Welcome to October!
AH Young scholar for October 2021 is Tomi Akingbade from Nigeria.
Though resident in the UK, Tomi is a young, vibrant, and hardworking lady inspiring African scholars with her good works. Here are some of her achievements:
- Founder of the Black Women in Science Network, a global community of women with African and/or Caribbean heritage at various stages of their scientific careers.
- Contributed “Mentoring to Foster a Diverse Future” in Cell Voices with a commentary on “What It Means to Be Seen”.
- Improve access to testing for neurodegenerative diseases.
Let’s find out how Tomi Akingbade came this far. Read her interview below:
Hi Tomi, can we meet you?
My name is Tomi Akingbade, I live in the UK with Nigerian heritage. I am the founder of the Black Women in Science Network, a global community of women with African and/or Caribbean heritage at various stages of their scientific careers. As an advocate for equality and representation in the science industry, I work towards giving black women the necessary platform to connect and further their careers/interests with the resources they need to succeed. In addition to this, I currently work as a research technician in a bioengineering group working on developing interfaces to assist in neurodegenerative disease diagnosis.
What is your research interest?
I am interested in dementia research, particularly looking at ways to improve health outcomes, whether this is improving diagnosis or improving our understanding of disease onset and progression.
What about Academic/Scientific achievements?
I completed my Master’s in Neuroscience and submitted two theses during my time there. I have published review papers in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease and Clinical Laboratories International. I have also contributed “Mentoring to Foster a Diverse Future” in Cell Voices which is a commentary on “What It Means to Be Seen”.
Currently, what are you working on?
I am currently working on dementia research, focusing on developing interfaces to assist in neurodegenerative disease diagnosis. I form the ‘biological’ part of a bioengineering group that is optimizing a sensor to improve access to testing for neurodegenerative diseases. As for the Black Women in Science Network, we are constantly growing and developing to connect black women and opportunities to better themselves as scientists and people. We do this by holding events where black women can meet each other, where they can meet companies they may want to work with or form, and setting up mentorship opportunities where possible. We also engage with the community on social media and through our blog and some of our soon-to-be-announced media outlets. You can find out more by subscribing via www.bwisnetwork.co.uk/subscribe or visiting www.bwisnetwork.co.uk
As a researcher, how will your research affect the African community?
I hope that eventually, my work will positively affect the African community on two levels. By existing in the research field, I am hoping to be an active example that black women can be scientists, and be good at their jobs. On the other level, I am also hoping to gain the skills and experience that will allow me to lead research that tackles questions about neurodegeneration in African communities.
To early-career scholars, Tomi has this advice:
“You don’t have to go through this alone. Find the people you feel comfortable around before the problems arise and allow yourself the space to not be okay at all times. You’ve got this!”Tomi Akingbade, 2021
Tomi is available to collaborate. Follow Tomi on
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomiakingbade1/
- Twitter: @tomiakingbade_
- Instagram: @tomiandthebrain
Know a researcher with impressive strides in research? Nominate them for the Scholar of the month feature. To Nominate, click here