NIGERIAN SCIENTIST WINS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) FIRST FELLOWSHIP AWARD- (Aug, 2010 bioscience headlines)
A Nigerian Scientist Dr. Hafsat Shitu of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development NIPRD has won the first World Health Organization Fellowship Award for Drug Discovery.
Shittu, who holds a doctorate degree in Pharmacology, was selected for the fellowship position for training in High Throughput Screening (HTS) among over 200 contestants from African countries. HTS is a high technology system that allows for fast tracking of drugs discovery.
The NIPRD Scientist who recently returned from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow through a fellowship of the Ford Foundation in New York, is the first African scientist to be trained in High Through put Screening HTS.
The letter dated April 9, 2009 inviting Dr. Hafsat Shittu for the one year Fellowship programme was titled “WHO Training Fellowship” and singed by Professor Ming Wei Wang. It read in part: “In consultation with and at the recommendation of the WHO/TDR, you have been selected to participate in the drugs discovery collaborative programmme for infectious diseases launched last year between the WHO, NOVO Nodisk of Denmark and our center. You will be trained and engaged in Special High throughput Drug Screening (TDS)”
Reacting to the news of the Fellowship award, the Director General of NIPRD said scientists trained by the Institute could match any standard in the world.
He recalled that the 16 years Dr. Hafsat put in at NIPRD have been fruitful even as her new training in HTS will eliminate regular use of animals in drugs discovery process at the Institute. With this development, Dr. Inyang said animals could only be used at the final stage of testing the efficacy of drugs.
The WHO/TDR had early in the year invited applications for one year training of post-doctoral scientists from Africa who have interest in drug discovery.
Hafsat Shittu will spend the Fellowship year at the National Centre for Drugs Screening (NCDS) Shangai, China, an Institute affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Read more? >>
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