Iuliia Shakirova, Assistant Professor at the Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry at St Petersburg University, has become one of the ten scientists awarded a competitive fellowship. It was granted for her achievements in the chemistry of luminescent transition metal complexes for use in biological imaging.


As part of a research team headed by Sergey Tunik, Professor at St Petersburg University and Doctor of Chemistry, Iuliia Shakirova deals with the development and synthesis of transition metal complexes that can act as luminescent sensors for mapping metabolic and physicochemical parameters of biological objects. ‘Such sensors help monitor intra- and intercellular oxygen levels, pH and temperature,’ she said. Work in this area makes it possible to advance experimental research in the fight against cancer, and the study of the mechanisms of complex physiological processes.

I believe that my victory in this programme is due to the fact that I really love what I do. Every day spent in the laboratory gives me sheer pleasure, and each new synthesised compound is perceived as a small personal coup.

Iuliia Shakirova, Assistant Professor at St Petersburg University, a laureate for 2020 L'ORÉAL – UNESCO For Women in Science’s fellowship programme

Iuliia Shakirova learned about this programme in 2016 thanks to the St Petersburg University newsletter. Since then, she has applied for the scholarship every year and this year the jury praised her achievements and motivation.

The For Women in Science programme has been implemented since 2007 with the participation of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO. It is part of the international project L'ORÉAL - UNESCO For Women in Science.

The L'ORÉAL – UNESCO For Women in Science’s Russia fellowship programme helps talented and promising researchers develop their scientific career in Russia. The jury evaluates the practical benefits of the candidate’s research. It also takes into account the desire of scientists to pursue their scientific career in Russia. Russian women scientists, candidates and doctors of science up to the age of 35 inclusive who are engaged in the field of physics, chemistry, medicine and biology, can apply for the award.