Final Beneficiaries of Visiting Senior Research Fellowships


ANN LOUW

Dr. Louw is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). She holds a PhD from that University as well as an MSc in Biochemistry (cum laude) and a BSc (Hon). She also has a BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology.

Breat cancer is a worldwide problem, accounting for 13,7% of cancer related deaths and 22,9% of all cancer cases. In addition, resistance to current endocrine therapies and/or side effects of current therapies provides impetus for the discovery of alternative drug leads. Several lines of evidence suggest that the Cyclopia extract, SM6Met, has potential as chemopreventative and/or chemotherapeutic agent for breast cancer in that it displays some of the attributes required for an ideal SERM and may behave as an intelligent mixture that could hold high potential amongst others targeting endocrine resistant breast cancer. Furthermore, formulation of a Cyclopia nutraceutical with known composition and proven efficacy in breast cancer prevention and/or treatment could provide African patients with a formulation at reduced cost that may display reduced side-effect in comparison to conventional therapies and/or could be used in adjuvant setting.

Mrs. Louw’s current research focuses on phytoestrogenic compounds found in extracts of Cyclopia, a plant indigenous to South Africa that is used to prepare an herbal tea. As indicated, one specific extract, SM6 Met, holds potential for the prevention and/or treatment of breast cancer in that it displays several desirable estrogenic traits. She wishes to continue her research taking it to the next level by identifying the specific compound(s) in the SM6Met conferring the desirable estrogenic attributes and establishing whether synergism and multi target mechanisms of action are of relevance. To achieve the above aims would require the evaluation of many extract and/or compounds at several concentrations. Prof. Louw will be doing this research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO, www.cnio.es).

Breat cancer is a worldwide problem, accounting for 13,7% of cancer related deaths and 22,9% of all cancer cases.

Her professional experience is long. She started in 1979 as a Research Officer at the Western Province Blood Transfusion service arriving to the post of Head of the Research Department. She worked as a Technical Officer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosh. She was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the same Department at the University of Stellenbosh, where she became Associate Professor in 2009 and today holds the Professorship at that University.

She has received many awards and is a member of various professional societies. She has published a large number of articles in well-known Journals such as: Journal of Ethonopharmacology, South African Journal of Sciences, Biochemical Pharmacology, among others. She has also given a conferences and lectures around the country in Drakensberg, Gauteng and Grahamstown as well as in Dresden (Germany), Gent (Belgium) and Seoul (South Korea). She collaborates with national and international researches from all over the world.

ASTER TSEGAYE ABEBE

Dr. Tsegaye argues that Ethiopia is among sub Saharan African countries where the mother to child HIV transmission is still high. According to data from the Federal Ministry of Health the number of HIV positive pregnant women in 2014 was 32.807 of whom 19.885 mothers where on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). The percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women who received antiretroviral (ARV) therapy or prophylaxis to prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV has significantly improved from 43% in 2013 to 60.6% in 2014.

Although HIV infection in children presents many aspects in common with that of adults the immunological immaturity of children in the first months of life and the difficulty of diagnosis in this period confer some particular characteristics that differentiate it from that found in the adult population. The transmission route in children is principally vertical; either it can occur during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or after birth through breast feeding. Approximately 15-40% of children born to HIV-positive mother become infected with the virus. As the disease progression in children who acquire HIV infection from their mothers is more rapid in Africa than in developed countries, probably since African children are exposed to early and multiple infections with high rates of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies and have limited access to health care. Thus, studying the magnitude and assessing the clinical and viro-Immunological characteristics of infants and children born to HIV infected mothers will contribute to designing appropriate intervention strategies and reduce mother to child transmission of HIV. This is in the subject Dr. Tsegaye plans to research at the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII, www.isciii.es).

Dr. Tsegaye was born in Nazareth, Ethiopia and was trained as a Biologist at Addis Ababa University (AAU), in 1995 she got her Master’s Degree in Zoology at the same University. In 2000 studied at the Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands) and in 2004 got her PhD in Immunology. Currently is Associate Professor at Department of Medical Laboratory Science, in the College of Health Science, Addis Ababa University. She is also interested in women issues and plays a leading role in the newly established society called Society of Ethiopian Women in Science and Technology (SEWIST) for which she is serving as Vice-President.

The percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women who received antiretroviral (ARV) therapy or prophylaxis to prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV has significantly improved from 43% in 2013 to 60.6% in 2014.

