By Sherouq Sadeqi (with photos) PARIS, March 5 (KUNA) -- A young Kuwaiti woman researcher in life sciences received here Wednesday with another 14 ladies from world countries, including Lebanon and Morocco, the 2008 UNESCO-LOreal Fellowship For Women in Science.
Dr. Jamillah Zamoon, who is an assistant professor at Kuwait University (KU), received USD 40,000, which will be granted to her over a period of two years to pursue her research in a host laboratory abroad to continue her scientific career in structural biology: characterization of a protein with healing properties that is produced by catfish.
In an exclusive statement to KUNA, Dr. Zamoon, who has a PhD in biochemistry, said that one of the conditions to win the fellowship was to present original project that is important to people of your region.
She indicated that the project she submitted is a continuation of a discovery made by a senior member at her department, Professor Jassem Al-Hassan, who discovered a Kuwaiti catfish species that has particular mucus it produces in its skin that will aid in healing diabetic foot ulcers.
She added that the project has been chosen as it was considered "very original and specific to the region as far as it is being a Kuwaiti catfish species." "The remedy has shown to work by a senior member at KU and I would like to pick up where he has started as far as figuring out how does that remedy work, " Dr. Zamoon stressed.
As for when she was informed about her fellowship and that she has already received half of the USD 40,000 and will leaving next Wednesday to Chicago to work at Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine.
She said that "in Chicago I will be working on a related project and learn biochemical and biophysical techniques and once I master them I will be taking that knowledge back home to apply it to our Kuwaiti system as far as trying to figure out how this remedy is working using the tools I have learnt." Dr. Zamoon expressed her extreme happiness to be the first to represent Kuwait in this award, saying that once she returns to Kuwait she will feel that she has "a stronger background" on this research.
"I would like thank the Kuwaiti government for providing all the educational mean and hope that the next generation benefits from these opportunities provided by our government, especially that Kuwaiti women and men are in a very special and privileged position to be able to do this kind of work," Dr. Zamoon emphasized.
She stressed that many people in the world would like to do so much but do not have the funds to do so "therefore we need to give back to our country by making use of what we have in a good way and to do good science for the better of man kind and also to elevate our status worldwide." She indicated that after her fellowship, she will return to KU to continue her teaching and research activities in structural biology.
According to reports, diabetes affects about 246 million people in the world and is associated with chronic wounds in the front limbs that often require amputation.
For his part, the charge daffaires of the permanent delegate to UNESCO Dr. Mohammed Al-Shatti told KUNA that the selection of Dr. Zamoon for the fellowship "reflects the pioneering role of Kuwaiti women as they have achieved many accomplishments in many domains, including science." He indicated that the UNESCO-LOreal Fellowships embodies the cooperation between the private sector and UNESCO as it is considered a "main pillar" of the organizations mission regarding boosting and shedding light the role of women in the different activities of UNESCO.
Dr. Al-Shatti added that this partnership, which was launched in 2001, recognizes and supports young women post-doctoral students through a two-year fellowship program worth USD 40,000 for each fellow to help them pursue their scientific career.
The fellowship program aims at supporting the scientific vocations of young women to give them the opportunity to build international networks in the scientific community and to gain crucial experience that they can bring back and share with others in their countries.
The Fellowship beneficiaries are geographically spread and since its creation in 2000, Fellowships have been awarded to 120 women from 67 countries. (end) si.rk KUNA 060017 Mar 08NNNN