Associate Professor Sanushka Naidoo, received a Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Fellow Award. In a glittering ceremony at the NEF global gathering held at the Kigali Convention Center, Rwanda 26-28 March 2018, Prof. Naidoo was one of 18 Fellows to receive awards presented by Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and Senegal’s President Macky Sall.

The award resembles the Ishango Bones that were discovered in the Ishango region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bones are evidence of early mathematical aptitude in Africa and dates back to 22,000 years ago, in the Upper Paleolitic era.

Professor Naidoo presented a spotlight talk displaying her work in forest tree resilience and the role of plant biotechnology in addressing food security. She participated in a panel discussion on “Feeding the World, Preserving the World” where she addressed questions on the role of Governments and industries to drive biotechnology innovation and the challenges of utilising transgenic technology in food security.

As part of her NEF Fellowship (2017-2019), Prof. Naidoo, together with several FABIans, will be involved in initiatives such as promoting science education, developing research collaborations, encouraging innovation and providing career mentorship. The aim of NEF is to connect science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world thus leveraging science for human development globally.