Top sci­ence award for Rhodes pro­fes­sor

CityPress - - News - S’THEM­BILE CELE sthem­bile.cele@city­press.co.za

Pro­fes­sor Te­bello Nyokong of Rhodes Univer­sity has been hon­oured with an award by the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Sci­en­tific Awards, along with nearly R1.6 mil­lion in prize money. The cer­e­mony took place last night at the AU’s head­quar­ters in Ad­dis Abba, Ethiopia. The awards hon­our out­stand­ing African sci­en­tists for their achieve­ments and dis­cov­er­ies.

“Her re­search out­puts are among the high­est of any in­di­vid­ual on the con­ti­nent, and her con­tri­bu­tion to the schol­arly rep­u­ta­tion of African schol­ar­ship is im­mense,” said Rhodes Univer­sity in a state­ment.

“Pro­fes­sor Nyokong’s re­search con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to ar­eas of so­cial and eco­nomic im­por­tance to Africa and the world, and has made her an in­ter­na­tional name in sci­en­tific cir­cles.

“She has been re­spon­si­ble for strides made to­wards the ef­fec­tive treat­ment of can­cer through her con­tri­bu­tions to pho­to­dy­namic ther­apy, and she has con­trib­uted in­flu­en­tially to the fab­ri­ca­tion of sen­sors for var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tally, bi­o­log­i­cally and med­i­cally im­por­tant mol­e­cules.”

In a state­ment, Nyokong said it was a huge hon­our for her to be recog­nised by the AU and to re­ceive the award in the pres­ence of es­teemed African lead­ers, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, dur­ing the open­ing ses­sion of the AU Sum­mit on Wed­nes­day.

“Re­search at Rhodes is of a high stan­dard and glob­ally recog­nised, but I am not sure how much the African con­ti­nent knows what we do. This award will be my gate­way to the rest of the con­ti­nent,” she said.

PHOTO: CATHY PIN­NOCK

Pro­fes­sor Te­bello Nyokong works in medic­i­nal chem­istry and nan­otech­nol­ogy

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