Scientist Selected for Postdoctoral Fellowship in Natural Alternatives

Scientist Selected for Postdoctoral Fellowship in Natural Alternatives

Nigerian scientist and biochemist Dr Esther Nwanna has been awarded the prestigious American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The fellowship recognizes significant contributions to the field of biochemistry and supports groundbreaking research into the pharmacological and therapeutic potential of molecular mechanisms of plant-derived products against metabolic disorders in both humans and animals.

Nwanna is currently pioneering research into the application of plant-derived extracts in ethnoveterinary medicine, aiming to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa and globally.

Not only does her work promise to provide natural alternatives to conventional treatments, it also aligns with global efforts to reduce antibiotic use in livestock, combating antimicrobial resistance and supporting One Health initiatives.

Her innovative research utilises various diagnostic tools and models to explore how bioactive compounds in African medicinal plants can be harnessed for the development of alternative medicines. She proposed that the rich biodiversity of medicinal plants in Nigeria holds the potential to effectively address global health challenges.

A milestone in Nwanna's research efforts was her scientific proof of the anti-anemic, antibacterial and gut health properties of fruit pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) leaf extract. She also demonstrated that diets supplemented with heirloom eggplant (Solanum spp) fruits have anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and anticholesterolemic properties.

Her research into product development has demonstrated the effectiveness of indigenous food sources rich in bioactive compounds found in plant-based products (leaves, fruits, seeds, roots, etc.) in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Her research is of global importance and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She has published her interdisciplinary research in the field of biochemistry in reputed journals, books and conference proceedings, demonstrating her excellence as a world-class researcher with a Hirsch index of 21.


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