From lab benches to African garb
After 6 weeks of adjusting to Boston life, the Fellows are spending a lot of time in their labs, they have begun collaborating with other scientists, and they finally know their way around the city! On Tuesday, Elicia Estrella – Genetic Counselor at Children’s Hospital, Boston – led a grantsmanship session on clinical research. The goal was to address some of the issues as one thinks through a proposal for a grant, and the Fellows were impressed with the presentation and believed it to be extremely helpful. Thursday was an exciting day as it was the Seeding Labs Science and Development in Africa Symposium. The six panelists included Matthew Stremlau (Postdoctoral Fellow, The Broad Institute), Ken Simiyu (Commercialization Fellow, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health), Brigitta Tadmor (VP, Global Head, Diversity & Inclusion and Health Policy, NIBR), Almoustapha Maiga (2011 Seeding Labs/Novartis Fellow and Assistant Professor of Virology, University of Bamako, Mali), and Ibok Oduro (2011 Seeding Labs/Novartis Fellow and Head, Department of Food Science & Technology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana). The keynote speaker was Alex Dehgan (Science & Technology Advisor and Director, Office of Science & Technology, USAID.
2011 Fellows: Almoustapha Maiga, Bassirou Diarra, and Drissa Samake at the eventAfter an informative presentation on how science and technology can address global problems and an insightful Q&A session, the guests were able to talk with some of the speakers and the 2011 Seeding Labs Fellows. Many walked away with the desire to volunteer and to help continue the Ambassador program and the Fellows program. It was a very rewarding night!
Drissa Samake of Mali and Ray Voegborlo of Ghana talking with a guest
at the Science and Development in Africa Symposium
On Friday the Fellows split up to visit different labs at Harvard and Tufts. At the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the Fellows toured the Fortune Lab and the Wirth Lab. Both groups said it was a very helpful experience, and one Fellow said that they “really identified with our goals.” Many of the Fellows will stay in touch with the professors and researchers working in the labs at HSPH. Other Fellows went to the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. The tour was led by Paul Fuss and the Fellows talked with Sarah Booth, the Associate Director and professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. This was especially helpful for Ibok Oduro, who is researching nutrition, food sciences, and aging back in Ghana.