Health and Biomedicine


Hayet Rafa, from Algeria, is an Associate-Professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of the University of Sciences and Technology (Algiers, Algeria). She obtained her PhD from that university as well as a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry- Immunology. She has large expertise in cell culture system (2D and 3D culture models) and immuno-oncology field. Hayet Rafa also has more recent, extensive experience with nanoantibodies production and the development of new tools for predictive diagnostic in cervical cancer. In the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), she plans to develop a new pre-clinical tool to assess innovative treatments such as the evaluation of immune cell therapy efficacy and safety in colorectal cancer metastasis (Preclinical trial on chip). During her fellowship, she was granted the Roche-ATRSS Award for Cancer Research.


Judith Gbenoudon, from Benin, obtained her PhD in Immunology at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, and held postdoctoral positions in Hamburg, Bonn, and Gambia. She is the current Director of the Laboratory of Immunology, Infectious and Allergic Diseases at the Institute for Applied Biomedical Sciences in Cotonou. During her fellowship at the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology (CNB) she carried out her project Tumor Immunomarkers and the Development of Immunotherapy (TIDEI), with the aim of determining the specificities of immunotherapy in isolated cells from patients in infectious endemic areas, like Benin, as compared to cells from patients in clean areas like Spain. This research earned her the prestigious Abdool Karim Prize from The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Trieste (Italy).


Leontine Nkamba, from Cameroon, holds a joint PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Lorraine (France) and the University of Gaston Berger (Senegal). She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Yaoundé 1, Higher Teacher Training College in the Department of Mathematics and Co-Chair of the Commission on African Women in Mathematics. In December 2017 she was appointed by the President of the Republic of Cameroon as Deputy-Director of the National School of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technologies. The research in which Dr. Nkamba works on at DeustoTech is titled “Mathematical modelling of the spatio-temporal spread of TB”. These kind of models are not only relevant to the spread of infectious diseases, but also other socially important phenomena such as rumours, misinformation, contagious habits such as drug abuse, fashion trends, and many others. As an output of her fellowship, she published the article “Mathematical model to assess vaccination and effective contact rate impact in the spread of tuberculosis” in the Journal of Biological Dynamics https:// full/10.1080/17513758.2018.1 563218. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Provincial Government of Bilbao.


Salwa El-Sobkey, from Egypt, holds a PhD in Physical Therapy for Cardiopulmonary Disorders and Geriatrics from Cairo University, and is currently Acting Vice Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies in Beni Suef University. In Kronikgune, her host center, she worked on building scientific background and databases regarding the healthcare services and Health- Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of old Egyptian females, which are the segment of population who suffer the most from shortcomings in Egyptian healthcare services. This is partly because of the impact of aging and partly because of their limited access to education. On her return to Beni Suef University, she was appointed Vice Dean for Post-Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of Physical Therapy. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


Mona Said Mahmoud, from Cairo, Egypt, is a Professor of Parasitology in the faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Cairo University, where she obtained her PhD in Veterinary Medicine. In her host center, Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), she conducts research on cysticercosis and trichinellosis, two diseases which have been ranked as the most important food-borne parasites of humans in terms of public health, socioeconomics and trade impact. These are diseases that can lead to the death of the patient. She envisages to transfer the MBA (Multiplex Bead Assay) technology for its application to the diagnosis and control of helminth zoonoses, with special focus on zoonosis transmitted by pigs.


Dalia Medhat, from Egypt, obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Egypt. She is an Associate Professor of Medical Biochemistry and a Principal Investigator at the National Research Center. Dr. Medhat wrote several books and articles about the molecular mechanisms of cancer, liver cirrhosis and diabetes, and has conducted research on the therapeutic effect of stem cells. In Stem Cells and Cell Therapy Laboratory at Biocruces Bizkaia, her research focused on Osteogenesis imperfect (OI), a rare genetic disease which seriously affects patients’ quality of life. She has been studying the potential of human stem cells to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying OI. She published with her host group in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences the article “Immunomodulatory Effects of MSCs in Bone Healing” https:// pubmed/31684035. Dr. Medat’s fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


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 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. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


Mai F. Tolba, from Egypt, is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. 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. 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. With the support of WxAF Dr. Tolba has co-authored the article «Novel Combinatorial strategies for boosting the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced breast cancers».


