AIBN PhD student Alemu Tekewe has joined AIBN from rural Ethiopia to work on cutting-edge vaccine research.
Mr Tekewe works on virus like particle/capsomere platform projects, with the target diseases associated with rotavirus infections.
“These projects have been initiated to develop cheap and effective vaccines that can reach the developing countries such as those in Africa, where some infectious diseases are highly prevalent,” Mr Tekewe said.
“I hope that this video will convince donating organisations and governments to allocate sufficient funds to assist and promote projects where outcomes will benefit developing countries of Africa to prevent infectious diseases.”
Mr Tekewe’s supervisor, Professor Anton Middelberg, hopes that the video will open opportunities to help translate research from AIBN into developing countries in Africa.
“As Alemu already has a scholarship, we see the video as an opportunity to obtain funding to add value to Alemu’s project and ultimately help translation of his efforts to Africa,” Professor Middelberg said.
“We hope to accelerate his project by obtaining funding for a research assistant, and to provide funding to bring additional students from Ethiopia. Ideally we would like to build a joint AIBN-Ethiopian effort to attach Rotavirus, perhaps through larger-scale projects and even joint laboratories” he said.
The video, which starts by showing Mr Tekewe’s upbringing and the story of his education, is a heartfelt look at the struggles faced by the African continent and is an inspiration for perseverance.
“I was dreaming to be a scientist when I was a high school student, but was not sure whether my dream would be real or not,” Mr Tekewe said.
“Most students do not make the most of their potential due to lack of access to opportunities,” he said.
Mr Tekewe said that most students cannot make the most of their potential due to very limited opportunities because of a lack of facilities and resources.
“Few students are usually lucky in this regard and thank goodness, I am among those lucky students.”
You can make a donation to support Alemu’s research at http://www.uq.edu.au/giving/aibn.
Click here for the full video http://vimeo.com/69524105