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International awards: Sara Moccia, assistant professor at the BioRobotics Institute, is among the winners of the 20th edition of the L'Oréal - UNESCO "For Women and Science" Prize

Publication date: 13.06.2022
Premio L'Oreal - Sara Moccia
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Thanks to the project "Artificial intelligence for preterm infants’ healthcare" Sara Moccia, assistant professor at BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, is among the six winners of the 20th Italian edition of the Oréal-UNESCO International Prize "For Women and Science". This is a prestigious award that enhances Sara Moccia's research activity in the use of artificial intelligence during clinical and surgical procedures. The L'Oréal-UNESCO prize "For Women and Science" awards six scholarships worth 20,000 euros each to six female researchers under 35, based on the excellence recognized in their projects in the fields of life sciences and matter. The goal is to improve the representation of women in the STEM field, from the English science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This year's call for applications had 250 applications from all over Italy.

Artificial intelligence for early detection of disorders related to premature birth

Sara Moccia's project uses artificial intelligence methodologies and medical image analysis to study movements and visual patterns in premature crib infants in neonatal intensive care units. 
"The goal," Sara Moccia explains, "is to support clinicians in the early recognition of disorders related to premature birth, including autism spectrum disorder. This project can have a major impact, considering that every year in the world, one in every ten babies is born prematurely, that is, before the 37th gestational week. Premature infants are at risk of developing a wide range of cognitive and motor disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, which now affects 1 in 59 children worldwide."

The award ceremony was held at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy. 

François-Xavier Fenart, President and CEO of L'Oréal Italia, said, "I am very proud to award again this year six brilliant young female researchers who, thanks to this scholarship, will be able to pursue their research projects in Italy. The For Women in Science in Italy project is now in its 20th edition, a milestone we are proud of because we have contributed to spreading awareness, among young women but not only, of how much science needs women".