Sara Abdelsalam, from Egypt, is an associate professor in Applied Mathematics at The British University in Egypt. She received her PhD in Fluid Mechanics from Helwan University in Cairo. In 2014, she was awarded The Best PhD Thesis in Applied Mathematics from the Egyptian Mathematical Society and 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. 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.


Dr. Barakat, from Egypt, holds a PhD by the Göttingen University (Germany). She is an assistant Professor in Molecular Biology at the National Research Center in Egypt. At the Institute for Neuroscience in Alicante, her research is focused on the genes and signaling pathways triggered by Zic2 that lead the emergence of HPE (Holoprosencephaly). The HPE is the most common malformation of the human forebrain that results from failed or incomplete forebrain cleavage early in gestation. With her work, she aims to shed light on the aetiology of HPE in order to understand the regulatory mechanisms and risk factors that may palliate Zic2 malfunctioning during pregnancy.


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.


Dr. Osei-Safo is a Ghanaian, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ghana. Her area of specialization is Natural Product Chemistry. Her research interest is isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and application of quality assurance methods to antimalarial drugs. The goal of her work is to develop a polyherbal anticonvulsant product as an example of utilization of natural resources for quality health. Dr. Osei- Safo carried on her research at CNIO. “On my return home, the insight and experience I gained during my six- month fellowship have positively impacted my research team and I am pleased to report that the research findings have culminated in an article recently published in Elsevier Fitoterapia tote.2017.09.001.


Dr. Nancy Odurowah Duah Quashie is a Senior Research Fellow at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana. She believes that “monitoring of antimalarial drugs (chloroquine and fansidar) resistance in Ghana provided the scientific evidence-based data for the change of malaria treatment policy in Ghana in 2005 to the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT)”. She joins as a visiting researcher Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) to expand her research titled “Genetic diversity of angiotensin converting enzyme polymorphisms in the Ghanaian population” thanks to the funding of the State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Wellbeing (FCSAI).


Dr. Atinuke Adebanji is a Nigerian senior lecturer who works at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology of Kumasi, Ghana. Since 2012 she has been a member of the West Africa Climate Change and Land Use (WASCAL) program. She has developed a strong understanding of statistical theory and methods with application in classification techniques and medical sciences, and she is currently developing a research study on predictive spatial analysis of maternal and neonatal mortality for public health intervention evaluation in Ghana. During and after her research at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences she presented a paper on Statistical Estimation of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Ghana at the Royal Academy of Sciences and at the Academy of Science of France. She has also co-supervised 4 students in the training program INVESTIGA.

Ivory Coast

Dr. Adombi, from Côte d’Ivoire, holds a PhD by the Université Félix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan-Cocody, Côte d’Ivoire. She is currently an assistant professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and also a researcher at the Institut de Gestion Agropastorale (IGA) de l’Université Peleforeo GON COULIBALY, Korhogo. As for her research, she is focused on studying the variability of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients to get more knowledge about the pathogens that threat animals and humans, adding value to the current efforts deployed to fight pathogens in Côte d’Ivoire. She aspires to give more autonomy to her country that is still highly dependent on European and American resources. She carries out her research at Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR).


Hanaa Zbakh, from Morocco, obtained her PhD in Biology, specialization in Phycology (Biology) and Biology from the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi, Tetouan, Morocco. She completed postdoctoral studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Graz, Austria. Today, she is a Researcher at the Biology Department of the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi. In 2017 she was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO award acknowledging Women in Science. At CIPF she investigated the anticancer effects of extracts of four brown seaweeds Sargassum polyceratium, Sargassum hystrix, Dictyota mertensii and Dictyopteris justii, and their underlying mechanisms of action using a panel of 5 human cancer cell lines. As results, she has demonstrated that all the tested algal extracts inhibited the growth of all the five, confirming that these marine algae could be a promising source of novel agents for the prevention and treatment of several types of cancer.


Dr. Badiaa AIT AHMED is a Researcher at the National School of Applied Sciences (ENSA), Computer Science Engineering Department of the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi in Morocco. In her host center, Biomedical and Health Research Institute (IUBS), she conducts research on medical imaging and radiofrequency (RF) to develop innovative solutions to solve big problems in medical diagnostics. Her objective is focused on making existing medical images clearer. These high-quality images will be achieved through a system that is formed by integrated microwave circuits using sophisticated methods. She will use her passion to provide solutions to improve the health system in Africa, particularly in Morocco. Her fellowship is funded by the Government of the Canary Islands.


