Prof Charles Shey Wiysonge
South African Cochrane Centre


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Prof Charles Shey Wiysonge is the Director of the South African Cochrane Centre at the South African Medical Research Council. Cochrane South Africa is the only Cochrane Centre in Africa and one of only 15 in the world.

Charles is also a Professor of Epidemiology at both Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and sits on multiple scientific and policy advisory bodies on research, vaccination, and evidence-based policy in Africa and globally.

Charles graduated from medical school at the University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon) in 1995 and obtained an MPhil (Epidemiology) from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2000 and a PhD (Vaccinology) from the University of Cape Town (SA) in 2012.

Dr Giuliana Aquilanti

Elettra – Sincrotrone Trieste


Dr Giuliana Aquilanti is head of beamlines XAFS and XRF at Italian synchrotron in Trieste (Elettra). Giuliana received her PhD   in Physics at the University Joseph Fourier (Grenoble, France). The research carried out over the last 15 years concerns the development and application of x-ray techniques (mainly x-ray absorption spectroscopy) for the study of matter and was carried out at the European Synchrotron in Grenoble (ESRF) and at Elettra. 

Her research activity is devoted to two main themes: (a) structural characterization of advanced materials for energy storage, and (b) structural characterization of matter under extreme pressure and temperature conditions. She is coordinating the scientific activity of the XAFS and XRF beamlines staff, as well as supervising fellows within different programs of ICTP, IAEA  and IUCr. She was involved in different research projects funded by EU, IAEA and CERIC-ERIC. She is part of IXAS (International x-ray absorption Society) as representative of Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste. She is member and of the XAFS commission of the IUCr.

Dr Germaine Djuidje Kenmoe Associate Professor of Physics University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon



Dr Germaine Djuidje Kenmoe is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Yaoundé 1 in Cameroon. She is a recipient of the OWSD-Elservier Foundation Award for Women Scientists in the Developing World.


Her research on the mechanics of friction-and-wear processes on the molecular level has the potential to reduce the cost of energy and material losses caused by wear and can result in greater energy efficiency. Her primary goal is to make it possible to switch friction on and off in the near future, just as we can flip light switches on and off.

She is an active member of several scientific

communities, including APSA, ANSOLE and CPS. 

Prof Uphie Chinje Melo
Rector University of Ngaoundere

Prof Uphie Chinje Melo is currently the Rector of the University of Ngaoundere. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of South Wales and has been a Managing Director at the Local Materials Promotion Authority (MIPROMALO) in Cameroon.

In 2009, Uphie was the recipient of the President of the Republic’s Prize for Best Researcher in Cameroon. She was also awarded, by Africa Reconnect, a dynamic women‘s group in South Africa, the recognition for accelerating positive change in her country as the African Frontline Researcher of the year in Africa. In 2017, she was recognized by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and included in Profiling Women Scientists in Africa - A Publication on Inspiring Stories.

 Uphie’s most impactful project, which spanned several years, involved the development and use of locally produced construction materials as a substitute for imported ones. These ecologically friendly construction materials are sold to the public at a low cost. She introduced Materials Engineering into her department in the University of Yaounde, where is head of the Applied

Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory and has supervised several masters and PhD students.

She encourages young women to pursue careers in science and to strive to achieve the highest qualification in their chosen profession. She believes that women make the best scientists.