Female scientists excelled at the African Union Scientific Regional Awards. We take a look at the stellar achievements of these women.
Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim from the University of Mauritius’ Life Sciences Department, served as the sixth president of Mauritius. Before her role as head of state, she was managing director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation, as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Mauritius. She served as Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Science and as research manager at the Mauritius Research Council.
Prof Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of Exeter, UK. She served as Chairperson of the International Council for the Scientific Union’s African Regional Office. As founding member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co-authored the first ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, lectured extensively across the world and won numerous international awards. Among these; the 2007 l’Oreal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science and the African Union Commission Award for Women in Science, two years later. She also received the lifelong achievement award of the United States Pharmacopoeia-CePat Award and the American Botanical Council Norman Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award. In 2016, she was listed in the Forbes List for the 100 Most Powerful women in the world and first among the Top 100 Women in Africa Forbes List 2017. She is honoured as one of Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers.
Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell is renowned for her scientific and technological research and Innovation. She had gained recognition for her work at SANSA Space Science (formerly Hermanus Magnetic Observatory). Asspace researcher and BSN MBA alumna, she wore the hat of managing director of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) for almost a decade. SANSA’s high-impact science programmes include monitoring the Earth’s magnetic field, engineering and technology as well as post-graduate student training.
As a long-time research associate, Dr McKinnell was recently appointed Visiting Professor of RhodesUniversity.
Prof Sanaa Botros is Professor of Pharmacology at the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute in Giza, Egypt and was awarded for her work in pharmacodynamics of antischistosomal drugs in murine and human schistosomiasis infections, the inter-relation between drugs and the host immune response as well as pharmacokinetics of drugs commonly prescribed to patients with liver disease. Her other awards include the State Appreciation Award in Advanced Technological Sciences serve Medical Sciences, the Award of the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, Arab Women Organisation award for Science and Technology in Biological Sciences and Certificate of Excellence, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute.
Dr. Brenda Diana Wingfield’s research occupies a critical point in the wider field of biology – the intersection of biochemistry and genetics. In addition to being a Professor of Genetics, she also holds (or has held) Directorships at the University of Pretoria of the Molecular Screening Co-operative Programme and the Forest Molecular Biology Co-operative and is a programme leader at the Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology. Her top three awards include the HF Oppenheimer Fellowship Award, the Christiaan Hendrik Persoon Award (Gold Medal) of the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology and of course this prestigious African Union Regional Award for Women in Science.
*WISA will continue to publish awardees of this award*