Latifa Bouissane is currently Associate Professor, accredited to supervise research, HDR, at Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Morocco. She was awarded a DAAD Scholarship for University Academics and Scientists to conduct a research project in Düsseldorf University, Germany. She is a specialist in synthesis of pharmacologically relevant heterocyclic compounds, development of LDH nanomaterials for catalytic, physicochemical applications and therapeutic potential evaluation of medicinal plants. She carries out her research project at the Basque Center for Macromolecular Design and Engineering, POLYMAT Fundazioa, San Sebastian.


Souad RAHIM is a research professor in the Department of Biology, member of the Health Biology Laboratory, member of the biochemistry teaching team at the Ben M’sik Faculty of Science Hassan II University, Secretary General of the AMES association in Egypt. Her work focuses on the therapeutic effects of cannabis Sativa L. including the anti-cancer activity of crude extracts and other bioactive molecules in collaboration with the Prince Felipe Research Center, Valencia, to enhance this plant and its derivatives and to encourage its cultivation for therapeutic purposes.


Dr. Jroundi, from Morocco, holds a PhD by the Institute for Global Health (University of Barcelona, Spain), with fellowships of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI). She is currently working at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat (Morocco) as associate professor of Public Health and was recently nominated as director of the Social Accountability unit at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rabat. Her research at the Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII) aims to improve knowledge about COVID measures in schools. It will provide robust data that describe recent and past SARS-CoV-2 exposure and will permit to assess seroprevalence changes over time. Thus, it will help to tailor public health policies and to encourage a pleasant social and educational development of children. Her fellowship is sponsored by ENDESA.


Doctor Enweani, who obtained her PhD in Medical Microbiology in 1998, has been teaching Microbiology in Nigeria in recent years. She is currently Director of International Collaboration and Linkages in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria. At the moment she is working on the potential use of soursop and sweetsop fruit juices with supplements in the management of diarrhea and malnutrition in children, with the clear objectives of reaching a drastic reduction of mortality and morbidity in children due to diarrhea. As an outcome of her fellowship at the Carlos III Health Institute, on her return to Nigeria, she was appointed member of the National Expert Committee on Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI), the highest body deciding and reviewing vaccination campaigns.


Ehimwenma Sheena Omoregie is a Professor and a researcher of Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry, (Malaria Research, Molecular Biology and Toxicology (MRMBT) unit), University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. Her project at the BioCruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute (BC) in Bilbao focuses on the use of standard techniques to evaluate the antimicrobial (antifungal/ antibacterial) potential of some selected compounds and their modelling. “I anticipate that findings from this research will provide alternative means to address the rapid global spread of microbial infections and their resistance; thereby reducing infectious disease spread, severe illness and death”. Her fellowship is funded by the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.


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. Gloria Dada Chechet is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. She investigates Molecular Parasitology with special focus on African Trypanosomiasis. Currently, she’s the Principal Investigator of a Deutstche Forshungsgemeinschaft (DFG) funded project focusing on Animal African trypanosomes in Humans as an emerging zoonoses. “Building research capacity to tackle leishmaniasis in Nigeria” is the title of the research she conducts at the Carlos lll Health Institute in Madrid thanks to the funding of the State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Wellbeing (FCSAI).


Mansurah Abdulazeez, from Nigeria, got her PhD in Ahmadu Bello University and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Center for Biotechnology Research, Bayero University. In the Institute of Neurosciences (CSIC-UMH) of Alicante she works on the project ‘‘Molecular basis of therapy resistance in triple negative breast cancer’, hoping to understand the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the progression to the metastatic state in cancer. Thus, to alleviate the unending tragedy brought about by this disease it is pertinent to understand the basis of drug resistance and consequent metastasis in this type of cancer. She is focusing on three TNBC cell lines: human breast adenocarcinomas (MDA- MB-231 and MX-1) and human breast medullary carcinoma (MDA-MB-157) to understand the principles of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) at cellular and molecular levels and characterize multiple EMT programmes by analysing different EMT phenotypes.


