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Making a Difference in African Science through Continued Learning and Collaboration

Published: 2018-05-28

In January 2018’s blog post, we announced that this year’s posts will be devoted to showcasing scientific achievements in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, as IFS is determined to be stronger than ever in its support of early-career researchers in these regions. This month we turn to Martin Bienvenu Somda, a two-time IFS grantee, who is a junior lecturer at Nazi Boni University of Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. His research aims to address what he sees as one of the pressing issues in agricultural health science: diagnosing problems and researching new vaccines and drugs in the integrated fight against vector-borne diseases. We hope you enjoy this feature of our website.

In an interview with Dr Ingrid Leemans, IFS Scientific Coordinator of Animal Production and Aquatic Resources, Mr Martin spoke about his research and advice to junior scientists:

At my university, I teach biochemistry, microbiology and data analysis in the Department of Animal Breeding of the Rural Development Institute.I am also an associate scientist at the International Centre for Research and Development on Livestock in the Sub-humid Area. My research is focused on the development of exposure biomarkers of tsetse fly bites in cattle.

In October 2017 I had an opportunity to attend the Uppsala Health Summit in Sweden through travel support from IFS. I listened with great attention to the presentations of honorable plenary speakers who defined and gave examples of the “One Health Approach” being used to fight both human and animal diseases. I also participated in workshops on zoonotic diseases in livestock and innovations in big data for early detection and monitoring. The summit was also an opportunity to meet a current IFS grantee from Kenya and a former one from Uganda, both of whom are working on trypanosomosis. I am now planning a scientific stay in Kenya to carry out collaborative research with my fellow IFS grantee there.

My advice to junior scientists is to be hardy and persevering in your work, to do the will of senior researchers and help them to improve and magnify science, to target sponsors and learn to write and submit research project proposals, and to cultivate collaborations with other scientists throughout the world.

Nighisty Ghezae, IFS Director

Thank you. Hope you enjoyed this feature and keep an eye on our next blog.                                                                                                                                                   Dr. Nighisty Ghezae, IFS Director

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