CSIR researcher receives L'Ore'al-UNESCO Sub-Saharan Africa 2016 Award


For the past 18 years, the L’Ore’al-UNESCO for Women in Science (http://www.ForWomenInScience.com) programme has encouraged, promoted and honoured female scientists all over the world. More than 2,500 researchers from 112 countries have been distinguished for their extraordinary discoveries and supported at key moments in their careers.

Dr Stephanie Fanucchi, senior researcher at the Biomedical Translational Research Initiative (BTRI) – an initiative of the CSIR and the University of Cape Town, funded by the Department of Science and Technology was a recipient of the L’Ore’al-UNESCO Sub-Saharan Africa 2016 postdoctoral fellowship of 10 000 euros.

Her research uses cutting edge microscopes and synthetic biology tools to understand how immune genes are regulated. The title of her project is deciphering the roles of non-coding RNAs in immune gene regulation, which she will conduct in Prof. Musa Mhlanga’s laboratory, BTRI technical manager.

“Aberrant gene regulation underpins a multitude of disease states, including autoimmune disease and cancer. Yet, despite this, our understanding of the intricacies of gene regulation remains poorly understood'” says Fanucchi. “Therefore, a detailed understanding of immune gene regulation will have far-reaching implications with respect to our understanding and treatment of cancer, chronic diseases such as diabetes, allergy responses and a host of other diseases and important cellular processes.”

The prestigious ceremony where fellows were presented with the award took place on 28 September at The Venue Greenpark, Johannesburg.

Story by Tendani Tsedu for CSIR Media relations, October 2016