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Female DRWF researchers changing the narrative on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Female DRWF researchers changing the narrative on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Spotlight on female researchers working to improve lives for people with diabetes.

Published: Feb 11, 2020
Category: Research
How great are women and girls working in science?!

Today (11th February) we are focussing on female members of the DRWF Research Advisory Boards across the UK, Sweden, Finland and Norway making a difference for people living with diabetes on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

The day, organised by the United Nations, promotes science and gender equality and calls for a “change in the narrative”.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “To rise to the challenges of the 21st century, we need to harness our full potential. That requires dismantling gender stereotypes. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let’s pledge to end the gender imbalance in science.”

Pancreatic islet cells could be created from stem cells in potential type 1 diabetes breakthrough

The UN reports that while the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science over the past 15 years, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.

It is estimated that less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women.

The UN declared 11th February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Dr Eleanor Kennedy, DRWF Research Manager in the UK, said: “As a female scientist, it is an honour to know and to work with so many fabulous women in science and DRWF is delighted to have them represented on the various Research Advisory Boards that we run both here and abroad in order to ensure that we fund as much good science, from across the spectrum of diabetes research, as we can.”

Sarah Tutton, DRWF Chief Executive, said: “Our focus is on female members of our research advisory boards across the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the contribution they make to our peer review process of funding requests. We are funding numerous women in research roles at this time, across all groups.”

Female researchers working with DRWF


Professor Angela Shore, DRWF Research Advisory Board

Professor Angela Shore was the inaugural Vice-Dean Research for the University of Exeter Medical School and was previously Vice-Dean Research for the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry since 2009. She is the Scientific Director of the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility for Experimental Medicine and Professor of Cardiovascular Science.

Professor Shore graduated in Physiology from the University of Newcastle and was awarded her PhD for an investigation of the vascular mechanisms underlying fluid homeostasis in patients with Liver Disease. Following post-doctoral positions at the University of London where she expanded her research into the vascular aspects of hypertension, Professor Shore moved to the Postgraduate Medical School Exeter in 1987 to establish the clinical microvascular research unit funded by The Wellcome Trust.

She was appointed Professor of Cardiovascular Science in 2000. As the Vice Dean for Research and previously the Director for the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Professor Shore played a central role in the research success of the University of Exeter Medical School and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, driving the research strategy, the appointment of new staff and the development of state of the art facilities.

Professor Shore is committed to interdisciplinary research and was instrumental in the establishment of the University of Exeter Science Strategy Theme “Translational Medicine, Personalised Medicine and Public Health” to drive forward this approach. Professor Shore is actively involved in Microcirculation research worldwide. She was Treasurer of the European Society for Microcirculation for over 10 years, is a member of the International Liaison committee for Microcirculation and is President of the British Microcirculation Society.

Valeriya Lyssenko

Valeriya Lyssenko is Professor of Medicine at University of Bergen. Her research field is pathophysiology of diabetes and associated complications with focus on underlying genetic susceptibility. Research combines large population-based studies with functional in vivo and in vitro investigations. Together with the Broad Institute (MIT/Harvard), Novartis and Lund University, she worked on a first Diabetes Genetic Initiative - a SNP atlas for type 2 diabetes published in Science 2006. She was a visiting scientific researcher at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston (2007-2008).

Professor Lyssenko is a principal investigator and scientific leader of PROLONG and DOLCE clinical studies. She received a number of prestigious awards, SSSD Young Investigator Award (2008), Rising Star at the EASD (2009), Bagger-Sorensen Young Talent Award (2013), UiB and Bergen research foundation award (2015). She is serving on a number of international scientific review boards. Professor Lyssenko is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  

Elisabeth Qvigstad

Elisabeth is Associate Professor, at the Dept of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo and Section Head of Research and Development the Dept of Endocrinology, Morbid Obesity and Preventive Medicine ​at Oslo University Hospital, Norway from 2019 Elisabeth Qvigstad MD (1993, University of Science and Technology, Trondheim), PhD (2003, University of Science and Technology, Trondheim), certified as Specialist in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology (2013).

From 2013 working as a Senior Consultant at the Department of Endocrinology at Oslo University Hospital. Post doc period 2007-2010 in the Diabetes and Pregnancy research group at Oslo Diabetes Research centre (The STORK Project). Current research field is diabetes and glucose metabolism in pregnancy, including running projects on genetics and epigenetics in pregnancy.

Board member of the Norwegian Society for Endocrinology (2009-13), leader and founder of the Norwegian Group for Diabetes in Pregnancy (2015- present).

Hanne Scholz

Dr. Hanne Scholz

Dr Hanne Scholz is a main principal investigator at the Transplant Unit, Oslo University Hospital and at the Hybrid Technology Hub at the University in Oslo. She is the director of the human islet isolation facility serving clinical approved islet products for the beta cell replacement therapy program in Norway.

Dr Scholz’s lab has built up significant experience in the area of cell isolation and transplantation with particular focus on human islets and human adult stem cells derived from different tissue sources such as adipose tissue, bone marrow, and placenta. The group aims to develop new strategies for clinical islet isolation and transplantation, improve patient outcomes and islet survival.

Currently, the Scholz group is developing new research interest within regenerative medicine, 3D bioprinting and creation of functional mini-pancreas for “organ on a chip” platforms. She is elected as councillor of IPITA and serve as the mentor of the IPITA Young Investigator Committee.

Dr. Scholz has authored or co-authored more than 50 papers in peer review journals and contributed to several book chapters.


Watch: UN case study - The story of Katherine Jin - a young female scientist and how her scientific invention helps safeguard health workers.


Visit the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science website

Follow @UN and #WomenInScience

Find out more about DRWF Research


Category: Research

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