A Nigerian scholar who won the N150 million naira Vanier Scholarship and has achieved academic excellence in biochemistry and cancer research
She started her journey in Lagos, where she learned to adapt and overcome adversity, and continued to excel at the University of British Columbia in Canada, where she received several awards and recognitions…..CONTINUE READING HERE
Zaynab enjoys the cultural diversity and quality of life in Canada, and advises students who want to pursue graduate studies to ensure that their living situation is conducive to their mental health
Kehinde Abisola Zaynab’s tenacious and deliberate pursuit of academic excellence yielded fruits of glory that many can marvel at from far and near.
The female Nigerian scholar has always strived for academic excellence, and her efforts have paid off with remarkable achievements and recognition.
Zaynab is a Vanier scholar at UBC. Photo credit: Zaynab Abisola KehindeSource: Original
Zaynab is one of the few Nigerian scholars who have won the prestigious Vanier Scholarship, worth N150 million naira, to pursue her PhD at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.
She spoke to THETALK.NG about her inspiring journey and her groundbreaking research on cancer metabolism.
A beginning in Lagos
Zaynab’s passion for science and learning began in Lagos, where she grew up and attended the University of Lagos.
She graduated as the best student of Biochemistry in 2016, with a CGPA of 4.91/5.0. She credits her academic success to her adaptability and resilience, which she developed in the face of adversity in Nigeria.
“I developed adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity from my home country, Nigeria. These qualities have been essential in adapting to the challenges of graduate school and overcoming setbacks along the way,” she said.
Zaynab’s outstanding performance opened many doors for her to pursue her graduate studies abroad. She chose UBC, one of the top-ranked universities in the world, for its conducive environment for learning, leadership and research.
She told THETALK.NG:
”One of the most delightful surprises for me at UBC and in Vancouver is the accessibility of local foods and connections with people from my community and religion. I also find it fascinating that UBC’s campus is home to many tourist attractions, and I always love to invite my friends to bask in its beauty. The university is situated on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by forests and mountains, which provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Moreover, UBC has many green spaces and gardens, such as the Nitobe Memorial Garden and UBC botanical garden. Vancouver, the city where UBC is located, is culturally diverse and stunning, offering a high quality of life.”
Novel research on infant nutrition
She enrolled in a Master’s programme in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where she focused on developing novel research that could help address food insecurity and malnutrition in tropical regions.
Speaking about it, she said:
“My Master’s research allowed me to develop the technical skills I was interested in, while also investigating a topic of personal interest—infant nutrition—and to make contributions that will help millions of children worldwide, most notably in tropical nations. The quest to fulfill my passion for clinically relevant research is what attracted me to my Ph.D. supervisor, Dr. Parker at UBC, who is working to improve cancer therapy by studying the unique metabolic/nutritional demands of cancer cells.”
Her innovative works in research have earned her several awards and accolades, including the 3MT People’s Choice Award at UBC, the Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, and the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award.
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Zaynab’s research is at the forefront of cancer biology, and has significant implications for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Self-doubt and other challenges
The UBC scholar’s towering achievements have not been without challenges.
She admitted that she sometimes faced self-doubt and imposter syndrome, as well as the intense competition and pressure that come with pursuing an academic career. She also acknowledged the difficulty of keeping up with the rapid evolution of science and technology.
“Despite these challenges, I am confident that I am actively working to overcome them. I am continually striving to improve my scientific and grant writing abilities by attending workshops and seeking feedback from mentors and colleagues. Additionally, I recognise the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest research and innovations in my field and regularly attend conferences and seminars to deepen my understanding. Ultimately, I believe that with hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow, I can overcome any obstacle and succeed in my chosen career path,” she said.
She also credited her family and friends for their support and encouragement throughout her journey. She said that they helped her cope with stress and maintain a healthy balance between work and life.
“I have been able to overcome my challenges by talking to my family and friends,” she said.
Zaynab is an inspiration to many young Nigerians who aspire to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world. She is a shining example of what hard work, dedication, and passion can achieve.
Best student in class from primary school to university shares tricks that worked
Meanwhile, THETALK.NG earlier reported that a graduate of Literature in English at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria, Uchenna has achieved remarkable academic feats at every level of his education, topping his class from primary school to university.
He was the best graduating student in Literature in English and one of his school’s top 20 influential graduates. He also received the Federal Government Award for Academic Excellence in 2022.
Emelife realizes that excellence is an important part of the journey and he continues to pursue higher standards…..CONTINUE READING HERE