Prof Nelson Torto Executive Director, The AAS
Torto is the Executive Director of The African Academy of Sciences (AAS), a pan African organisation which drives sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovation. Prior to joining the AAS, he was the founding CEO of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI), which values cocreation and empathy. He was the Head of Chemistry at Rhodes University, and Associate Professor at the University of Botswana. He is a recipient of several international awards, has served in various capacities in African and international networks and organisations as well as editorial boards.
Dr Thomas Kariuki Director of Programmes, The AAS
Kariuki is the Director of Programmes at The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) where he leads the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence In Science In Africa (AESA platform), which was launched in 2015 by The AAS and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) agency. An internationally recognised immunologist, Kariuki leads the Academy's programmatic activities to accelerate world-class research, foster innovation, and promote scientific leadership on the continent. He oversees the funding of research, development and commercialisation of novel, high-impact STI solutions for the continent, and is cultivating strategic partnerships with academic institutions, governments and industry globally to transform Africa’s future through science-led, knowledge-based economies. Prior to his appointment at The AAS, Kariuki served as Director of the Institute of Primate Research/National Museums of Kenya, a biomedical and conservation biology facility. He has published widely on vaccines and diagnostics development for infectious diseases including schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), malaria and co-infections, and on policy related to biomedical research and funding. He is a recipient of several international grants and awards.
Dr Moses Alobo Programme Manager, Grand Challenges Africa, The AAS
Alobo has over 15 years’ experience managing research grants both from the recipient’s and funder’s side.His last posting was as a key interface between the African research centres and GSK’s Africa NCD Open Lab. He has worked for GSK, Hoffman La Roche and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. He studied medicine at the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and later Public Health at the University of Birmingham (UK). He has been awarded the Archbishop Desmond Tutu African Leadership fellowship in 2014, the EU Contact Point Network for Young African Scientists Fellowship in 2007 and the British Chevening Scholarship in 2005.
Zoleka Ngcete Project Manager, Medical Research Council
Ngcete joined MRC as a Project Manager within the SHIP team in March 2015. Prior to joining SHIP, Zoleka served as the Business Development Manager for the Eastern Cape regional office of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Prior to joining TIA, Ngcete served as the Programme Manager for the South African Malaria Initiative (SAMI), one of the initiatives that currently form part of the SHIP portfolio. The initiative brought together a multi-disciplinary research consortium comprising a number of South African research institutions to collaborate on finding new solutions to combat malaria. The portfolio included drug discovery, diagnostics development and vector parasite biology.
Karabo Kgomo Junior Project Manager, Strategic Health Partnerships Unit, MRC
Kgomo joined the MRC: Strategic Health Partnerships Unit as a Junior Project Manager in 2016. His main functions include managing a portfolio of numerous medical devices and assisting the identification of innovative health projects that address the health disease burden in Africa. Prior to joining the MRC, he served as a funds and incentive management intern at the Department of Science and Technology and later moved to serve as an Operations Officer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Innovation Office.
Juliette Mutheu-Asego Head of Communications and PR, The AAS
Juliette Mutheu-Asego is The African Academy of Sciences Head of Communications and PR. She leads the development of an engaging and compelling AAS brand in Africa through developing and implementing a Pan-African communication and marketing strategy that will leverage on the unique strengths of AAS to achieve Africa’s ambitious targets for research and innovation growth. Previously, she worked as a communication, media and advocacy specialist at PATH providing strategic communication leadership and technical assistance to the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) leading deliberate communication initiatives and training to strengthen internal and external communications capacity and at the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) as the Science Communication and Policy specialist involved in designing and implementing a communication and policy dialogue program. Juliette holds a Master’s in Science Communication from Imperial College London and an Honours and bachelor’s in biomedical sciences from Monash University Australia. She has a background in osteoarthritis and malaria research and is a creative at heart passionate about development and science communication in Africa.
Deborah-Fay Ndlovu Communications Manager, The AAS
Ndlovu has managed aspects of strategy, branding and events, from development to implementation. She is experienced in content development for a variety of media, including publications, the web and social media, and in media engagement. Her work in communications has allowed her to play key roles in creating, launching and implementing a project to build the capacity of African science journalists; train and support scientists to communicate to non-scientific audiences; conceptualise a database to map and track investments and impact for the African Academy of Sciences; develop branding materials and conceptualise a photography database. Prior to joining the AAS, Ndlovu was a science journalist. She holds amaster’s in science journalism from City University of London.
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