EDUCATION AND TRAINING

20 awarded in regional L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Young Talent Awards

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Twenty women researchers from 15 countries in the Sub-Saharan African region were recently awarded in the 2019 Young Talent Awards as part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science programme.

“The number of women in science is not yet significant: only 2.4% of the world’s researchers are African scientists, of whom 30% are women. Through the Young Talent Award for Sub-Saharan Africa, we promote and support the continent’s remarkable female researchers. They play a key role to develop inclusive research in Africa, for Africa and conducted by Africans”, explains Alexandra Palt, executive director of the L’Oréal Foundation.

Created in 1998, the For Women in Science programme, led by the L’Oréal Foundation in partnership with UNESCO, aims to promote women in the field of scientific research, where the glass ceiling remains a reality. Over the past 21 years, more than 3,400 women researchers from 118 countries have been highlighted.

Financial support

The Young Talents received financial support for their scientific work, with allocations of €10,000 for doctoral students and €15,000 for post-doctoral students. These 20 researchers and the seven scientists of the South African national programme have also benefited from a training programme designed to give them more resources to pursue their careers. This four-day training course, given by international experts selected by the L’Oréal Foundation, covered different dimensions: leadership, management, negotiation, public speaking, media training and personal branding.

Young Talent Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 Awards:

1. Regina Esinam Abotsi, doctoral candidate, Ghana – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Discipline: Health sciences
Research project: Determining antibiotic resistance in potentially pathogenic bacteria present in the respiratory tract of HIV-infected children

2. Becky Nancy Aloo, doctoral candidate, Kenya – Laboratory, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha City, Tanzania
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Identifying novel species of Irish potato to enhance yields

3. Fatoumata Ba, doctoral candidate, Senegal – Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis
Discipline: Fundamental medicine
Research project: Studying sleep to better fight metabolic diseases

4. Mercy Temitope Bankole, post-doctoral candidate, Nigeria – Federal University of Technology, Minna Niger State
Discipline: Chemistry
Research project: Healing open wounds faster and better thanks to a nanocomposite

5. Najah Fatou Coly, doctoral candidate, Senegal – Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Better understanding infections during delivery to fight neonatal mortality

6. Funmilola Fagbola, doctoral candidate, Nigeria – Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Discipline: Electrical, electronic and computer engineering
Research project: Detecting misinformation with proof and deep learning models, and nature-inspired algorithms

7. Nowsheen Goonoo, post-doctoral candidate, Mauritius – Mauritius University, Moka
Discipline: Materials sciences
Research project: Avoiding amputations by enhancing healing in diabetic wounds

8. Fatou Joof, doctoral candidate, Gambia – Banjul Open University
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Developing new antimalarial strategies by tracking genetic mutations

9. Ruth Kihika, doctoral candidate, Kenya – Nairobi Kenyatta University
Discipline: Chemistry
Research project: Identifying gene targets that correlate with biochemical pathways responsible for plant resistance to parasites

10. Stéphanie Maubath Carène Konan, doctoral candidate, Côte d’Ivoire – Félix Houphouët Boigny University, Abidjan
Discipline: Informatics and information science
Research project: Geomatics at the service of the fight against malnutrition

11. Carine Kunsevi-Kilola, doctoral candidate, Democratic Republic of Congo – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Discipline: Health Sciences
Research project: Combating tuberculosis contamination in diabetics

12. Jacqueline Kyosiimire-Lugemwa, post-doctoral candidate – MRC/UVRI & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Unité de recherche ougandaise, Uganda
Discipline: Health sciences
Research project: Generating comprehensive data on the pre-existing immune status and its effect on vaccine response

13. Henintsoa Onivola Minoarivelo, post-doctoral candidate, Madagascar – Université de Stellenbosch, Afrique du Sud
Discipline: Mathematics
Research project: Using mathematical modelling and computational simulations to predict the fate of insect pollinators

14. Celia Moffat Joel Matyanga, doctoral candidate, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe University, Harare
Discipline: Fundamental medicine
Research project: Using the interactions between a herbal traditional medicine and first line treatment of HIV/AIDS

15. Mweete Nglazi, doctoral candidate, Zambia – Cap University, South Africa
Discipline: Health sciences
Research project: An analysis of overweight and obesity in South Africa: the case of women of child-bearing age

16. Ines Ngoh, doctoral candidate, Cameroon – Buea University et London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Gambian Research Unit, Gambia
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Understanding genetic variations, used by natural populations of malaria parasites

17. Georgina Nyawo, doctoral candidate, Zimbabwe – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Discipline: Health sciences
Research project: Assessing the microbiome in patients with tuberculosis to develop novel diagnostic interventions and therapeutic

18. Cécile Harmonie Otoidobiga, post-doctoral researcher, Burkina Faso – Ouagadougou Joseph Ki-Zerbo University
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Improving productivity of lowland rice in West Africa

19. Francine Tankeu, doctoral candidate, Cameroon – Yaoundé University I
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Treating leukemia by allying biochemistry to the power of plants

20. Jesugnon Fifamè Murielle Féty Tonouewa, doctoral candidate, Benin – Parakou University
Discipline: Environmental engineering
Research project: Improving the Acacia wood supply chain in Benin

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