She has a long curriculum which includes works with a number of organization and research Projects. Initially she worked at the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) where she became Training and Research Coordinator; in 2007 she coordinated the eight Medical Laboratory Science Teaching Public Universities in the country to standardize teaching by lobbying and mobilize resource from CDC (Centre of Disease Control and Prevention). In 2009 she became Director of the School of Medical Laboratory Technology (AAU), in 2010 was Chief Executive Officer at the Black Lion Teaching Hospital and in 2014 became Associate Professor at AAU.

She was Manager at the Ethio-netherlands AIDS Research Project (ENARP) which includes field site Laboratories. From 2006-2007 she trained and coordinated the National HIV/AIDS laboratory, EHNRI and from 2009-2010 she was the Director of the School of Medical Laboratory Technology to become; in 2010 Chief Executive Officer at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. She also works in a number of Institutional and Professional Societies.

She has published a number of research papers and publications in Ethiopia and holds many awards and recognitions.

Dr. Tsegaye lives in Addis Ababa. She speaks English and Amharic.

CHANTAL EBEL

Dr. Ebel teaches Molecular Biology at the Institute of Biotechnology of Sfax in Tunisia. She works in a new project aiming to investigate the role of a gene in a durum wheat. This gene acts putatively at the interface of stress perception and cell cycle to maintain cell division in meristematic tissues despite adverse conditions. She will research this issue at the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB, www.cnb.csic.es), aiming at the socio-economic impact this study can have in agricultural politics for semi-arid countries such as Tunisia.

Dr. Ebel is Assistant Professor at the Institut Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Sfax since 2004. She teaches Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, Plant Biotechnology and Microbial Genetics. She is an active member of the group “Plant Protection and Improvement” (under direction of F. Brini) studying plant responses to abiotic stresses in cereals.

She holds a DEA from the University of Strasbourg obtained in 1966 for her studies in Trans-splicing in Euglenas. In 2000 she got her PhD at the same University for her research in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Boller at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland on the “Role of Calcium in elicitor-mediated signal transduction pathways.” Dr. Ebel has done post-doctoral research in the Laboratory of Prof. Wilhelm Gruissem at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in the area of the Function of Retinoblastoma-related protein RBR1 in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Dr. Ebel has published a number of articles in well-known journals such as Current Genetics, in 1999 and 2000 on “Trans-splicing and cis-splicing in the colourless” and “Characterization of trans-splicing in Euglenoids.” Other Journals such as Febs Letters, Journal of Plant Physiology, Nature, Plant Moleular Biology Reporter have her work published. Currently she is working on “Molecular and functional characterization of the durum wheat TdRL1, a member of the conserved Poaceae RSS!-like family that exhibits features of intrinsically disordered proteins and confers tolerance in yeast.” She also has a number of projects management and grants awarded, among them the Co-PI of PHC-Utique project (a French and Tunisian collaborative program), Co-PI of the Spanish cooperation project iCOOP entitled “Identification and molecular characterization of JAZ proteins in Tunisian durum wheat varieties” with the team of A. Chini and R. Solano (CNB, Madrid, Spain). In 2013 she got a grant from the French Institute in Tunisia entitled “Sejour Scientifique de haut Niveau.” Also from 2009 to 2011 she participated in a Spanish-Tunisian program entitled “Importance of protein phosphorylation in the function of the wheat DHN5 protein” with the team of M. Pagès (CSIC, Barcelone, Spain).

Along with a number of oral and poster presentation in different European and Arab countries (Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Tunisia) she teaches at the Institute of Biotchnology of Sfax and supervises PhD theses and Master theses.

Her proposal to work at the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB) is a research that will continue her research topic: improve wheat productivity by a better control of plant cell cycle, growth of biomass gain despite constantly changing environmental conditions. The project has a potentially high socio-economic impact for future agriculture policy in semi-arid countries like Tunisia. Therefore, facing the dramatic climatic changes, a still growing world population and a strong demand for raisin crop production, the development of cereals producing equivalent biomass under adverse conditions may contribute for sustainable agriculture.

