By Paul Chinnock
EDCTP’s Outstanding Female Scientist Prize is awarded to world-leading female scientists in sub-Saharan Africa working on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious. The prize consists of a recognition trophy and a cash prize of €20,000. Catherine Hankins announced the winner of the prize for 2020 at the Forum on Monday afternoon.
The prize goes to Professor Margaret Gyapong of Ghana’s University of Health and Allied Sciences. Widely recognised as a leading researcher in Africa, she has already received other awards for her work. Accepting the prize, she said she and her team look at the barriers to implementing innovations targeting poverty-related diseases.
Catherine Hankins, who describes her as a ‘trailblazer’, asked what advice she would give to young women researchers. Margaret Gyapongsaid being a female scientist is not easy and needs hard work! But some senior colleagues can be very encouraging, so build relationships and find people who will walk along with you. She said she was fortunate to have a wonderful team – it is a joy to work with them. She acknowledged a number of her colleagues by name, including those who nominated her, and also her husband, family and friends.
She intends to use the money from the prize to create two further prizes: one in name of her mother relating to the areas of research in EDCTP’s programme, and another for outstanding women in neglected tropical disease research.
Congratulations to Margaret Gyapong immediately began to arrive in the platform’s chat area!