In recognition of her constant contributions to the advancement of science, Dr. Najat Aoun Saliba has been selected as the 2019 Laureate for Africa and the Arab States, as part of the L'OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards.
The L’OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award strives to support and recognize accomplished and outstanding women researchers, in an attempt to encourage more young women to enter the profession and to assist them once their careers are in progress.
Dr. Saliba, and through her work as the head of the Atmospheric and Analytical Lab (AAL) at AUB, established research methods in atmospheric and analytical chemistry which resulted in developing robust analytical methods to measure the principle toxic ingredients of tobacco smoke.
She has become an international reference for air pollution and tobacco and non-tobacco testing in the Middle East, naming her lab one of the WHO Collaborating Centers for testing tobacco, and leading to several local and global awards.
Dr. Saliba has been the first to identify carcinogenic compounds in hookah and has recently become the first to report that electronic cigarettes can generate carbon monoxide, contrary to popular belief. This work has qualified Dr. Saliba on working with advising regulatory bodies on the formulation of future policies.
She is passionate about more women entering science, and goes further by stating that science will do justice to the world when women scientists outnumber their male counterparts. “Women are more inclusive, they are not afraid of sharing and are highly open to collaboration, which is vital to developing efficient, holistic approaches,” Dr. Saliba says.
Dr. Saliba received her award on March 14, 2019 in Paris, France.