Two Nigerians, Promise Frank Ejiofor and Paula-Peace James-Okoro, won grants from Gates Cambridge to continue their doctoral programs in October.
The scholarship program is the most sought after program at the University of Cambridge among international postgraduates.
James-Okoro, who majored in biochemistry from Covenant University, Ogun State, will study the mechanisms by which gut hormones control body weight and blood sugar levels. Her dream is to develop treatments that modulate intestinal hormones to fight obesity.
In 2017 and 2019, she completed research internships at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.
Speaking to The Guardian, she said: “I hope to contribute to the development of biomedical infrastructure that can alleviate the burden of metabolic diseases in Africa.”
Ejiofor, who studied philosophy at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, has made an intellectual journey in recent years, starting with philosophy and moving through international relations, politics and anthropology before moving on to development studies.
Her desire to explore ideas that would have a concrete impact on the people of Africa was a key motivator.
For his doctoral program, Ejiofor will examine accountability and corruption in Nigeria’s informal economy.
He said: “As a man of ideas, I firmly believe that education and research lead to social, moral and political revolutions. I am confident that my research will inform policy interventions given the functional gaps in Nigeria’s fragile tax system.”
Meanwhile, another Nigerian, Nelson Daniel, will pursue a Masters in Public Health Science.