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Biography of Rashika EL RIDI

Egypt > Science : Rashika EL RIDI

Rashika EL RIDI
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Biography :

Dr Rashika El Ridi is an Egyptian scientist, a pioneer in immunology. She is from  the faculty of Sciences et the Cairo University in Egypt. She has been awarded 2010 Laureate for Africa and the Arab States.  She received the UNESCO-L’Oréal Foundation award for Women in Science for paving the way towards the development of a vaccine against the tropical parasitic disease bilharzia, which affects over 200 million people.”

She has devoted a large part of her research to the development of a vaccine against schistosomiasis. Also known as bilharzia or “snail fever”, this tropical parasitic disease affects over 200 million people, making it one of the most devastating epidemics in the world, second only to malaria. A pioneer in understanding the biology of this parasite, Rashika El Ridi has high hopes that a vaccine will be developed within the next five years.

An independent researcher
While showing unfaltering resolve in her research, this Egyptian scientist has preserved her independence, which she says is vital. This independence can be seen in her determination to help advance science. “I have a hard time with the fact that we are on the verge of reaching the planet Mars, but we are incapable of developing effective vaccines against malaria, schistosomiasis or tuberculosis!”

“A career in science requires energy spent on excellent work and taking excellent care of one’s children and spouse,” says El Ridi. “Dedication and hard work will lead to fulfillment, a secure and respectable position, financial independence, happiness and peace,” explained El Ridi.

The program wants to distinguish exceptional women in science who are helping change the world.

Each recipient is granted $100,000.

“In my eyes the UNESCO-L’Oréal for Women in Science partnership is an innovative alliance capable of making a concrete contribution to the quest of gender inequality,” said UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova.

Last update : 04/07/2011

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