Mercy Bankole And Funmilola Fagbola Win 2019 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Program Awards

Mercy Bankole and Funmilola Fagbola have been awarded the 2019 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Program Young Talents Sub-Saharan Africa Awards.

The Nigerian female scientists (Mercy Bankole and Funmilola Fagbola) were awarded alongside 18 other female African researchers.

The award is sponsored jointly by L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO For Women in Science programme.

Mercy Bankole is a post-doctoral researcher at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State. She majors in Chemistry, with a research project on ‘Healing open wounds faster and better thanks to a nanocomposite.’

Funmilola Fagbola is a doctoral candidate at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology’s department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. Her research project focuses on ‘Detecting misinformation with proof and deep learning models, and nature-inspired algorithms.’

Each doctoral student awardee received €10,000; while each post-doctoral student awardee got €15,000.

The awardees also benefited from a four-day training designed to give them more resources to pursue their careers.

The four-day training course, given by international experts selected by the Fondation L’Oréal, covered different dimensions such as leadership, management, negotiation, public speaking, media training and personal branding, the Press release announcing their awards added.

The award, which held in Dakar, Senegal, was part of the 10th edition of its regional programme For Women in Science.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice-President of the Fondation L’Oréal, Alexandra Palt, said:

“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 Talents Awards 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.”

According to the Press release distributed by the Chief of Project Rosine Zadi, the 20 awardees were drawn from 15 countries and comprised computer scientists, engineers and biologists.

Winners of 2019 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Program 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 rhizobacteria 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. Dr. Mercy Temitope BANKOLE – Post-doctoral researcher – 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 natureinspired algorithms
7. Dr. Nowsheen GOONOO – Post-doctoral researcher – Mauritius – Mauritius University, Moka
Discipline: Materials sciences
Research project: Avoiding amputations by enhancing healing in diabetic wounds
8. Fatou JOOF – Doctoral candidate – The 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. Dr. Jacqueline KYOSIIMIRE-LUGEMWA – Post-doctoral researcher – 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. Dr. Henintsoa Onivola MINOARIVELO – Post-doctoral researcher – 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 childbearing 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. Dr. 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 1 University
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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