11/02/2020. Nos sumamos a la celebración del Día Internacional de la Mujer y la Niña en la Ciencia presentando a las 16 nuevas científicas africanas de nuestro programa Ellas Investigan que este año han sido seleccionadas para realizar estancias en varios de los mejores centros de investigación españoles.
Ellas Investigan (Scince by Women) se lanzó en 2014 con el objetivo de fomentar el acceso a la ciencia y la tecnología de científicas africanas, apoyarlas en sus carreras, visibilizar sus logros y promover su liderazgo en la comunidad científica internacional.
Para ello contamos con la colaboración de 19 de los más prestigiosos centros de investigación españoles, la mayoría con el sello Severo Ochoa, que garantizan la excelencia en la investigación científica en diversos campos.
Desde sus inicios se han lanzado cinco ediciones, de las que se han beneficiado 57 científicas africanas, dejando claro que en África existen grandes científicas e investigadoras. Ellas solo necesitan que se les ofrezcan las mismas oportunidades de las que gozan los hombres.
Todas presentan un nivel académico excelente, con altas cualificaciones en sus áreas de estudio y con varios años de experiencia profesional posdoctoral. Algunas han sido ya recompensadas por su trabajo con becas y galardones tales como las del Programa Fullbright, o el premio L’Oreal-Unesco.
En estos cinco años de vida, Ellas Investigan está dando unos resultados excelentes. Muchas científicas han publicado sus trabajos en revistas internacionales y participado en conferencias de alto nivel. También han adquirido habilidades de liderazgo, gracias a las cuales, junto al reconocimiento de su trabajo académico, obtienen promociones cuando vuelven a su universidad o centro de origen.
En Mujeres por África estamos ya preparando la Sexta Edición del programa, para la que contamos con la colaboración de nuevos centros de investigación. Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) y Basque Center for Macromolecular Design and Engineering http://www.polymat.eu/ acaban de sumarse. Las previsiones son, por tanto las de seguir creciendo en apoyo de nuevos centros, de modo que cada año más científicas e investigadoras africanas puedan beneficiarse de estas becas.
A continuación les presentamos los perfiles de las beneficiarias de la Quinta Edición.
Ons Kaabia, from Tunisia, is an Assistant Professor in gynecology and obstetrics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sousse in Tunisia, where she received her diploma in Medical Pedagogy in 2018 and a Master’s degree in Clinical Sexology in 2017. She is also a member of a research laboratory that is investigating the quality of maternal health management. Previously, she worked as a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kerkennah’s Regional Hospital. With a passion for gynecologic oncology, she is planning to conduct a research project at the Vall d´Hebron Research Institute in Barcelona to create a mobile application that will help patients with oncologic disease identify the correct fertility preservation strategy.
Dr. Rana Mahmoud is an Egyptian Lecturer of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at the Faculty of Medicine of Ain Shams University in Egypt. She finished her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in 2007, and completed her medical training at the General Hospital of Ain Shams University. She has been working in a pediatric endocrinology unit since 2013. She is passionate about the disorders of sex development, particularly because of the limited resources that are dedicated to such diseases in Egypt. At Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, she will study the application of new and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic methods in patients with disorders of sex differentiation.
EUCHARIA OLUCHI NWAICHI
Eucharia Oluchia Nwaichi, from Nigeria, holds a PhD in environmental toxicology from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She has ample experience conducting research in universities around the world, including in the United States, Poland, and Nigeria. In 2019, she was selected as a fellow by the Next Einstein Forum, a highly selective program that recognizes Africa’s best young scientists. At the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence she will be studying the clarifying agents involved in the production of beer, which is the fifth most consumed beverage in the world. She anticipates that her research will illuminate the health effects of those agents on consumers as well as improve and optimize the use of agricultural resources for beer production.
Aline Simo is a Cameroonian national who completed her PhD in physics and materials science in 2014 at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2013, she was selected as a recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award, which seeks to recognize women researchers who have contributed to overcoming today’s global challenges. At the Material Physics Center, she will research carbon dioxide emission abatement with a specific focus on the production of cement, which is one of the world’s largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions. She anticipates that her research will lead to the development of new ceramic and cement-based materials that have a lower carbon dioxide footprint.
A native of Egypt, Hoda Elkhenany graduated in 2008 from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Alexandria University in Egypt, where she is currently a lecturer. She has been awarded numerous scholarships in regenerative medicine labs at the University of Tennessee, U.S., the Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt, and the University of Alberta, Canada. At the Prince Felipe Research Center in Valencia, she will use her passion for regenerative medicine to study cell transplantation for the treatment of patients with spinal cord disorders. She anticipates that her research will improve the recovery prognosis of those with either induced (by traumas) or acquired (degenerative) spinal cord disorders.
SIFAU ADENIKE ADEJUMO
Sifau Adenike Adejumo is a Nigerian lecturer in the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She received her Master and PhD in Environmental Biology with a specialization in Environmental Crop Physiology. Her research has focused on understanding the molecular and genetic mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance, detoxification and hyperaccumulation in plants. She has developed method for stress amelioration in crop plants using compost and has published many articles in this area in peer reviewed journal and presented papers at many international conferences.
At the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid, she will work to identify the genes for arsenic perception, tolerance and accumulation in Duckweeds. She anticipates the project will enhance nutrient uptake by food crops even in the presence of toxic heavy metals.
MAI F. TOLBA
Mai F. Tolba, from Egypt, is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. She is an affiliate member of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and an associate member of the American association for Cancer research (AACR). She received her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2013 through a joint-supervision scholarship between The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. In 2015, she received a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct postdoctoral research at the Chapman University School of Pharmacy and the University of California, Irvine. A year later, she received a second research grant from the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Organization. At the Spanish National Cancer Research Center in Madrid, she will focus her research on identifying novel therapeutic interventions for patients of triple negative breast cancer, which is one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. She is hopeful that her research will decrease the death tolls of those suffering from this debilitating disease.