Dr. Fadipe, from Nigeria, holds a PhD in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of Lagos (Nigeria) and she is currently a Chief Research Officer and Head of the Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Nigeria. She is investigating the sustainable production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates for bioplastic production in Nigeria. In fact, the enormous amount of synthetic plastic waste in Lagos is a big problem that needs sustainable alternatives. In line with the UNSDGs (3,9,12), she aims to replace synthetic plastics with biodegradable ones in order to prevent further environmental (e.g. flooding) and health (e.g. cancer) problems. She strongly believes that “investing in quality R&D will reposition Nigeria on the global stage”. She carries out her research at Spanish National Center of Biotechnology (CNB) thanks to the funding of ENDESA.


Dr. Aiyegbusi, from Nigeria, holds a PhD by the University of Lagos, Nigeria and is a Senior lecturer in Physiotherapy and visiting lecturer in Anatomy in the College of Medicine of Lagos. Her research is directed to study how genetic expressions in sportspersons are associated with tendinopathy and how these could manifest as variations in lower limb biomechanical parameters. Her main goal is to determine the predisposition of athletes to tendinopathy because of genetic variations in order to apply preventative interventions to individuals. Her research is carried out at BioCruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute thanks to the funding of the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.


Dr. Chinwe S. Alaribe is a Senior Lecturer and a Bio / Pharmaceutical Chemist in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Her research interests are in the area of Medicinal & Natural Product Chemistry, Bioactives against cancer and malaria; Quality Analysis of Drugs, Drug related and Herbal Products. “Studies have shown that most cancer cells lack molecular targets which poses great challenges for many and existing anticancer chemotherapeutics to be fully effective hence the critical need for the development of new anticancer therapies through other approaches.” She carries out her research at INCLIVA, a research center of the University of Valencia, which also sponsors her fellowship.


Dr. Yemisi Adesiji is a Nigerian senior lecturer in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo. After completing her fellowship at the Carlos III Health Institute, she was promoted to head of department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Ilorin. With over 10 years of teaching experience, she has contributed to knowledge of Epidemiology of food-borne pathogens of zoonotic importance in Nigeria, as her various publications show. Her research interest lies mainly in genomic studies and especially in developing vaccination against TB infection in cattle and humans in developing countries.


Dr. Chiaka Anumudi is a Nigerian senior lecturer, who obtained her PhD in Zoology (Cellular Parasitology) at the University of Ibadan. During more than 13 years her research activities have been in the area of the immunopathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of simple and severe malaria in Nigerian endemic country settings. Dr. Anumudu undertook her research in the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and, along with her peers, she published the article Bladder Cancer Genetic Susceptibility. A systematic Review https://www.ncbi. PMC5929300. She has also given an oral presentation of her work “The microbiome in the course of urinary schistosomiasis” in the 66 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Baltimore (USA), as well as at the University of Valencia.


Dr. Ndiaye, from Senegal, holds a PhD by the University François Rabelais of Tours (France) and University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis. Her interest in Data Mining has pushed her to be currently the manager of the Laboratory of Computer Science and Engineering for Innovation at the University Assane Seck of Ziguinchor. Her research is focused on the exploration of large sets of patterns in computers. Her ambition is to explore mining opinions from the online press to detect the overall opinions of internet users’ comments on hot topics. In the Biomedical Health and Research Institute she applies Data Mining to healthcare research to provide solutions to improve the health-system in Africa, particularly in Senegal. Her fellowship is sponsored by the Government of the Canary Islands.


Dr. Ali was born in Atbara, Sudan. She holds a PhD by the University of Glasgow and the University of Khartoum. Dr. Ali argues “mosquitoes have a significant role as vectors of many serious human and animal diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and Rift Valley fever. Three genera of medically important mosquitoes are found in Sudan.” Therefore, mosquito-borne diseases are a very important health problem in the country and the study of its infectivity dynamics is central in setting up control programs”. Dr. Ali has focused her research on finding means to better understand these dynamics and contribute to solving the health problems in Sudan that affect the country’s manpower and development. She conducted her research at the Carlos III Health Institute.


Samia El Hajhi, from Sudan, got her PhD in Immunology from the Institute of Endemic Diseases of the University of Khartoum. She is currently Head of the Department of Immunology and Biotechnology in the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (TMRI) and an Associate Research Professor in the same institute. Her research at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research focused on placental biomarkers, which are associated with placental malaria and preeclampsia. She hopes to optimize the prevention of the consequence of parasite placental sequestration, provide information about disease pathophysiology, and improve the detection of placental malaria which will have a great impact on women’s and children’s lives. Oxford University Press has published in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics the article Congenital Malaria in Newborns Delivered to Mothers with Malaria-Infected Placenta in Blue Nile State, Sudan written by Dr. Hachi with her host group article/doi/10.1093/tropej/ fmz083/5709145.


