International Networking Opportunities for African Young Scientists: A Case Study of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

International Networking Opportunities for African Young Scientists: A Case Study of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings 2016-10-20T16:37:25+00:00

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Moderator: Prof Roseanne Diab, Academy of Science of South Africa, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Berhanu Molla Abegaz, African Academy of Science, Kenya
Panellist: Prof Nelson Torto, Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Botswana
Panellist: Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Banothile Makhubela, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Catherine Kegakilwe Koofhethile, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Young scientist initiatives are frequently reported as being life- and career-changing. As young scientists participate in these programmes they get the chance to reflect and think beyond the daily practice of science to its applications in solving some of the biggest global problems of our time. These International programmes provide young scientists with an “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity in a foreign country, where they meet experienced and peer-group researchers from different cultural backgrounds. As their knowledge develops, their personal horizons expands. The contacts forged during the one week of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, for example, are invaluable. Presented by Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the African Academy of Science (AAS) which are themselves nominating partners in Africa, this roundtable session will explore and acknowledge the international young scientist programmes available and their impact on the participants. Using the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings as a case study, the panellists will share the benefit of participation in these programmes to themselves and to the science community. This roundtable discussion will bring to the attention of policy makers, scientists, media and civil society, the importance of young scientists within the science system in all levels.
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diab-1Prof Roseanne Diab
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), South Africa
Moderator

Professor Roseanne Diab has been Executive Officer at ASSAf since 2008. She is also an Emeritus Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a Fellow of the university, the South African Geographical Society, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). Her research interests are in Atmospheric Science, with a focus on climate change and air quality. Prof Diab has served on numerous international committees such as the International Ozone Commission (IOC) and the Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (CACGP). She is active in the Organisation for Women Scientists in the Developing World (OWSD) and serves on the Gender Advisory Board to TWAS. Through her leadership, ASSAf is the host to the International Science Union Regional Office for Africa (ICSU-ROA), the World Academy of Science Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS- ROSSA) and is a member of the InterAcademy Partnership executive committee. In terms of young scientist activities, ASSAf hosts the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and is the national nominating partner for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
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abegaz-1Prof Berhanu Molla Abegaz
African Academy of Science (AAS), Kenya
Panellist

Professor Berhanu Molla Abegaz is currently the Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences. Abegaz has made significant contributions to recent achievements and growth of the Academy in the area of climate change and health as well as in the growth in Fellowship. A chemist by profession with a rich teaching and research experience in several universities in Africa, Europe and the United States, Prof Abegaz is widely known for promoting South-South cooperation in research and postgraduate education. He is the co-founder of the Natural Product Research Network for Eastern and Central Africa (NAPRECA), the Network for Analytical and Bioassay Services in Africa (NABSA), Africa-Asia-South America (AFASA), and the pan-African Natural Products Library (p-ANPL). Abegaz has served in many national, regional and global organizations such as the UNESCO Science Board, the Committee for Scientific Planning and Research of ICSU, as senior Advisor to IOCD, IFS and Membership Committee of TWAS. He has also received a number of prizes and awards among them the IFS-DANIDA award, the Pierre Crabbe Award, the CNR Rao Award and The Chemical Society of Ethiopia merit award. He is a member of several professional organizations and an elected fellow of three academies.
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torto-1Prof Nelson Torto
Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Botswana
Panellist

Professor Nelson Torto is the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation. He holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Lund University in Sweden. He started his career as a method development chemist at the BCL Mine in Selebi Phikwe. He joined the University of Botswana’s Chemistry Department as a staff development fellow in 1993 and subsequently rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2008, Prof Torto joined Rhodes University as a Professor in Analytical Chemistry and subsequently led the Chemistry Department for 3 years. Prof Torto is a renowned researcher who has received various awards, given invited plenary lectures at international conferences as well as published more than 120 papers, graduated 19 PhDs and has several registered patents. In 2008, Prof Torto received the Young Investigator Award in Separation Science from the American Chemical Society. He has held various advisory roles nationally, regionally and internationally and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences as well as an accredited Time to Think Coach and Facilitator.
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marakalala-1Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Panellist

Dr Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala is the Senior Lecturer in the Division of Immunology at the University of Cape Town. He is also a visiting Scientist at Harvard University, a Next Einstein Fellow and previous Sydney Brenner Fellow. As a research fellow, his study was on Infectious Diseases at Harvard University. His research aims to develop better therapeutic and diagnostic tools to fight Tuberculosis. His Doctorate was awarded the Bronte Stewart Research Prize for the most meritorious thesis. He is a former Secretary of the Harvard School of Public Health Postdoctoral Association and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion at the school. He is a recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the prestigious Sydney Brenner Fellowship that is awarded to an outstanding young scientist in SA. He represented South Africa at the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Germany, at the Commonwealth Science Conference in India, and at the World Economic Forum New Champions meeting in China. He was specially invited to Marlborough House where he met with Queen Elizabeth II.
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makhubelaDr Banothile Makhubela
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Panellist

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koofhethileDr Catherine Kegakilwe Koofhethile
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist

Originally from Botswana, Dr. Catherine Kegakilwe Koofhethile holds a BSc (honors) in Medical Microbiology from the University of Surrey (UK), a Masters degree in Immunology from the University of Birmingham (UK) and a PhD in Immunology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) under the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) fellowship programme. Her PhD research characterized immune mechanisms of viral control in individuals who naturally control HIV infection. This work was recently published this year in the Journal of Virology with Catherine as first author. She also co-authored several other publications in which she contributed important data. She has presented her work in a number of local and International Scientific conferences. She was privileged to participate in the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate (Medicine and Physiology) meeting in Germany in 2014. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the UKZN’s HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP). She is conducting additional research to investigate further mechanisms of viral control in chronic HIV-1 subtype C infection.
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