Three post-graduate researchers, Fatma Omar, Peterson Maingi and Ariel Buzera have clinched the top three positions respectively during the poster presentation competition organized by AFRICA-ai-JAPAN project, domiciled in JKUAT.
The three emerged winners from a pool of 27 researchers for demonstrating their knack for exhibiting in-depth knowledge of their projects. Drawn from Agriculture, Health, Engineering, Build Sciences, Information Technology, and Energy, the competitors were subjected to a rigorous evaluation by evaluators drawn from different AFRICA-ai-JAPAN sub-taskforces.
While congratulating the trio, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said it was gratifying to note that the 3 winning projects were addressing real-life problems that plague the country.
“I am pleased to note that the poster presentation competition allowed the post-graduate students to disseminate their research findings for substantial critic by peers and supervisors. It is my hope that this research findings will not sit on the shelves but will be used to provide solutions and impact the lives of people,” beseeched Prof. Ngumi.
She was speaking during the award of certificates and tokens of appreciation to the best three scientific poster presenters, Thursday, July 21, 2022.
In its second year of staging the poster presentation competition, Prof. Ngumi lauded the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN project for its efforts in building the capacity of young researchers. She was confident that the competition will enhance the students’ abilities in perceptive and concise scientific communication.
Fatma, an MSc. Biotechnology student emerged top with her research dubbed ‘Profiling of lethal yellowing disease paradigm affecting coconut at coast region of Kenya’. She believes her finding will be vital in adding to the knowledge base of the disease which has barely been researched on.
“As a resident of the coastal region, this research will help solve a common problem – disease-causing microbes in coconut plants – which has plighted the coastal region for a long time,” said Fatma. She is supervised by Dr. Johnstone Neondo and Dr. Cecilia Mweu.
Bagging the 1st runner-up position was Peterson Maingi, an MSc. Medical Laboratory Science Student with his research titled ‘Evaluation of β-Tubulin Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with drug resistance in soil-transmitted helminths’.
Under the supervision of Dr. Amos Mbugua, the aim of Peterson’s research is to detect the β-tubulin SNPs associated with drug resistance in soil-transmitted helminths among school-going children in Bungoma County.
Buzera, a PhD student undertaking Food Science and Technology, came in third with his poster presentation on ‘Characterization of Potato Flour as Influenced by Pre-treatments and Drying Methods’.
Living in an era where the globe is witnessing an increase in the price of wheat flour, Buzera believes it is high time the continents looked for alternative and nutritious food products hence his research in potato flour. In collaboration with his supervisor, Prof. Daniel Sila, Buzera has been able to replace 50% of wheat flour with potato flour in noodles.
AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Chairperson Main Taskforce, Prof. Daniel Sila said, the competition will be held annually, with a keen focus on mentoring young scientists to go beyond their studies and venture into scientific communication.
We wish to gauge the students’ ability to analyze and evaluate information, synthesize ideas and creatively demonstrate their understanding of a topic or the findings of their research,” elucidated Prof. Sila.
Also in attendance at the ceremony, was Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Bernard Ikua, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Chief Advisor, Africa-ai-Japan Project, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze and JICA Experts, Dr. Shohei Aoki among others.