Mona Ellaithi, from Sudan, holds a PhD in Human Genetics from Al-Neelain University/ Lübeck University-Sudan/Germany and is currently an Associate Professor in Human Genetics at Al-Neelain University, Khartoum. At her host center, BioCruces, she worked on her project “Detection of common variants associated with Sudanese patients diagnosed with disorders of sexual development (DSDs) using NGS sequencing.” (Exome and Panel sequencing technology)”. In this study Dr. Ellathi performed panel sequencing of almost 50 genes known to be associated with DSD using Sanger sequencing exome and technology).The findings will be tested on larger DSDs sample size. The most common variant will then be used as a biomarker for routine analysis. As an output of her research at Biocruces, with her host group she published in «The Open Pediatric Medicine Journal» the article Simple Virilizing Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A case Report of Sudanese 46, XY DSD male with G293D variant in CYP21A2. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


Dr. Mukhtar, from Sudan, holds a PhD from the Alneelain University (Khartoum, Sudan) where is an assistant professor at the Department of Histopathology and Cytology. At the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and thanks to the funding of Exolum she intends to compare bladder cancer in Spain and north-African countries through a meta-analysis. She contrasts the causative environmental factors and genetic diversities in order to provide important findings and data regarding such types of cancer, improving new skills and techniques in research which will benefit other countries.


Aku Enam Motto is a Junior researcher at Laboratory of Physiology-Pharmacology; Unit of Pathophysiology, Bioactive Substances and Safety of University of Lomé, Togo. Pharmacology and toxicology are her field of research. During her fellowship at BioCruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute she studies the nephroprotective effect of total extract and fraction of A. leiocarpus roots on diabetic nephropathy. The aim of her research is “to provide a potent anti-diabetic agent for an alternative medicine to diabetes mellitus and complications” and it is funded by the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.


Dr Elizabeth Kaase-Bwanga holds a PhD in Economics – Rural Economy and Policy analysis, from the Makerere University of Kampala, Uganda, where she is a senior lecturer specializing in Gender and Development Strategies, Feminist Economics and Gender Planning and Monitoring & Evaluation in Local Development. At the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, she conducted a research study on the “Gender and Privatization of Health Care Systems in Uganda and its Implications for Health Care Enhancement”, whose outcome could enable the government and the health practitioners to improve the Uganda health system. On her return to Makerere University, Dr. Kaase-Bwanga submitted.


Agnes Nakakawa is a Ugandan information systems specialist, lecturer, and senior researcher at Makerere University in Kampala (Uganda). She has also been involved in consultancies associated with business- IT alignment in public and private enterprises. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), an MSc. in Computer Science, and a degree in Statistics from Makerere University. In Kronikgune her research is aimed at providing a Scorecard for Continuous Assessment and improvement of programmes on Integrated Care for multimorbid patients (SAICO). The co-creation by validation involved using two rounds of expert reviews to engage 18 co-creators. The first round was conducted in Basque Country (Spain), and the second in Kampala (Uganda). The SAICO framework she developed at Kronikgune triggered off four new pilot research projects. Dr. Nakakawa’s fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


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 used her specific interest in information modeling to develop a decision support model for implementing Collaborative Knowledge Management (CKM) in healthcare. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Bizkaia Provincial Council.


Flora Stephano, from Tanzania, got her PhD in Zoophysiology from the University of Kiel, Germany, and is currently a Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During her fellowship at the Institute of Neurosciences, Dr. Stephano studied “The role of Wnt signaling pathway in the dopaminergic neurons in rotenone induced Drosophila model of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)”. She hopes that targeting this pathway will lead to future therapeutic and intervention measures for PD, which is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder with an incidence of about 1% in people aged 65 or above. On her return to Tanzania, she joined the group DrosoAfrica, which got the grant within the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to study Drosophila fly as a model for Parkinson’s disease in taking advantage of natural compounds extracted from plant materials.


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. In fact, 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 Alicante, 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.


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 and 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.


