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