Following nomination from his colleagues, Tolu (DPhil Women’s and Reproductive Health) was chosen from eight finalists to win the postgraduate award 2021.
Tolu’s research is into the placenta associated disease preeclampsia and preterm birth, both of which cause significant deaths and morbidities as well as having socioeconomic implications locally and nationally.
“At the moment, both diseases are not well understood and have no effective cure other than delivery, often preterm delivery. My research aims to help develop diagnostic tests, tease out molecular mechanisms (reasons why the disease occurs) and identify possible therapeutic agents,” he said.
At the online awards ceremony Tolu was praised for the positive reactions to his research at international conferences, his positive presence in the laboratory and was described as ‘one to watch’ as a future leader.
Judges also praised the impact of his education based social enterprise is having on students from middle income backgrounds in Nigeria.
Tolu co-founded the Ganglion Initiative in 2017. The organisation works to revolutionise the African education sector starting with Nigeria.
“We offer career guidance and counselling, university admission services, mentorship, leadership training, postgraduate admission services, scholarships, fellowships, and lots more to students from low- and middle-income backgrounds. Notably last year, during the COVID pandemic, we distributed thousands of masks and hand sanitising units amongst secondary school students in Nigeria. So far, we have helped more than 8000 students,” said Tolu.
“I am donating the £500 won in this student of the year competition to the scholarship arm of the social enterprise and am seeking benefactors willing to match fund with me, “ added Tolu.