Abdessyaed Nihed is a MD, a pathologist working in the Pathology Department of Farhat Hached University Hospital in Sousse, Tunisia. She’s an Assistant Professor, teaching in the Faculty of Medicine of Sousse. Her research project is about « Molecular classification of endometrial carcinoma» accepted in the Host research Structure: Vall d´Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR). By the end of this project, she hopes to be able to launch the technique of POLE mutation detection in Tunisia to promote better clinical management of patients with endometrial cancer.


Dr Karem, from Tunisia, holds a PhD by the National Engineering School of Sfax (Tunisia) and works as a Computer Science teacher in the College of Sciences of Gafsa (Tunisia). She is a specialist in technological solutions for e-inclusion of disabled people, ageing, accessibility for teleassistance, content adaptation for e-learning and algorithms in the context of biomedicine. She aspires to develop techniques for better diagnosing and treating unresolved problems in medicine through artificial intelligence. She carries out her research with the eVida research group, at the Deusto Institute of Technology (DeustoTech) thanks to the funding of the Provincial Government of Bizkaia.


Dr. Tnani, from Tunisia, holds a PhD from the University of Barcelona (UB). She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Pasteur Institute of Tunis (IPT) (Tunisia) and is interested in natural sciences, biotechnology, mathematics, as well as statistics. At the Centre for Genomics Regulation (CRG) her research is focused on the protozoan Leishmania donovani. Since this is a deadly human pathogen which does not have any proper treatment yet, she wants to identify novel drug targets to shed light to new therapeutic approaches. She aspires to change this dramatic scenario, mainly in developing countries. Her fellowship is sponsored by ENDESA.

South Africa

Dr. Louw is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). She holds a PhD from that University as well as an MSc in Biochemistry (cum laude) and a BSc (Hon). Mrs. Louw’s research focused on phytoestrogenic compounds found in extracts of Cyclopia, a plant indigenous to South Africa that is used to prepare an herbal tea. One specific extract, SM6 Met, holds potential for the prevention and/or treatment of breast cancer since it displays several desirable estrogenic traits. At the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), she confirmed, after many experiments, that the SM6Met can inhibit the growth of breast cancer.

South Africa

Carmen Pheiffer, from South Africa, holds a PhD in medical biochemistry from Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa. In Vall d’Hebron Research Institute she and her team have studied the effects of Rooibos tea, a South African herbal tea, on hepatic SHBG production, and have proven that it possesses anti-diabetic and cardiovascular protective effects. These findings have been published “Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) upregulates hepatic sex hormone-binding globulin production. Endocrine Abstracts (2021) 73 EP88880 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.73.EP88”. On her return to South Africa she has been promoted to co-leader of the Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP), a spin-off from the former Diabetes Research Group of the Medical Research Council.

South Africa

Raquel Duarte, a molecular biologist from South Africa, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, and Head of the Internal Medicine Research Laboratory in the same university. During her fellowship at the Center for Genomic Regulation she tried to evaluate the underlying genetic basis for Breast Cancer (BC) and the utility of current markers as predictors in African populations. She focuses her research on the mechanisms governing expression of a key gene in breast cancer susceptibility. She explored the regulatory mechanisms controlling transcription and alternative splicing of the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2 gene. The study is of the utmost importance, because breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and women from Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest BC incidence rates in Africa.

Marwa Muhammad Abu-Serie

Marwa Muhammad Abu-Serie is an Associate Professor at the Medical Biotechnology Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications (SRTA-City) in Egypt. “In vitro and in vivo evaluating the anticancer efficacy of novel nanoformulation of diethyldithiocarbamate” is the title of the research she conducts at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center in Madrid. “This approach relies on novel nanoparticles-collapsed main player (cancer stem cell “CSC”) in the maintenance, progression and invasiveness of tumor, subsequently eradicating cancer cells perfectly without relapse. Soon, after preclinical and clinical studies, this novel nanodrug will prove its therapeutic efficacy by significantly eradicating tumor (halting chemoresistance and metastatic potential of CSC. Her fellowship is funded by ENDESA.


