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19 October 2012

TWAS Medal Lectures 2013 announced

Three TWAS Fellows have been selected to present the TWAS Medal lectures at next year's annual meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Since 1996, TWAS has been awarding TWAS Medal Lectures to some of its members, in recognition of the contributions they have made to research in their field. The recipients are invited to lecture on a main aspect of their work to the over 400 members from all over the world that attend the TWAS meetings. They also receive a plaque during the opening ceremony as a token of appreciation from the Academy.

The 2013 winners are:

  • Tebello Nyokong, South Africa
  • Francisco José Barrantes, Argentina
  • Michael Lawrence Klein, USA

Tebello Nyokong, South Africa

Nyokong has been a TWAS Fellow in Chemical Sciences since 2009. Born in Lesotho, she obtained her PhD from the University of Western Ontario in Canada before returning to South Africa, where she is now distinguished professor in Medicinal Chemistry and Nanotechnology at Rhodes University and director of the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre for Sensors. Her research into the development of drugs for the treatment of cancer using photodynamic therapy has won her many international distinctions: she was this year chosen to represent Africa as one of "12 names to change the world" by the National Centre for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH), in Spain. Nyokong has also won the L'Oréal-UNESCO award for 'Women in Science', received the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) Distinguished Women in Chemistry award, and been a member of the high-level UNESCO panel on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development. On her home continent, Nyokong was named by IT News Africa as one of the top ten most influential women in science and technology in Africa. 

Francisco José Barrantes, Argentina

Barrantes has been a TWAS Fellow in Structural, Cell and Molecular Biology since 1991. After several years as head of a group of researchers in Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, and Molecular Systems at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, Barrantes returned to his home country, Argentina, in 1982, as head of the Institute of Biochemistry and as professor at the Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy of the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Bahía Blanca. Barrantes has also been UNESCO Chair of Biophysics and Molecular Neurobiology since 1998, and head of the Scientific and Technological Research Centre, CONICET, since 2007. His research specialisms are in molecular neurobiology, as well as the biophysics and biochemistry of synaptic receptors. 

Michael Lawrence Klein, USA

Michael Klein has been a TWAS Associate Fellow since 2004 and is professor of science and director of the Institute for Computational Molecular Science at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. By inventing novel methodologies to enable computer simulation of molecular systems, Klein's contributions have generated unique insights into the behaviour of molecular solids, liquids and biomembranes. Klein is a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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