Kaiser Jamal Elected New President of TWOWS
Bangalore, India - Kaiser Jamil, an internationally renowned biotechnologist from India, has been elected the new president of the Third World Organization for Women in Science (TWOWS). Her four-year term begins this year and will continue through 2009. The election took place at the 3rd General Assembly of TWOWS held in Bangalore, India, on 25 November.
Jamil received both her undergraduate and advanced degrees from Osmania University in Hyderadad, India, in the biological sciences and biochemistry. Her career began in the 1970s at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad, where she focused her research on toxicology and the emerging field of biotechnology. She subsequently traveled to Australia, France and Japan where she served as a post-doctoral fellow and visiting professor. She is presently working in Mahavir Hospital and Research Centre conducting research on breast cancer, genetic toxicology and leukemia. Jamil also directs the School of Bio-Technology and Bio-Informatics at Mahatma Gandhi National Institute of Research and Social Action in Hyderabad, where she directs post-graduate fellows seeking doctorate degrees in biotechnology. She succeeds Lydia Makhubu, professor of chemistry and medicinal plants at the University of Swaziland, who had served as president of TWOWS since the organization's inception in 1993.
During a short speech following the election results, Jamil said that she hoped to concentrate her time "seeking additional external funding for TWOWS to expand the range of the organization's activities." She also hopes to raise the profile of the social sciences and economics within the organization without compromising its traditional strength in the natural sciences. "I hope to make TWOWS and the organization's agenda more visible on the global stage," she told the participants.
In addition to the election of Jamil as president, the membership also elected a new TWOWS Executive Board that includes: Rokhasana M. Ismail, a director of the Women's Research and Training Center at the University of Yemen, who will serve as vice president for the Arab region; Ahbor D.A. Ighoroje, a scientist at the College of Medical Sciences at the University of Benin, who will serve as vice president for the African region; Elsa Quiroga Onostre, a mathematical modeler with the Bolivian Organization for Women in Science, who will serve as vice president from Latin American and Caribbean region; Xin Fang, a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who will serve as vice president from the Asian and the Pacific region; Aida El-Azzouny, a professor of medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry with the National Research Center in Egypt, who will serve as a council member from the Arab region; Doreen Semali Kisamo, a research scientist with the Tropical Pesticide Research Institute in Tanzania, who will serve as an Executive Board member from the African region; Maria Mayra de la Torre, a bioprocessing engineer with the Research Center for Food and Development in Mexico, who will serve as an Executive Board member from Latin American and the Caribbean region; and Farida Habib Shah, chief executive officer of government-owned Melaka biotechnology corporation in Malaysia, who will serve as an Executive Board member from the Asian region and the Pacific region.
More than 400 scientists, mostly women from the developing world, attended the week-long TWOWS' 3rd General Assembly, which was hosted by the Indian Ministry for Science and Technology's Department of Science and Technology and organized jointly by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research and the regional office Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Collaborating institutions for the conference included TWAS, the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) and the InterAcademy Medical Panel, all of which are headquartered in Trieste, Italy, which is TWOWS's home as well.
With more than 3000 members, TWOWS is the largest organization of women scientists in the world. The organization seeks to improve the status of women within the scientific community and to provide opportunities for women to gain leadership roles within their societies. For additional information about the organization and the 3rd General Assembly, see www.twows.org.