Dr. Amira Kebir is an Assistant Professor of applied mathematics at the University of Tunis and a researcher at the BIMS laboratory in Pasteur Institute of Tunis. She obtained my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in 2010. In her research, she is interested in the application of mathematical and computational models in biology and public health. She has an interesting background in population modeling as well as its mathematical and numerical analysis. She has been involved in several research projects related to health programs like Covid-19 and cancer “What motivated me to study applied mathematics is my passion for problem-solving and the beauty of the abstract concepts of mathematics. The ability to apply these concepts to real-world problems and make a difference in people’s lives is what keeps me going. I am constantly learning and pushing the boundaries of my knowledge, which makes my research career both challenging and fulfilling”. She was awarded US-Fulbright Visiting Scholars grant (2024), SCIENCE BY WOMEN fellowship (2023), ASRI (Africa-US Student Initiative) fellowship (2010-2011) and obtained a PhD grant from the AUF (Agence Universitaire de la francophonie) (2006-2009). She is a fellow at The Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM), with the project “Optimization of the potential Anti-Cancer agent isolated from a Nigerian plant”.


Dr. Sabah Ben Fredj Melki has a PhD in Biology (2009) and a Master’s Degree in Microbiology (2002). She is also an experienced Senior researcher scientist at the Centre of Biotechnology – CBBC, Tunis, for more than 15 years with strong collaboration relationship’s (AFSS, Paris; INP/ENSA, Toulouse; INRA, Versailles; Università Degli Studi Di Milan, Italy; and Biocruces Bizkaia Health Institute, Spain). She specializes in microbiology, molecular biology and toxicology. She is an academic member of the High Institute of Sciences and Environmental Technologies (ISSTE) and has teaching experience in different matters such as Cell biology, Microbiology or Biostatistics among others. She describes herself as a philanthropist. She participates in local programs and contributes as a volunteer with many associations to help people. She was nominated as a Recognized Researcher by UNESCO-l’ORÉAL for Women & Science (2006). Through Science by Women programme, she develops the project “Molecular Characterization of Cytomegalovirus, Study of the Immunopathology of NK Cell Use the acquired knowledge to design immunotherapies” in Biocruces Bizkaia Health Institute – Immunopathology Group, Bilbao. Her fellowship was sponsored by the Provincial Government of Bilbao


Dr. Beatrice Olatundun has a Ph.D. in Physiology by the University of Benin (2013) and a MSc in Human Physiology University of Jos, Nigeria (2004). She is an experienced chief lecturer and deputy provost academics at Federal College of Veterinary and Medical Laboratory Technology (FCVMLT), senior lecturer (visiting) of the department of Physiology at the Madonna University (MAU) and associate dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences (MAU). She is also a member of several professional bodies such as the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria or the Physiological Society of Nigeria (PSN), among others. She has also been elected Fellow of West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) (2021) and has has been awarded for Dedication and Exemplary & Outstanding Public Service by Community of TIV Students NVRI Vom Chapter and has received an award by the Multi kraft media On behalf of FCVMLT. She develops the project “Moderate alcohol consumption improves cardiovascular health: determining the thin line in between alcohol as a risk factor and health promoter using haematology and biochemical markers” at Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), Madrid.


Dr. Justina Nwodo is Head of Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her main research focus is on drug discovery using natural products with some bias in the application of computational techniques. “I believe that medicinal plants/natural products hold great potential for optimal preventive and therapeutic benefits for most ailments”. She is a fellow of DAAD (Research stay for academics and Scientists 2019). She is a fellow at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Madrid, with the project “Optimization of the potential Anti-Cancer agent isolated from a Nigerian plant”.


Dr. Mable Mutengo is a Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Levy Mwanawasa Medical University in Lusaka, Zambia, where she teaches Medical Parasitology to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is also the Director in the Institute of Basic and Biomedical Sciences at the University. She holds a PhD in Medical Parasitology from the University of Zambia. Mable’s research interests are in Neglected Tropical Diseases, specifically in schistosomiasis, and in understanding the molecular epidemiology of intestinal protists in schistosomiasis endemic regions of Zambia. She proposes to extend the one-health approach to understand the epidemiology and genetic diversity of hybrid Schistosoma species in Zambia. Her study hypothesizes that the high schistosomiasis burden in Zambia could be due to the effects of hybridization between human and cattle schistosomes. This work aligns with the research priorities of her country to control and eliminate schistosomiasis through a multifaceted approach. She is a fellow at Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid, with the project “One Health Approach to Understanding the Epidemiology and Genetic Diversity of Hybrid Schistosome Species and Intestinal Protists in Schistosomiasis Endemic Regions of Zambia”, thanks to the funding of the State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Wellbeing (FCSAI).