ESTHER OLUWAFUNMILAYO MAKINDE
A Nigerian national, Esther Oluwafunmilayo Makine is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. In 2013, she obtained a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science with a concentration in Space Applications from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. In 2017, she was awarded a Commonwealth Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Environment at the University of York, United Kingdom. At the Deusto Institute of Technology in Biscay, she will conduct research aimed at optimizing the use of surface and subsurface water for sustainable agriculture in Nigeria using geographical information systems. She is confident that this research will help address the problem of food insecurity in Nigeria and more broadly, contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
LAILA ABDELFATTAH SAAD HAMAM
Laila AbdelFattah Saad Hamam is an Egyptian Lecturer at the Renewable Energy Science and Engineering Department at Beni-Suef University in Egypt. She is also a researcher in a solar energy lab at Alexandria University, where she received her PhD in Materials Science in 2015. She has ample research experience, much of which has been focused on identifying materials for photovoltaic applications. At the Donostia International Physics Center in San Sebastian, she will build on that experience by researching Perovskite solar cells, which represent one of the most promising new generation photovoltaic technologies due to their strikingly high conversion efficiencies. Her hope is that her findings will promote the use of solar power to generate electricity in Egypt.
SAMAR MOHAMED ATTAHER
Samar Mohamed Attaher is an Egyptian senior researcher at the Agricultural Engineering Research Institute (AEnRI) which is one of the main institutes of the Agriculture Research Center (ARC) of Egypt. She received her PhD in Agricultural Engineering at Ain Shams University in Egypt in 2009 and wrote her dissertation on the effect of climatic changes on Egyptian on-farm water productivity. She comes to the Spanish Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (ISA) with over ten years of postdoctoral professional experience using models and data analysis methods and tools to improve the management of irrigation water and increase water productivity. At ISA, she will collaborate with the agronomy team with the goal of using thermal imaging and machine learning to improve on-farm deficit irrigation.
Dr. Anissa Aouni is a Tunisian associate professor at the Center for Water Research and Technology in Tunisia. She obtained a Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2008 and a PhD in Chemistry in 2012. During the course of her PhD and current position as an associate professor, she has gained more than 12 years of experience in numerous analytical processing laboratories in Europe (Spain) and Asia (China, Japan, Turkey). She has a specific interest in solving the global issue of fresh water shortage, which continues to be exacerbated by the rapid development of modern industry and population growth. At the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, she will expand on this interest by working on an emerging electrochemical technology (Capacitive Deionisation (CDI)) for desalination and water treatment.
Heba Abdelmaksoud, from Cairo, Egypt, obtained her PhD in Physics at the Warsaw University of Technology, in Poland. She is currently a Physics Lecturer at the Ain Shams University, in Egypt. In her host center, The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), she focuses her research on semiconductors nanocomposites whose properties are very important and useful for high-speed communication networks, but also in many other fields such as solar energy, films, adhesives, paper coating and drug delivery.
After that, she plans to come back to Egypt to transfer her newly acquired knowledge and experience to her research group.
Sara Abdelsalam, from Egypt, is an associate professor in Applied Mathematics at The British University in Egypt. She received her PhD in Fluid Mechanics in 2013 from the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt. In 2014, she was awarded The Best PhD Thesis in Applied Mathematics from the Egyptian Mathematical Society. Later on, in 2015, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for a 9-month postdoctoral position at the University of California, Riverside. She was also selected as a fellow for the TWAS-UNESCO program in 2017 to conduct research at the Institute of Mathematics, UNAM, in Querétaro, Mexico for 3 months. At the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Madrid, she will further explore her interest in solving various differential equations through biomedical applications of various fluids with nanoparticles that affect biological systems. She anticipates that this research will contribute to the development of drug permeation through human skin as well as in the hydraulics industry.
JOHN-MARY VIANNEY JOSEPH
John-Mary Vianney Joseph is a Tanzanian lecturer at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania. She received her PhD in neurobiology from Western Michigan University. Her primary research interest is neurodegenerative diseases, specifically the factors that enhance neural regeneration. She recognizes that while neuroscience including neurodegenerative diseases have been researched extensively around the world, very few studies have been conducted on such diseases in Tanzania despite the fact that there are a large number of people suffering from them. Thus, while at the Institute of Neurosciences in Barcelona, she plans to use specific nutrients found in Tanzania’s diversity of plants to study the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine. She anticipates that her research will illuminate the potential benefits of medicinal plants in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Adeola Oluboyo is a Nigerian lecturer and researcher. With a PhD in Medical Laboratory Science, she is skilled in clinical chemistry, immunology, pharmacology and toxicology. She has more than 20 years of experience teaching in Nigeria and a proven track record of research in both communicable and non-communicable diseases, specifically HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. At the Carlos III Health Institute, she will conduct a study to determine novel biomarkers for early detection of early onset breast cancer, which has become an increasingly important public health problem in developing countries, including those in Africa.
Dr. Tulinayo Fiona is a lecturer at the College of Computing and Information Science of Makerere University, Uganda. She received her PhD in Computer Science from Radboud University, Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 2014. She is an active researcher who specializes in conceptual and domain information modelling, system dynamics modelling and information communication technology for development (ICT4D). Her professional experiences have been applied to different domains including agriculture, health, education, environment and geography. While researching at the Kronikgune Research Center, she plans to use her specific interest in information modeling to develop a decision support model for implementing Collaborative Knowledge Management (CKM) in healthcare.