The ISP/UU Alumni Network
As a former student, group leader, network coordinator, or fellow in ISP or Sida programs you are a part of Uppsala University’s Global Alumni Community, regardless of where you studied/worked. This network is ISP's way of staying in touch with you and for you to connect with other alumni in your country and elsewhere.
Membership of the Alumni Network is free and inclusive! By becoming a member you ensure that ISP and Uppsala University can contact you with newsletters, invitations and offers to events all over the world!
ISP Alumni of the Quarter 2019
Genomics Expert - Prof Collen Masimirembwa
ISP would like to recognize Prof Collen Masimirembwa for his immense contribution to genomics research in Africa, for establishing the first DNA testing center in Zimbabwe and for his tireless efforts to strengthen research capacity in the region.
After receiving his undergraduate degree with honors from University of Zimbabwe, Collen Masimirembwa continued with studies leading to a PhD in Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1995 at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, funded by ISP. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University he joined the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Sweden where he worked as a Principal Scientist for a decade. In 2002, he founded the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST) in Zimbabwe, a research and education institute with a mission to discover, develop and deploy innovative healthcare solutions for Africa. Amongst many other things, AiBST has assisted the Government in identifying victims in times of crisis such as cyclone Idai. With its state of the art facilities, AiBST is functioning as a center of excellence in the region, where Prof Masimirembwa is instrumental in training researchers and postgraduate students.
Prof Masimirembwa has discovered genetic variants unique to African populations that could have implications for the safe and efficient treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases and cancer. He has developed a pharmacogenetics based dosing algorithm for safe treatment outcome for HIV patients. In the field of pharmacokinetics he made many innovative contributions, especially in understanding molecular aspects of drug enzyme interactions. His work on amodiaquine metabolism is now an FDA recommended marker. His contributions have also led to understanding the risk for drug-drug and drug-herb interaction in the use of medicines in the African clinical setting.
His contribution to research has been recognized through many awards, including from the African network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, The Research Council of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe Award from Outstanding Research, the Gauteng Accelerator Program, and the Human Genome Organization African Award.
Director General for Renewable Energies - Dr Bruno Korgo
ISP would like to recognize ISP graduate and Physicist, Dr Bruno Korgo, for his important work towards scaling up renewable energy in one of the least electrified countries globally, Burkina Faso.
Dr Korgo received his PhD in Atmospheric Physics from University of Ouagadougou I Joseph KI-ZERBO in 2014, on a sandwich basis with University Blaise Pascal in France. In 2016, he became Director General for Renewable Energies at the Ministry of Energy in Burkina Faso. As the Director General he is responsible for developing and monitoring the government policy for development of renewable energies. He is one of the major actors behind the important reforms undertaken since 2016 and is institutionally involved in renewable energy projects on all scales implemented in Burkina Faso.
Further, Dr Korgo has contributed to EU policy reports on least cost options for rural electrification in Burkina Faso and highlighted the key role of renewable energy, and participated in numerous international panels and workshops around the world. He is a council member and the national focal point of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Ecowas Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and is actively involved in many other international initiatives on various issues of renewable energy.
Gender Equity Advocate Dr Betty Nannyonga
ISP would like to recognize ISP graduate and Ugandan mathematician, Dr Betty Nannyonga, for her outstanding and important work towards creating a gender-balanced representation in the basic sciences in Uganda and Eastern Africa.
Dr Nannyonga received her PhD from Makerere University in 2012 through the ISP supported Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Programme (EAUMP). Today, she is a Senior Lecturer at the university, working actively and tirelessly to raise awareness about gender equity, while continuing with her mathematical modelling research. In 2016, she received ISP’s Gender Equality Activity Grant with a project supporting women in the basic sciences at Makerere University. In 2018, she established the Uganda Women Mathematicians (UGAWOM), a national network of female mathematicians from Ugandan universities. A year later, she went regional and started the Eastern Africa Network for Women in the Basic Sciences (EANWoBAS) together with other ISP partners.
She has been the driving force behind numerous well-attended awareness creating workshops and activities at Makerere University. She has established mentorship programs boosting the confidence of young female students, and organized outreach activities targeting hundreds of primary and secondary school students in and around Kampala.The activities are already yielding results, in two years’ time there has been a notable increase in the number of female undergraduate students majoring in mathematics and physics at Makerere University.
Keep up the great work Betty, you are a true inspiration!
Lightning Guru Dr Chandima Gomes
Dr Gomes is today working as a Professor of High Voltage Engineering at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He started his academic career with PhD studies in the former ISP-supported research group in Atmospheric Physics and Lightning at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in close collaboration with Uppsala University. He is specialized in lightning protection, grounding, and electromagnetic interference – with emphasis on putting research into use. After graduating in 1999, he has altered between research and consultancy services in lightning protection based in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. As an engineering consultant, he has conducted over 120 training programs in his field of specialization, contributed to several papers on lightning safety and protection in Asia and Africa, and has been part of establishing a number of centers for lightning protection on both continents.
Thanks to his work there is now a greater awareness and an increased number of skilled manpower to handle and take affirmative actions on lightning strikes. Keep up the good work!
To be announced!
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21 March 2019 - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
PhD graduates from ISP supported groups in Ehtiopia gathered at Ras Amba Hotel in Addis Ababa for an alumni meet. ISP staff and group leaders from chemistry, physics and mathematics got a chance to meet, eat and mingle with the former PhD graduates. All graduates who were present are currently working at universities in or around Addis.Thank you all for coming!