Dr. Abdel Gaber is a graduate of pharmacy and biotechnology faculty, German University in Cairo. She is DAAD alumna where she conducted her master, PhD and post-doc studies in collaboration with German Universities such as Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich. She is concerned with stimuli-responsive nano-based therapies for the treatment of oncologic and non-oncologic applications. Her current project aims to develop novel polymeric-based nanosystems targeting breast cancer stem cells and encapsulating multiple drugs to achieve dual modality therapeutic plan in which both bulk and cancer stem cells are suppressed. She was awarded Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship to University College of London and AfOx Visiting Fellowship to Oxford University. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Head of Nanomedicine Department, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute (INN) at Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt. Through Science by Women programme, she develops the project “Suppression of breast cancer propagation and metastasis by actively targeted nanoparticles” in Vall d´Hebron Research Institute, Barcelona.


Dr. Ines Brahmi has a PhD in Biology (2015) and a Master degree Cellular and molecular Physiology (2009) and in Bioinformatics (Omics-BioData) (2022). She worked as Research engineer at the University of Nantes, France (2013-2015). She was a Postdoc at the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia (2016-2020), at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (2018) and at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis (2023-now). From 2017 until now, she works as an university teacher in the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Université Libre de Tunis, High Institute of Biotechnology of Sidi thabet. Through Science by Women programme, she develops the project “Leishmania parasites: a high-throughput Investigation of Long Non-Coding RNAs (Project Acronym: LINCKER)” at Centre of Genomic Regulation (CRG) Barcelona.


Dr. Fatimetou Mohamed-Saleck is a professor at the University of Nouakchott, Mauritania, for twenty-five years and an international expert in telecommunications and ICT development policies. She was the first Secretary of State for Mauritanian Technology News from 2000 to 2004, after having worked in private industry for over a decade. She has over 25 years of experience in the public and private sector in several fields including technology, science, and human resources. After six years in Europe, practicing scientific research in Petroleum Geophysics, Dr. Fatimetou Mohamed Saleck became a Study and Development Engineer at TOTAL (France, 1991-1996) and Development Engineer at GEOMATH International (a subsidiary of the French Oil Institute) due to the General Geophysical Company (France, 1996-1997). She decided to return to Africa where she worked in many fields: international expertise, Government of Mauritania, several projects in the private sector. Through Science by Women programme, she develops the project “Data analysis, processing and imaging for Mauritania” at Biomedical and Health Research Institute (IUIBS), Las Palmas thanks to the funding of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands.


Dr. Rasha Shalaby is a molecular microbiologist with more than ten years of diagnostic, research, and teaching experience in Egypt & the USA. She has obtained her M.B.Ch.B. and MSc degrees in Microbiology and Immunology from the Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt. Afterward, she has been competitively awarded the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. She presented and published her research in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) symposium or the international HBV meeting among others. Dr. Shalaby has also held director-level positions at multiple governmental and corporate research centers in Egypt. She currently holds a position as an assistant professor of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, Galala University. Her research interest focuses on developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for viruses of public health importance and multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens. She is a fellow at Spanish National Center of Biotechnology with the project “Generation of High-Affinity and Specificity Nanobody Clones Targeting West Nile Virus”.


Dr. Heba Fathy Alzan is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary, Microbiology and Pathology at Washington State University. From 2019, she works as a researcher in Parasitology and Animal Diseases Department, Tick- and Tick-borne diseases research unit at the National Research Center (NRC) in Cairo. Currently, she is co-investigator in an international research consortium developing transmission blocking and blood stage anti Babesia vaccines. Her project is about “Evaluating the functional role RRA, Bd P50 and GAP 45 proteins in Babesia divergens using transfected parasites” at Instituto de Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), Madrid thanks to the funding of the State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Wellbeing (FCSAI).


Dr. Nermeen Zakaria is Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at Misr University for Science and Technology, Egypt. Her research interest is focused in studying inflammation pathways and manipulating biological molecules for enhancing their medical applications as well as improving diagnosis and therapy of relevant metabolic, proliferative, and neuro-degenerative disorders. In October 2019-2022 she was Principal investigator of the research project “miRNAs profiling as possible early diagnostic biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in the Egyptian population” in the STDF Grant for Youth research project. She is a fellow at the Institute of Neurosciences with the project “Investigating the role of ferroptosis on microglial implication in Alzheimer’s disease as a possible novel therapeutic target”.

Amigos/as de la fundación