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AAS: KEMRI’s Dr. Ochodo among Africa’s Promising Researchers

KEMRIs Research Scientist, Dr. Eleanor Ochodo-Opondo is among 40 promising researchers on the African continent selected by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) during its sixth cohort of the Affiliates Membership Programme that recognise, mentor and develop early career researchers into world-class research leaders.

Dr. Ochodo is among the three Kenyans on the AAS cohort that includes 21 females and 19 males from 15 countries (Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Benin, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Tunisia, Mauritius and Kenya selected through a rigorous process based on their demonstrated excellence in the development and application of science in Africa.

The selection, according to a communique from ASS, “not only reflects the Academy’s commitment to gender balance but also diversity in scientific disciplines.” Her research interests revolve around evidence-informed health care with a focus on diagnostic tests – their accuracy, impact and how results can be translated to policy and practice. In addition, Dr. Ochodo serves as a methodologist to the World Health Organization (WHO) informing evidence review groups preparing guidelines on HIV and TB diagnostic testing and COVID-19.

In 2018, Dr. Ochodo was also recognized as a promising young scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and later nominated for the 2020 annual HOPE meeting with the Nobel Laureates. This was followed the following year in 2019 the prestigious UK MRC/DFID (Medical Research Council/ Department for International Development) African Research Leader award.  And in 2020, she was recognized by the National Institute for Health Research from UK NIHR for developmental award to advance the science of evidence synthesis and research translation in Africa focusing on collaboration between South Africa, Kenya and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK

By recognizing emerging scientists who demonstrate excellence in their work, the AAS seeks to create a platform through which younger researchers are motivated to pursue a rewarding career in science. Ultimately, the Affiliates Programme seeks to produce all-rounded scientists embodying the AAS’ values of excellence, empathy, diversity and integrity.

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