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On 15 June 2021, L'Oréal Baltic, in cooperation with the Baltic Academies of Sciences and the UNESCO National Commissions, awarded seven talented women scientists from the Baltic States as part of the prestigious For Women in Science programme. One of them is RSU doctoral student Dana Kigitoviča. Each recipient was awarded 6,000 EUR for their contribution to science and for further research.


Doctoral student Dana Kigitoviča is a resident in nephrology at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) and Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital, an assistant at the RSU Department of Internal Diseases, as well as an intern at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis.

The young scientist received the award for a study that seeks a new approach to treating right ventricular failure by analysing ways to strengthen a tired heart. The aim of the study is to promote the development of personalised medicine, identify risk factors for right ventricular failure and improve the quality of life of patients with right ventricular failure by reprofiling the cardiovascular drug meldonium used so far in clinical practice. The risk factors and new treatment methods that will be identified could reduce the high mortality rate of patients from heart failure in Latvia.

Dana Kigitoviča ir RSU "Gada students 2016"
2016. gada intervija RSU mājaslapā

‘The juries from the three academies of sciences selected seven young researchers to receive the award, because of their scientific excellence and activity.

I am very pleased for these women, whose enthusiasm and work results will inspire girls in schools and universities to achieve their goals for the common good, for health and the environment.

I am convinced that it will also remind everyone of the importance of science and of our scientists’ contribution,’ emphasises the patron of the For Women in Science programme, academician and former President of Latvia (1999–2007) Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.

Baiba Moļņika, Secretary General of the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO:

‘Science plays an important role in promoting harmonious and sustainable development in society and in exploring the challenges of the modern world.

The partnership programme between UNESCO and L'Oréal has made a significant contribution to scientific development and promoted gender equality in science. The young scientists from the Baltic States who have won as part of the programme influence the future of science and inspire the younger generation to engage in science, as well as to discover new horizons of scientific discoveries.’

Since 2005, when the L'ORÉAL Baltic programme was introduced in Latvia, 51 Latvian scientists have received recognition for their contribution to science. In addition, the programme is also being implemented in Estonia and Lithuania for the fifth year in a row. Eight scientists from Lithuania and eight from Estonia have been awarded for their work in science.

The For Women in Science award programme was launched 17 years ago in Latvia by the programme’s patron, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, L`ORÉAL Baltic, the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO and the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Today, the L`ORÉAL Baltic awards programme For Women in Science, together with the three Baltic academies of sciences and the UNESCO National Commissions in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, are promoting the professional development of Baltic women scientists, helping them achieve new goals and increase their contribution to both science and society.


‘Encouraging the development of young talent is an important area to focus on for the successful development of society. Inclusive education, science, research and innovation policies that provide equal career opportunities for young researchers are particularly important, supporting their efforts to combine investment in science with family and childcare,’

Ivars Kalviņš, the President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Even today, women scientists in Europe face various challenges. For example, only 11% of the highest academic positions in Europe are held by women, and only 33% of researchers are women. Less than 3% of Nobel Prize winners for scientific progress are women.

The international programme For Women in Science was launched in 1998. Since then, L'Oréal and UNESCO have been committed to increasing the number of women in research. This is why L'Oréal and the UNESCO programme honour women scientists at key stages in their careers, making an important contribution to scientific development as well as promoting gender equality in science over the past 23 years. In total, 3,600 scientists have been recognised through this programme over 23-year period. Today, the programme is implemented in 117 countries.

Further information

RSU Researchers – For Women in Science Prize Recipients 

  • Dana Kigitoviča - Acting Assistant at the Department of Internal Diseases (2021)
  • Renāte Ranka - Assoc. Prof. at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2017
  • Marina Makrecka-Kūka - Senior Tutor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2014)
  • Elīna Makarova (Škapare) - lead researcher (2012)
  • Tatjana Glaskova-Kuzmina - lecturer at the Department of Physics (2009)
  • Maija Dambrova - Prof. at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2006)
  • Māra Plotniece - Acting Assoc. Prof. at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2006)