5 women get national science awards

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New Delhi, Mar 8: Five women scientists were presented the national awards by India's first woman President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, on the International Women's Day today.

Dr Rani Bang from Maharashtra and Dr Vijaya Lakshmi from Andhra Pradesh got the National Award, 2007, for Women's Development Through Application of Science and Technology. While Dr Bang was awarded for providing community-based healthcare, thereby reducing infant mortality in her work area from 121 to 30, Dr Lakshmi was honoured for introducing jal-Tara kits and Jal-Tara water filter in Bundelkhand, an effort that considerably reduced morbidity through waterborne diseases in the region.

Three other scientists-- Dr Mitali Mukerji, Dr Sangita Mukhopadhyay and Dr Sujata Sharma-- were given the National Women Bioscientist Award, 2007, (Young Category). Dr Sharma of the AIIMS got the award for successfully crystallizing several significant proteins for the first time in the world, which would help in finding a cure for breast cancer and epilepsy.

Dr Mukhopadhyay was awarded for her contribution to the study of free radicals that gave a better understanding of the immunoregulatory role of these molecules during stress and infection.

Dr Mukerji of the Delhi-based Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology was honoured for developing cost-effective methods for geotyping and sequencing. Her mother received the award on her behalf.

UNI

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