COUMBA NIANG

Mrs. Niang is a Senegalese and a post-doctoral student in Laboratoire de Physique de l’Atmosphere et de l’Ocean Simeon-Fongang (LPAO-SF). She studied at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD) where she got her Bachelor Degrees and her two Master’s Degrees. In 2015 she earned her PhD in a program of the Federal University of Technology AKure (FUTA) in Nigeria and Laboratoir de Physique de l’Atmosphere et de l’Ocean Simeon Fongang LPAO-SF in Dakar in the Cheikh Anta Diop University. The title of her dissertation was: “Influence of the Madden-Julian oscillation on Rainfall Variability over West Africa at Intraseasonal timescale.”

Dr. Niang will be working at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (ICMAT, www.icmat.es). Her main interest lays in pursuing a scientist researcher career focusing in the intraseasonal tropical variability with a focus on the West African Monsoon (WAM) variability. Her research aims to identify and understand the influence of large scale atmospheric drivers on West African rainfall and features; and investigate the associated dynamical processes at intraseasonal timescale with dynamical modeling approach.

Dr. Niang argues that West Africa constitutes a particular region of the world thar is characterized by an alternation between dry boreal winter and summer rainy conditions associated with the West African Monsoon which provides most of the rainfall over the region. Rainfall shows variability at a wide range of time scales: from the decadal droughts during the 1970x and 1980s, which led to widespread famine, to intraseasonal fluctuations, which are relatively well documented and have been the focus of considerable research. The work she proposes is in the framework of a previous collaboration with the TROPA-UCM-IGEO in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where we analysed the eventual impact of MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) on West African rainfall variability by analyzing the skills of AMIP (Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project) models in stimulating the main characteristics of the MJO.

This project will continue this resear line by attempting a deeper understanding of transport processes in this setup. The aim of this study is to identify the sources of the moisture uptaken along the African jetys by means of Langrangian techniques. The main goal is exploratory: Other Langrangian techniques not previously employed in this context will be proposed in an interdisciplinary collaboration with ICMAT, IGEO and UCM. In this sense this work will be a first attempt to perform a comprehensive analysis of moisture sources that affect the major precipitation over West Africa during the boreal summer. The Langrangian method will lead in quantifying moisture recycling and the source-sink relations between evaporation and precipitation by tracking mainly the evaporation minus precipitation, zonal wind and specific humidity changes. Second the investigation will attempt to check any elationship between the moisture transported by the jets and the MJO evolution.

This research will have a clear impact over West Africa by providing on the one hand a better understanding of the relationship between MJO and moisture associated to the WAM at interseasonal timescale.On the other hand it will give also a potential use of the MJO events to predict moisture flux anomalies associated to the WAM however pointing to a potential benefits skilful extended range forecast in advance of the regional-scale rainfall spells over West Africa. This potential prediction are of vital importance for water resources and agriculture, which is mainly rain-fed and, therefore, highly dependent on rainfall.

Dr. Niang has published articles and participated in workshops in Ghana, Ivory Coast Toulouse and Boulder (Colorado). Dr. Niang lives in Dakar and speaks French, English and Spanish.

DORCAS OSEI-SAFO

Dr. Osei-Safo is a Ghanian, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ghana. She earned both her B.Sc. and her PhD at the same University. Her area of specialization is Natural Product Chemistry. Her research interest is isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and application of quality assurance methods to antimalarial drugs. Over the last five years she has completed a number of researchs that include: “The Amide Constituents of Piper guineense Schum and Thonn, as potential anti-AIDS agents;” “Development of fasta analytical techniques for antimalarial drugs;” “Validation and Applicaton of Qualty Asrance Methods Developed for Selected Antimalarial Drugs in Ghana,” and “Pharmacovigilance on Selected Antimalarial Drugs used in Ghana, Togo and Malawi.”

Dr. Osei-Safo will work at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO, www.cnio.es). She is interest is in the extraction, isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants. “In collaborative research involving bioassay-guided fractionation, my role is to identify and carry out structural elucidation of active ingredients using physico-chemical methods, spectroscopic methods and mass spectrometry. I find the emerging in silico and DMPK technologies, including plant metabolomics which have tremendously reduced timelines within natural product research very appealing. It is my desire to explore this area for phytochemicals with potential biological activities against cancer, malaria and other neglected tropical diseases to be followed by further investigation for lead- and drug-like molecules”.

She has undertaken research on medicinal plants with anticancer, antimalarial, anticonvulsant, antihelminthic and antischistosomal activities. The goal of the anticonvulsant work is to develop a polyherbal anticonvulsant product as an example of utilization of natural resources for quality health.

