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UWI Mona’s Simone Badal McCreath receives prestigious Award for cancer research

Research Fellow at the Natural Products Institute at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Dr Simone Badal McCreath is one of five women chemists worldwide to be honoured with the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, for research that looks to nature for ways to address cancer and other medical problems.
Simone Badal McCreath’s work covers the screening of Jamaican natural and synthetic compounds for potential anti-cancer and cancer-preventive properties. The anti-cancer research conducted was done under the supervision of Dr. Rupika Delgoda.
The prizes were awarded by The Elsevier Foundation, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), with the aim of building scientific strength and advancing scientific knowledge in developing countries. The focus of the 2014 competition was chemistry.  A selection panel of eminent chemists independently selected each winner based on her achievements, finding that the best candidates all had impressive accomplishments in applying the chemistry of nature to pharmaceutical science. Each winner received US$5000 and an all-expenses paid attendance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, where the award was presented.
Badal-McCreath holds the Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees from The UWI, Mona and also undertook an MBA at the University of Wales in Cardiff, Wales. She received the Principal’s award for best research publication (2013-2014) from The UWI, Mona for a joint publication entitled “Antiproliferative activity and absolute configuration of zonaquinone acetate from the Jamaican alga Stypopodium zonlae.” (with Penicooke N,Walford K, Badal S, Delgoda R, Williams LA, Joseph-Nathan P, Gordillo-Román B, Gallimore W). 
She was also named the Young Scientist/Technologist awardee at the 23rd Science and Technology Conference and Expo, Jamaica in 2010, and the Inaugural Luther Speare Scholar from The UWI, Mona, also in 2010. She is an editorial board member of the American International Journal of Biology and an advisory board member and reviewer of Open Access Biochemistry, London. She has also reviewed several papers, including from European Journal for Medicinal Plants and Journal of Medicinal Plant Research.Dr. Badal McCreath has some eighteen (18) publications in peer reviewed journals, two (2) abstracts in refereed journals and seventeen (17) abstracts that were presented in poster format at scientific meetings. She currently holds a preliminary patent application for work done from her PhD.
In accepting the award, Dr. Badal McCreath, said she was "overwhelmed and truly humbled to be receiving such a prestigious award. It will no doubt inspire my students, mentees and the community of Jamaican women."  She added:  "Such an award is also vital towards increasing awareness and consequently interest among the private sector and governmental communities and will encourage the development of an anti-cancer research facility of excellence in Jamaica and, by extension, in the Caribbean."
"The winners of the 2014 Elsevier Foundation prizes are impressive not just for their research, but also for their potential," said TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi. "Certainly these awards could bring them exciting new opportunities for research. We also believe that, over time, these researchers also will fulfill their potential as teachers and mentors, as partners in international projects and as advisers to governments. Such leadership can make a long-lasting contribution to global science."
"These five women, like all women undertaking scientific research in developing countries, will certainly have faced challenges on the road to this award," said Fang Xin, president of OWSD. "But their determination, commitment and enthusiasm have paid off. The award is recognition that they are excellent scientists and that their research has made an impact both regionally and internationally. They are an inspiration to all young women considering careers in science."
Samira Omar Asem, Vice President for the OWSD Arab Region, emphasized that, "OWSD and TWAS see this award as vital for encouraging women in developing countries to be more involved in science and technology and to make a more significant contribution to social and economic developments."
David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, said, "Professional visibility is crucial to developing high-profile international scientific careers, especially for women. The Elsevier Foundation provides support to early-career women scholars through our New Scholars grant programs and mentoring, research retreats, professional visibility, childcare, work-life integration and recognition programs. The awards for these impressive women scientists represent a cooperative effort supported by Elsevier, OWSD, AAAS and TWAS to build research capacity and advance scientific knowledge throughout the developing world - and what better place than the annual AAAS conference to raise awareness among scientists, policymakers, journalists and the public about the need to retain and celebrate women scientists."
About TWAS
TWAS - The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries - works to advance innovation and sustainable prosperity in the developing world through scientific research, education, policy and diplomacy. Originally named the Third World Academy of Sciences, it was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the South under the leadership of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. Today, the Academy's strength resides in the quality and diversity of its membership - more than 1,100 internationally renowned scientists from 90 countries elected by their peers. Based in Trieste, Italy, TWAS receives core funding from the Italian government and is administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (http://www.twas.org)
About OWSD
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is an international organization affiliated with TWAS. Headed by eminent women scientists from the South, OWSD has more than 4,000 members. The central role is to promote women's access to science and technology, enhancing their greater involvement in decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community. Created in 1989, OWSD's overall goal is to work towards bridging the gender gap in science and technology. OWSD uses its forum to promote leadership, exchanges and networking for women scientists as well as for discussions to assist in the development of national capabilities to evolve, explore and improve strategies for increasing female participation in science. (http://www.owsdw.org)
About The Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge-centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers.  Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. http://www.elsevierfoundation.org

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