International Day of Women and Girls in Science
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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

By Alexandra Zirra, Arinola Omolara Sanyaolu, Paula Reyes-Pérez, Paula Saffie Awad, Pin Jui Kung, and Yi Wen | , , |
  • Trainee Representative – Eastern Europe

    Alexandra Zirra, MSc

    Queen Mary University of London | United Kingdom

    Alex is the East Europe Representative of the GP2 Trainee Network. She is from Romania and is currently based in London, training as a doctor, on her way to becoming a neurologist. Alex’s interest in research led her to work on PD in the highly diverse East London population with Professor Alastair Noyce at Queen Mary University London. This is how Alex discovered GP2 and the... Read More

  • Trainee Representative – Africa

    Arinola Omolara Sanyaolu, PhD

    University of Lagos | Nigeria

    Arinola is a neuroscientist from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and her passion for translational research fueled her interest in neurodegenerative disorders. Although she obtained a Ph.D. in Anatomy, she is constantly developing and acquiring skills in Neurogenetics. Her research focuses on studying the complex genetics of neurodegenerative disorders and she is always seeki... Read More

  • Trainee Representative – Latin America

    Paula Reyes-Pérez, MSc

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | Mexico

    Currently, Paula is interested in studying the genetic basis of Neuropsychiatric traits in Neurodegenerative disorders through bioinformatic and epidemiological approaches. As a PhD student, she also serves as a research assistant in MEX-PD, a research consortium devoted to understanding the genetic, cognitive, and physiological basis of Parkinson’s Disease in Mexico. She com... Read More

  • Trainee Representative – Latin America

    Paula Saffie Awad

    Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul | Chile

    Paula is a movement disorders neurologist that works in CETRAM (Centro de estudios de trastornos del movimiento) in Chile and studies a PhD in Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. During her career she has been diagnosing and treating patients with rare disease, specially monogenic movement disorders. She is currently working on the characterization ... Read More

  • Trainee Representative – Asia

    Pin Jui Kung, MSc

    National Taiwan University | Taiwan

    Pin-Jui is a PhD student in the genome and systems biology degree program at National Taiwan University. She completed her Bachelor's degree in molecular biotechnology, and finished Master’s degree in studied the potential compounds reducing polyQ aggregation in spinocerebellar ataxia type 17 (SCA17) at National Taiwan Normal University. Her research interest focus on findin... Read More

  • Trainee Representative – Asia

    Yi Wen, MSc

    University of Malaya | Malaysia

    Yi Wen is currently a PhD student at the University of Malaya, Malaysia after completing her bachelor degree in Biomedical Science. Her research interest mainly focuses on understanding the genetic causes of early-onset Parkinson's disease in the Malaysian population.

In 2016, the UN declared February 11th “International Day of Women and Girls in Science.” This declaration is a global reminder of the need to increase and balance the representation of women and girls worldwide in the field of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (also known as STEAM). In spite of significant progress towards increasing women’s participation in higher education, women still remain underrepresented in science, particularly in senior positions in the workplace. Women and girls’ equal representation and empowerment will make a vital contribution to economic growth and to progress in the goals and targets that are associated with breaking new ground and improving living conditions.

Today, we celebrate the tireless work of all women and girls whose contributions to STEAM fields have laid the groundwork for our efforts to better understand the genetics of Parkinson’s disease.

At the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2), women occupy roles as leaders of several working groups, as mentors, and as senior and junior trainees. Their equal rights in participation, discussion, decision-making, access to funded opportunities, training, and mentorship are honored and respected. As representatives of the Trainee Network, we would like to take this special day to appreciate and honor all the women involved in this program for their contribution to the accomplishment of the goals of GP2 and ultimately to the advancement of Parkinson’s disease genetics. Without their consistent effort, we would not have come this far.

In recent years, there has been significant progress toward greater gender equality. Women have similar access to education and opportunities as men in many places, but there is still a long way to go. Roles for women in society,academia, and the workplace today should continue to expand. It is important that the scientific world continues to recognize, support, and encourage more women to engage in global initiatives to further advance the field. We believe GP2 serves as an example of a platform that can help realize this mission.

GP2 is continually offering opportunities for the research community to learn more about Parkinson’s disease genetics research. Check out our upcoming opportunities or take advantage of our training courses which have subtitles available in over 100 languages!