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Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Women in Science Mentoring Program


Cohort 1 – Nigeria
University of Ibadan

Oluwatoyin Odeku is a professor of Pharmaceutics and the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a registered pharmacist and a fellow of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP) and the West Africa Research Association (WARA). She holds a certificate in Modern Higher Education Management and Leadership from the University of Applied Sciences, Osnabruek, Germany. She has been a recipient of many grants and fellowships among them are the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellowships. She is seasoned researcher and administrator that has been involved in training of pharmacists for over 25 years. Her research interest is in the areas of drug delivery, dosage form design and internationalization of higher education.

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ResearcherID: D-3462-2011

Cohort 2 – Ghana
CSIR-Food Research Institute

Charlotte Oduro-Yeboah
is a Senior Research Scientist and head of Food Technology Research Division at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research- Food Research Institute (CSIR-FRI). She holds a Ph.D. Degree in Food Science from the University of Ghana, Legon and La recherché Agronomique pour le developpement (CIRAD), Montpellier- France: M.Phil in Food Science and B.Sc (Honours) degrees in Biochemistry and Nutrition from the University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana. Charlotte applies postharvest technologies in the processing of roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables and cereals for the development of health-enhancing convenient shelf-stable foods. She has authored and co-authored 95 publications (including 15 peer-reviewed journal publications, and 70 technical reports and 10 conferences presentations with published abstracts) in Food Science and Technology. For more information visit and Charlotte is one of 180 African women scientists who won an African women in Agricultural science (AWARD) Fellowship in 2010, which empowered them to contribute more effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cohort 3 – Ethiopia
Addis Ababa University

Yalemtsehay Mekonnen
is a Professor of Cell and Human Physiology. Currently she is a teaching staff of the Department of Biology at the College of Natural Sciences of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. She has over 100 publications in different peer reviewed scientific journals on topics of respiratory physiology, medicinal plants and other related topics. She has advised many MSc and PhD students. She has also mentored young professionals specially women over the last three decades. She received the 2015 the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards for high achievement for women in science. She has been appointed as Ambassador Scientist by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany as part of a worldwide network for excellence in science since 2016.

Cohort 4 – Nigeria
Federal University

Sylvia Uzochukwu
is a food Scientist with a biology background and Biotechnology and Biosafety expertise. She has been Director of FUNAAB Biotechnology Centre, Dean of FUOYE Faculty of Science, and now coordinator of FUOYE Biotechnology Centre. She has 26 years’ experience teaching and supervising research of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Food Science and Technology, as well as in Plant Science and Biotechnology. She has worked on Biotechnology capacity building in Nigeria for nearly 20 years. Sylvia is a passionate believer that the solution to Africa's food problems lies in the deployment of modern technologies in agriculture, especially Biotechnology."

Cohort 5 – Tunisia
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie

Samia Gargouri
is an associate professor at the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia. She received her PhD degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis in 2003 for her Dissertation on “Genetic diversity and population structure of Fusarium species associated with Foot and root rot of wheat”. She joined the Plant Protection Laboratory of INRAT in 2004 and her main research interests lie in the area ecology and taxonomy of Fusarium species and soil-borne diseases of cereals and other crops (epidemiology and disease management). She is involved in national and international projects dealing with improving wheat production. She has actively collaborated with researchers in other disciplines including breeding, plant physiology and agronomy. She is the recipient of the International Foundation of Sciences award, the “Japan capacity building for African agricultural research” program award, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Crawford Fund award and a certificate of appreciation as a Crawford mentor.

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Cohort 6 - Tunisia
Institut Pasteur de Tunis

Ikram Guizani is a senior investigator and head of laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and Experimental Pathology at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis. She graduated in Natural Sciences from Tunis El Manar University, Tunisia, obtained a MSc in Molecular and Cellular Genetics at the Paris XI University, and a PhD in Microbiology/Virology from Nice University. Her PhD project dealt with the characterization of polyomavirus oncogens and their expression in Vaccinia virus as anti-tumor vaccine models. She joined the Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT) where she was promoted to become Principal Biologist and Head of Laboratory. Ikram pioneered and developed research activities along the theme of molecular biology applications for molecular epidemiology of leishmaniasis. She developed different tools and assays for parasite detection, identification and characterization in the Old World. In 2002, she defended a Doctorat d’Etat on this theme at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Tunis El Manar.

