Actualité - Award

Judith Pineau wins the L’Oréal-Unesco Young Talents France 2021 for Women in Science award

Judith Pineau, a PhD student in the Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Immune Cells team headed by Ana-Maria Lennon-Duménil (Inserm U932), is one of the 35 young researchers awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO Young Talents France 2021 for Women in Science award.
Judith Pineau

Selected from among 740 candidates, Judith Pineau is recognized in the Biological Sciences - Engineering category with her project Understanding the dynamics of polarization of B lymphocytes in the immune response.

Originally from Strasbourg, Judith Pineau studied in the capital city of the Alsace region until physics and chemistry preparatory class. She then entered ESPCI Paris (École supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles), where she graduated in Engineering. Academic research was not her initial goal.

I thought that I would go into research and development or scientific mediation

She explains.

Her change of mind came about from a long internship between a microscopy start-up and a laboratory: Judith Pineau opted to do basic research. She embarked on a Master’s program in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Sciences at CRI Paris/University Paris 7.

Supervised by Paolo Pierobon and Ana-Maria Lennon-Duménil, her thesis was on establishing cellular polarity. This type of cell reorganization is the basis of many processes, from embryo development to neuron transmission. Judith is focusing on the activation of B lymphocytes in the triggering of the adaptive immune response. This project could ultimately promote the development of vaccines and improve antibody production in patients.

She is aware of the importance of medication, “not only for sharing our work, but also for a better understanding of our profession,” and she supervised middle and high school students in an apprentice researcher program (Apprentis Chercheurs). Their visits to her laboratory helped dispel some myths about research, and the students got a better understanding of what it means to be a researcher. This experience encouraged Judith Pineau’s ambition to create a program of experiments for young people to conduct in school or at home.


L’Oréal-Unesco Young Talents France 2021 for Women in Science.

For the 15th edition of the Young Talents France 2021 award, the L’Oréal Foundation and its partners - the French Academy of Sciences and the French National Commission for UNESCO - restated their commitment alongside women scientists, to raise their profile, support and value them within research.

This year, 21 PhD students and 14 post-doctoral researchers were selected in France from among 740 applicants by an esteemed jury of 28 researchers from the French Academy of Sciences.

These promising scientists received a monetary award (€15,000 for PhD students and €20,000 for post-doctoral researchers), to help them continue with their research. They also received leadership training, including management, negotiation and public speaking, aiming to give them additional resources to break through the glass ceiling, which remains a reality in the world of research.

These young researchers, hailing from mainland France as well as its overseas territories, from widely diverse research fields (including genetics and ecology, female infertility treatments, study of viruses and chronic diseases, astronomy and cybersecurity), were keen to share and pass on their passion for science, and help inspire the scientists of the future.