Mentor and encourage others to be people who can see themselves beyond their limitations: Meet Oluwatoyin Adebola Adeleye

Dr Oluwatoyin Adebola Adeleye (@OluwatoyinAdel), Hadassah Scientific Supplies, Lagos, is taking part in Soapbox Science Lagos on 23rd November with the talk: “Try to imagine having your prescribed drugs modified to suit your genome”

Soapbox Science: how did you get to your current position?

As a postdoctoral research fellow, I completed a 4-year Bachelor’s in plant science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria. This was followed by a 1-year Masters in cell biology and genetics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and afterwards, I finally, completed a 5-year Ph.D. programme in Genetics also from the University of Lagos. Being able to accomplish these feats required determination and persistence. Thus, my mantra has always been – “once you can dream it, you can achieve it”. Therefore, with hard work and dedication to that goal or dream, you can achieve the unimaginable.  

SS: What, or who, inspired you to get a career in science?

My inspiration for science came through my mother who has the sickle cell disease. Therefore, by the tender age of 5 years (being her only child), I already understood what caring for someone with the sickle cell disease entailed as I would help administer her folic acid and other required medication. By the time I was 8 years old, I had read and known so much about the causes and management of sickle cell anaemia. Through reading about this condition and interacting with other people with the disease, I developed an interest in science. Upon further education, I developed a greater interest in pharmacogenomics, human genetics and drug discovery.

SS: What is the most fascinating aspect of your research/work?

The most fascinating aspect of my research is the discovery of new findings such as the identification of a random amplified polymorphic DNA marker – OPC04550bp, which can be used to identify Sprague-Dawley rats with pregnancy-induced glucose intolerance. In addition, I derive joy from working with other researchers to achieve results, thereby contributing to science.

SS: What attracted you to Soapbox Science in the first place?

I went through the website and observed it to be a platform for encouraging and mentoring girls and women in science. I have learnt that the beauty of life is being able to mentor and encourage others to be people who can see themselves beyond their limitations. Therefore, I see the Soapbox Science as a platform to achieve this.

SS: Sum up in one word your expectations for the day


SS: If you could change one thing about the scientific culture in Nigeria right now, what would it be?

It would be the need to encourage collaborative ground-breaking research between Nigerian scientists and international institutions thereby helping to close knowledge gaps and invariably develop science in Nigeria.

SS: What would be your top recommendation to a woman studying for a PhD and considering pursuing a career in academia?

Be focused.

Be determined.

Join international societies and attend conferences, which would increase your chances of collaboration with other researchers across the globe.

This entry was posted in 2019 speakers blog. Bookmark the permalink.