Research Fellow @ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Resident Physician @ Mount Sinai Hospital

BIO Africa 2020 | Innovation & Collaboration in the Time of COVID-19 – Accelerating R&D to Save Lives

Innovation & Collaboration in the Time of COVID-19 – Accelerating R&D to Save Lives – August
24, 2020

While no corner of the world has remained untouched by COVID-19, battling the pandemic is particularly challenging in resource-limited settings. In this session, learn how African countries are leveraging local and global technology and expertise to fight COVID-19. Hear about a Nigerian-American partnership that is using 3D printers to scale up personal protective equipment (PPE) production for African healthcare workers. Meet two leaders—one from a multinational pharmaceutical company, and one from a global engineering powerhouse—who are spearheading initiatives to catalyze innovative Africa-centric solutions to the pandemic. Listen to a scientist from the Rwandan Ministry of Health discuss her government’s technology-driven response to COVID-19—a response that has been heralded as a success story in the international press.

Moderator: Jennifer Dent, President & CEO, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH)


Dr. Shola Odusanya, Center Leader, Pan African Materials Institute – Activating local capabilities to fill Nigeria’s critical healthcare needs using 3D printers

Prof. Wole Soboyejo, Provost, Worcester Polytechnic Institute – Building on partnerships and innovation to respond to the pandemic in Africa

Dr. Freddy Nguyen, Co-Director, MIT COVID-19 Challenge & Research Fellow, MIT Innovation Initiative – Hacking – COVID-19: catalyzing Africa-centric solutions to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Ms. Noella Bigirimana, Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Ministry of Health Harnessing – Rwanda’s innovation and leadership to address COVID-19

Ms. Magda Schoeneich, Head, Center for Scientific Leadership and Innovation, R&D, Takeda – Combining arts, science, and partnering to power up digital healthcare transformation
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Physician-scientist with extensive experience developing and translating nanotechnologies and biomedical optical technologies from the bench to clinic in areas of genetics, oncology, and cardiovascular diseases. Extensive experience in community building in healthcare innovation, research, medical, and physician-scientist communities through various leadership roles.


Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute for Medical Engineering and Science

Research Fellow, MIT Innovation Initiative
Former Co-Director, MIT Hacking Medicine
Regional Director – Europe, MIT Hacking Medicine
Co-Director, MIT COVID-19 Challenge
Co-Director, MIT Hacking Racism Challenge

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139


Resident Physician, PGY-3,
Department of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai Hospital
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1194
New York, NY 10029