Dr. Osei-Safo says: “the activities will improve my capacity to carry out research into natural products beyond its status quo of isolation, structural elucidation and preliminary biological activity screening and in the long term contribute immensely to the strengthening of human resource and infrastructural capacity of African institutions.”

Prof. Osei-Safo has published a number of articles in well-known scholarly Journals such as Journal of Science and Technology, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Journal of Medicinal Food, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is also the author of chapters in Phytochemicals as Nutraceutical- Global Approaches to Their Role in Nutrition and Health, and Drug Discovery in Africa.

She also has participated in conferences, seminars and workshops in Ghana as well as in Pretoria (South Africa) Nairobi, and China. She has served in a number of Boards and as a reviewer for the African Journal of Pharmaceutical Scineces and Pharmacy (SA) and the Journal of Biological and Applied Sciences at the University of Cape Coast.

JELAN MOFEED EL-SAYED

Dr. Mofeed El-Sayed is an Egyptian, Associated Professor of Environmental Pollution (Microbiology) at the Faculty of Fish Resources, Suez University. She has a large experience in identification of both marine and fresh water algae, the use of algae as bioindicators for pollution, biomarkers and innovative techniques in intensive aquaculture of marine algae in order to increase productivity in the field of aquaculture and energy production. She is interested in the field of biotechnology and algae, especially in the field algae identification and its relationship to pollution and also adding some desirable characteristics using genetic engineering, subject she plans to study at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia.

Her interest lays basically in classifying the un-identified marine algae present in Suez Canal, Egypt. The high level of expertise and time consuming process needed to identify them means a loss in biodiversity due to this lack of identification. Marine algae are cultivating all over the world and are considered to be endangered, and this has lead to the development of large illegal trade in marine algae products.

The development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has had a huge impact on the study of aDNA. However as aDNA fragments are not only small in size but may also be covered or coated with inhibitors resulting from poor preservation, it is necessary to remove these inhibitors to avoid false positive results. In order to assign an unknown DNA sequence to a species: first a reference DNA sequence of the same species is needed and secondly a genetic study to determine the intraspecific DNA sequence variation of the species. The main aim of her research at the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB, www.cnb.csic.es) will be to develop a standard technique for DNA extraction using PCR amplification. It is hoped that this will enable species identification of marine algae species collected from Suez Canal. She also plans to develop the necessary tools in algae molecular and synthetic biology for accumulation of desired products, the production of algae biomass (including sequestration of CO2 from flue gases), use of cyanobacteria for the production of bio-photovoltatic panels.

Dr. Mofeed studied at Manssoura University (Egypt) and obtained her B.Sc in Microbiology 1995; in 2001 she presented her Thesis at the same University and in 2006 she earned her PhD with her thesis: “Ecological studies on the dynamics on the biodiversity in the Delta Region of the River Nile.” Her research interests are: Water pollutants, environmental toxicology, microbiology, monitoring of the effect of pollution on algal distribution and the study of “biomarkers” (molecular and biochemical responses to toxicants and pollution). She also is interested in the use of DNA barcoding technique to identify some algae species, residues of some pollutants like pesticides and heavy metals in water and plants, biodegradation of pollutants in water, research of bioaccumulation and biological effects of pollutant in the organisms and genome-wide transcription factor profiling background.

Dr. Mofeed is also the Principal Investigator (PI) in the project entitled “Innovative techniques in intensive aquaculture of marine algae in order to increase productivity in the field of aquaculture and energy production”, funded by the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research. She is the PI of the project “Support and develop effective educational program for marine fisheries,” and co-researcher in “Biochemical biomarkers in algae Scenedesmus obliquus exposed to heavy metals (Cd,Cu and Zn) funded by de Deanship of Scientific Research of King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia).

Jelan Mofeed Elsayed has published a number of articles in well-known scientific Journals in Egypt and other countries, she has also given conferences in International gatherings in Thailand, Egypt and France.

She teaches many courses at the university and is deeply involved in the research programs. She is also a member of a number of organizations related to her interests.

Dr. Jelan Mofeed lives in Manssoura, Egypt. She speaks Arabic (native language) and English.

MANGAKA CLARA MATOETOE

Mrs. Matoetoe was born in Lesotho and lives in South Africa. Mrs Matoetoe studied at the University of Lesotho where she got her Bachelor Degree in Science. She obtained again her BSc (hons) and a Master’s Degree at the University of Cape Town. In 1999 she received her PhD at the University of Pretoria. Currently she is associate Professor of Chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and head of the electrochemistry research group. She has held other positions outside the university such as Quality Control Manager at Lesotho pharmaceutical corporation (LPC).

