CONICET researcher received L’Oréal-UNESCO Award “For Women in Science”

Karen Hallberg, Phd in Physics, was selected for the development of computational approaches to understand the physics of quantum matter.

Karen Hallberg. Photo: courtesy L’Oréal.

Karen Hallberg, principal researcher of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) at the Centro Atómico Bariloche (Bariloche Atomic Center), received the “For Women in Science” international L’Oréal-UNESCO award for developing cutting-edge computational approaches to understand the physics of quantum matter. This creative and innovative application of these methods broadens the understanding of nanoscopic and new materials systems. During the ceremony, the researcher and four colleagues from other countries were awarded. In the category Rising Talent, CONICET’s researcher and PhD in Biological Sciences Maria Alejandra Molina also received a prize. In 2017, in the “scholarship” category, she obtained the L’Oréal-UNESCO award for her studies on the “Development of multipurpose nanogels for combination therapy with bactericide and photothermal activity”, a study of multifunctional nanogels that release selectively antibiotics to bacteria under thermal stimulus provided by near infrared radiation to palliate the resistance to antibiotics that develop bacteria and prevent infections.

“This award is for the work done by several people, my research team, my students, my colleagues and my professors. And it is the result of the public education that I received and the support of the scientific and technological institutions of our country like CONICET, the National Commission of Atomic Energy, Balseiro Institute, Cuyo University and the funding agencies like the National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion”, Hallberg says. She was also given the “Special Mention” L’Oreal-CONICET Award.

The researcher adds: “This award allows us to show the work we conduct in Argentina and particularly the work women in science and technology do. I hope this encourages more girls and young women to study physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry and engineering because they are fascinating subjects.”

Hallberg analyzes quantum properties of condensed matter by using numerical methods based on quantum information. “I’d like to understand the electronic behavior in materials and, for instance, what is the mechanism of critical high temperature superconductivity. I do basic science and seek to enhance the information that is part of the cultural knowledge of the country and the humanity. The applications will appear and I hope they do it like it happened with the discovery of the semiconductors that led to the transistor and integrated circuits in the middle of last century, which are the base of modern electronics”, the researcher explains.

Karen Hallberg is the author of more than 80 scientific articles published in high impact International journals. She edited a book, wrote review and dissemination articles. Besides, Hallberg trained four PhD students, five teachers and students with degree in Physics. She had also done scientific stays in several institutes like in Max-Planck FKF (Stuttgart) and PKS (Dresde, Germany), Augsburg University (Germany), Fribourg University (Switzerland), London Centre for Nanotechnology and Oxford University (England), Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore (India), Boston University and Argonne National Lab (Chicago, USA), Tokio University (Japan), Center for International Scientific Studies and Collaborations, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran). She participated in more than 50 international scientific conferences and in more than 30 special events. Hallberg was member of several national and international awards committees (Bunge y Born, Houssay, IUPAP, among others).