Throughout her career at the IPT, Ikram supervised more than 30 Post-doctoral, PhD and Master Students in Molecular biology and Genetics, Parasitology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics fields. She is the author of more than 40 publications and holder of 3 patents. She was awarded different collaborative grants from EU- programs, TDR, IAEA, AUF, CRDF, Institut Pasteur, PEER and has been appointed as coordinator of 3 successive laboratory contract-programs with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Tunisia. She received the Prize of the President of the Republic of Tunisia as best female researcher of the year in 2009.

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Cohort 7 – Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Mary Abukutsa- Onyango (Ph.D, MKNAS. FAAS, EBS)
is a distinguished scientist that has conducted pioneering research in African indigenous vegetables. She holds a BSc (Agriculture), MSc (Agronomy) and PhD (Horticultural plant physiology and Nutrition). She currently serves as a Professor of Horticulture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Production and Extension at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. She a member of Kenya National Academy of sciences and a fellow of African Academy of sciences. She has supervised over 80 undergraduate and postgraduate projects and is widely published, she has excellent experience in Leadership and mentoring. Her work has had a tremendous impact on the utilization of indigenous vegetables in Africa and has led to her receipt of numerous, well-deserved awards including CTA, IMPRESSA, Presidential, and Africa Union awards and Edinburgh medal.

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Cohort 8 – South Africa
National Institute for Occupational Health

Dr. Boitumelo Kgarebe
is an international expert in scientific program and project management, with vast experience in networking of higher education institutions and institutional relationship management focusing mainly on capacity building.

Currently she works for the National Health Laboratory Services, where she is the Head of the Analytical Services at the National Institute for Occupational Health in Johannesburg, providing specialized laboratory services for: diagnostic and research purposes, advisory services and training to support the practice of occupational and environmental health. The department also provides training of Medical Scientists in the area of Clinical Biochemistry/Analytical Chemistry. Dr Kgarebe also supervises research students at the Division of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, and teaches at the School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Afica.
She also serves as a High Level Expert of the African Union.

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Cohort 9 – Kenya
Kenyatta University

Caroline Thoruwa
is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at Kenyatta University ( She obtained her Bachelor of Education from the University of Nairobi, Master of Science in Chemistry from Kenyatta University, Kenya and PhD in Pharmacognosy from the School of Pharmacy, University of London. Her research interests is in Natural Products Chemistry, ethnobotany- the study of plants (i) used as anti-malarials, antibacterial, and antifungals (ii) for postharvest management of grain pests, synthesis and semi-synthesis; (iii) the potential of plants for biofuels. Dr Thoruwa has held several administrative positions at Kenyatta University including Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Director of the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Director of The Center for Linkages and International Programs, Director of Kenyatta University, Nairobi City Campus and is currently the Acting Director Satellite and Offshore Campuses. Prof Thoruwa is passionate about improving the social, educational and professional status of women and girls in STEM. She is the Chairperson and a founding member of African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE, based in Nairobi, Kenya and is also the Coordinator of the Kenyatta University Female Students in Science and Technology (KUFESST) program. She is a member of the Technical Committee for the Africa Center for Transformational and Inclusive Leadership ( ACTIL ). Caroline is the current Secretary General of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES, .

Cohort 10 – Ghana
University of Health and Allied Sciences

Margaret Gyapong
is the Director of the Centre for Health Policy and Implementation Research of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. Prior to this, she was the Director of the Dodowa Health Research Centre and Deputy Director for Research and Development of the Ghana Health Service, Adjunct Professor of International Health at the Georgetown University in Washington and Adjunct Professor in Medical Anthropology at the Brunel University of West London. She is a Medical Anthropologist by training. Her areas of research are malaria, neglected tropical diseases, maternal and child health, demographic surveillance systems, health systems and implementation research. She has served as chair/member on a number of national and international committees including WHO, EDCTP, NIH, KEMRI Welcome Trust. She has about 84 publications in peer-reviewed journals has written several technical reports, made several conference presentations, and has two book chapters on neglected tropical diseases.

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