In Spain, Dr. Matoetoe will be working at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, www.icfo.eu). For the last five years she and her team have been studying remediation and detection of trace pollutant in the environment. Among these they assessed potential of biometallic nanomaterials for detection of neverapine. However, detection limits and matric effects were problematic. Only the amperometric detection was used. Dr. Matoetoe believes that it would be ideal, in her research, to evaluate impedance, as well as using metal organic frameworks (MOF) which can minimize the effects of matrixes especially if porous forms are used. She intends to work in the fruition of the biosensor. The nanosensors will be tests for screen drug efficacy as well as water quality in the country which has seriously become the issue. The sensor fabrication can easily be automated using screen printing techniques as a result mass production can follow optimization.

Her objectives are: Synthesis, spectroscopic and electrochemical characterization of metal nanoparticles with fabrication in porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Design and optimization of the electrochemical nanobiosensor using MOF on glassy carbon electrodes. The following techniques will be assessed: cyclic voltammetry (CV), square wave voltammetry (SW#V), differential pulse voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopym (EIS) and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SCEM). Mofphological effects will be evaluated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), x-ray (EDX), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and spectroelectrochemistry. Application of the nanobiosensors in the screening and detection of selected ARVs in anti-HIV combinational therapy formulations.

Dr. Matoetoe has published a number of articles in different Journals and book chapters. She has given conferences in different South African Universities as well as in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania and Nairobi. She belongs to Academic bodies: she is a founding member of SEANAC (African network of Analytical Chemists); country representative from 2008-2010 in APINA (Regional Air Pollution in Developing Countries) ; founding Member of ElectrochemSA, member of the International Electrochemical society and SACI.

Dr. Matoetoe lives in South Africa.

NAHLA OSMAN MOHAMED ALI

Dr. Ali argues that “mosquitoes have a significant role as vectors of many serious human and animal diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and Rift Valley fever. Three genera of medically important mosquitoes are found in Sudan.” Therefore, diseases related to mosquitoes are a very important health problem in the country and the study of its infectivity dynamics is central in setting up control programs. Dr. Ali has focused her research to understand these dynamics and contribute to solving the health problems in Sudan that affect the manpower and the development of the country. She will continue her research at the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII, www.isciii.es).

Dr. Ali was born in Atbara, Sudan. She studied at University of Khartoun where she obtained a Bachelor degree in 1993. She continued her studies and in 1998 she got a Master’s Degrees at the University of Glasgow (UK) as well as the University of Khartoum. In 2003 she presented her PhD dissertation “An Investigation of CRK protein kinases of Leishmania and the assessment of their potential as drug targets.” She holds a PhD by the University of Glasgow and the University of Khartoum.

Dr. Ali has done research in many areas such as: Bird Identification; Molecular Level on the Leishmania cell cycle putative genes, the cdc2-related protein kinase 3, epidemiological and molecular levels on genetic polymorphism of Leishmania spp. parasite, the molecular level on the Leishmania Mexicana, biochemical analysis of two of the cell cycle regulators, the kinases (CRK1 and CRK3) and the cyclin (CYCb); diagnosis of parasitic, viral and bacterial diseases of domestic animals using RT-PCR, nested-PCR and Multiplex-PCR techniques.

She has held a number of positions since 1994 when she was appointed as Teaching Assistant at the Department of Parasitology, at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Khartoum); in 1998 was promoted to Lecturer at the same department and in 2003 she was appointed Assistant Professor. Since 2003 up to date she is a member of the Parasitology Departmental Board of the University of Khartoum, where from August 2003 until March 2005 was Secretary of the Parasitology Dept. Board. From August 2003 to August 2004 she was Academic Coordinator for the subjects of First year students (this position is equivalent of Head Department). Since August 2003 to this day she is a Member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and from January 2004 to August 2004 she was Member of the Faculty Examination Board. Currently she is Academic Supervisor for undergraduate students as well as Member of the Faculty Committee of Promotion of Scientific Research. From January 2011she is Associate Professor at the Department of Parasitology.

