South African top university awards Makerere don early career research leader fellowship

Dr. Alice Nabatanzi, Lecturer, Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. (FILE PHOTO)

PRETORIA- Dr. Alice Nabatanzi, a lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology at CoNAS has been awarded an early career research leader fellowship by the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

The fellowship will take a split-site approach between Makerere University and the University of Pretoria.

Dr Natabatanzi in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon said the fellowship is a ground-breaking programme which received a large number of strong applications from across the continent.

“After three rounds of assessment by experts, my proposal stood out,” she said.

She also told PML Daily that her research will focus on: “Bio-Sources of Oxytocin” in response to the high maternal mortality rate in Africa due to stalled labour and uterine atony (failure of placenta ejection after birth).

Stalled labour can result into low oxygen levels for the baby leading to stillbirths and uterine rupture resulting in maternal death due to postpartum hemorrhage.

Future Africa Institute Early Career Research Leader Fellowship 2018 at University of Pretoria. (FILE PHOTO)

This research will entail the search for bio-sources of Oxytocin to improve affordability, sustainability, accessibility and build a bio-economy.

After her Bachelor’s in Ethnobotany in 2011, she immediately enrolled for her Master’s in Natural Products Technology and Value Chains.

She had no sooner finished her Master’s in 2014 than she started her doctorate in Natural Products, (Phytochemistry and Nutraceuticals) which she accomplished in 2017.

Dr Nabatanzi says she chose science because “in science you are dealing with facts. You prove them or dispute them; not the complicated stories of wars that happened before we were born.”





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