One of the most inspirational women in the world
31 March 2011
A leading Imperial College London scientist was named by The Guardian newspaper as one of the top 100 women in the world for 2011.
Professor Molly Stevens (Materials and Bioengineering) was listed in the science and medicine category for her work in biomedical materials and regenerative medicine. The list was compiled by the newspaper to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March 2011.
Professor Stevens was acknowledged for her research into the development of a range of materials which could one day help the body to repair itself. These include bone-like materials, which could be used to mend the bones of patients after they have been in an accident or have had surgery. She and her team are also developing new materials that could be used to repair tissue, such as heart muscle, which could help patients recover after major heart attacks.
Professor Stevens has also made considerable advances in the development of materials that can detect disease-related proteins. Her work could provide doctors in developing countries with a quick and cost effective way of diagnosing patients for a range of diseases, including cancer and HIV.
The materials scientist is Chief Scientific Officer of the biotechnology company RepRegen, an Imperial start-up company that aims to regenerate damaged bone and muscle in patients.
In 2007 Professor Stevens was the first woman to win a Royal Pharmaceutical Society Conference Science Medal in its 40-year history.
Professor Stevens said: “It is always nice when the work that you do is recognised. I feel extremely honoured that I have been nominated alongside other women around the world who have been such trailblazers in their field. However, I don’t work alone and I feel my team should share in the credit too.”
Principal of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Jeff Magee, added: “I am absolutely delighted to see one of our Imperial engineers in The Guardian’s top 100 list. The newspaper has recognised the outstanding research that Professor Stevens and her team are doing in regenerative medicine, which could have a massive impact in the way that patients recover after surgery. Professor Stevens’s research is an example of the multidisciplinary work that is going on throughout College, where medical researchers and engineers are working closely together on new technologies, which will transform all our lives in the future.”
Other women recognised in Professor Stevens’s category included Hawa Abdi, Somalia’s first female gynaecologist, Jane Goodall, primatologist and environmental campaigner, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist and the Institute of Physics’ first female president.
The top 100 list was compiled from more than 3,000 suggestions from readers of The Guardian. A panel of experts, including Sarah Brown, wife of the former Prime Minister, whittled down the list, which was not based on power or wealth, to the most inspirational women whose influence will last.
— Colin Smith, Communications and Development