In the area of New Establishments and Capacity Building, she has organized a laboratory for teaching practical General Zoology for undergrad students with dissecting tools for conducting comparative anatomy work of invertebrates and vertebrates and all relevant microscopic slides and specimens for Protozoa, Coelentrates, Heminthes, Annelids and Arthropods. Also she established a Molecular Biology laboratory for post-grad students with cell culture facilities: -20˚C freezer, cold incubator, reagents and consumables for cell and parasite culture and training. pH meter, magnetic stirrer, sensitive balance, Horizontal and Vertical Gel electrophoresis system, Microcentrifuge and pipettes and consumables for conducting DNA extraction –PCR amplification – Gene Cloning – analysis of proteins on SDS-PAGE-Western blot Analysis.

Her contribution to the promotion of teaching is large: she has worked in the area of Zoology where she made the curriculum and all development of both sections: theory and practical, training several academics staff currently appointed in different faculties and colleges all over the country. In the area of Biochemistry of Parasites and Molecular Parasitology she played an active role in planning and developing new curricula for the post-grad student of the Master in Parasitology: Biochemistry of Parasites and Molecular Parasitology are models in the postgraduate program in the University of Khartoum for its innovative use of demonstrations.

Dr. Ali participates regularly in meetings, conferences and seminars in Khartoum and India, the UK. Poland, the USA. She has also published a number of articles in Journals and Research Papers all over the world.

Dr. Ali speaks Arabic and English and lives in Atbara, Sudan.

NOSIPHO MOLOTO

Dr. Moloto is a South African senior researcher at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. She studied at the University of Zululand where she got her Bcs and her Master’s Degree (Cum Laude). In 2011 she obtained her PhDat the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). She was a Professor at the University of Johannesburg and a candidate researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Stellenbosch (SA). From 2014 she is a Professor and senior researcher at the University of Witwatersrand.

In the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, www.icfo.eu), Dr. Maloto will focus on the synthesis and characterization of metal chalcogenide nanocrystals for application in solar cells. This research can be divided into three sections with the synthesis and characterization of materials in the pinnacle and connecting the other two areas: application in electronic devices and application as bio labels. This research area involves the synthesis of various types of inorganic semiconductor nanocrystals ranging from II-VI (CdS, CuS, CuSe, ZnO etc.) to IIIV (InN, GaN) nanocrystals, 2D layered nanostructures (InS2, MoS2, WS2 etc.) as well as ternary (CIS, CISe, CITe etc.) and quaternary nanocrystals (CIGS, CZTS etc.). Hybrid nanostructures such as polymer nanocomposites, core-shells and quantum dots (QDs) decorated carbon nanotubes are also undertaken. Semiconductor materials are attractive materials for use in optoelectronic devices mainly as a result of their tuneable absorption and photoluminescence spectra, large surface area (because of their small size), their adaptability, their ability to generate multiple excitons as well as their capability of hot carrier injection from excited state i.e. by minimizing energy loss during thermalization of excited state.

Semiconductor nanocrystal solar cells are projected to achieve higher efficiency than silicon based solar cells while reducing the cost of (1) each kilowatt of electricity produced, (2) the raw materials and (3) the processes used to convert the raw materials into functional cells. Semiconductor nanocrystals in solar cells are very versatile and can be used in various types of photovoltaic cells, such as infrared photovoltaics, multi-exciton generating solar cells, quantum dot dye sensitized solar cells (QDSSC), rainbow solar cells, intermediate band solar cells, and luminescent solar cells.

The streng within her group is primarily on the synthesis and characterization of materials with the application in solar cells fairly a new area that needs to be further developed. Hence the aims and objectives of the fellowship will be to study the electrical properties of metal chalcogenides synthesized in the lab, to fabricate solar cells of different architecture using materials synthesized and to use various techniques for characterization and understanding of solar cells.

Dr. Moloto’s research interests are: quantum dots, inorganic nanostructures, hybrid nanostructures and polymer nanocomposites, solar cells and gas sensors, bio-labels and chemical sensors. She also is supervisor of a number of PhDstudents at Wits and co-supervisor in other South African Universities. She is also supervisor of Master’s Degree students. Her teaching activities and interests are: inorganic chemistry, nanochemistry, materials chemistry, coordination chemistry, organometallic and materials characterization.

Dr. Moloto has published a number of articles in different Journals such as the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Journal of Crystal Growth and International Journal of Photoenergy. She is a member of various Societies and research Institutes and Deputy Chairperson of the South African Solar Association. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Manchester (UK), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT (USA) and the European School on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ESONN) in Grenoble (France).

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