University of the Free State

Francine Tankeu

2024 2024 Intensive Track | Female Science Talents Female Science Talents

Dr. Francine Tankeu, from Cameroon, has researched the anti-leukemic properties of a Cameroonian spice for her doctoral thesis. Her goal was to demonstrate the plant’s potential as a natural source for developing new molecules against acute and chronic myeloid leukemia, which will contribute to improved traditional medicine formulations. She was supported by the Indian government’s 2017 doctoral mobility grant and has received several awards, including the 2018 Lindau Laureate and the 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science Young Talents. In 2021, she was awarded the AGNES-PAWS junior research grant. Currently, Dr. Tankeu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Free State in South Africa. Her research focuses on how cannabinoids inhibit the formation of new blood vessels in breast cancer models.

I want to gain experience in formulating and setting up a startup dedicated to the formulation and commercialization of improved traditional medicines. I want this because African populations mainly rely on traditional medicines for their healthcare, and improved traditional medicines fit better into African socio-cultural realities. I can do this because I have a strong background in pharmacology. The diversity of African flora and the availability of empirical knowledge are great assets in achieving this goal.

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