda Fisher, Director of the LMS, who initiated the Suffrage Science scheme in 2011, commented:
“This year’s awardees join a community of over 130 scientists. Since 2011, the awards have travelled from the UK, across Europe to the USA, Hong Kong and to Uganda, illustrating the international nature of science and engineering, and the global effort to improve the representation of women in STEM.”
Previous LMB recipients of a Suffrage Science award include Sarah Teichmann, Lori Passmore and Rebecca Voorhees.