BHEARD Scholar Awarded Seed Funds for Aflatoxin-Control Challenge
BHEARD Scholar Kizito Nishimwe from Rwanda received the Aflatoxin-control challenge in Africa award for his proposal that aims to assess the efficacy of cold plasma in degrading aflatoxins.
BHEARD Scholar Kizito Nishimwe from Rwanda received the Aflatoxin-control challenge in Africa award for his proposal that aims to assess the efficacy of cold plasma in degrading aflatoxins. The award included $15,000 as seed funds for his research and a trip to the third Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) Partnership Platform Meeting in Dakar, Senegal.
The Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD) program, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), develops agricultural scientists and increases agricultural research capacity in Feed the Future partner countries, including Bangladesh. The program is named after Dr. Norman Borlaug, an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called “the father of the Green Revolution.”
BHEARD gives scholarships to students seeking master’s and doctorate degrees at U.S. and regional universities, and provides funding for agricultural research in their home countries. The program also develops, tests and evaluates new models of small-scale institutional capacity development.
Wendy Gozalez, PhD and Technical Specialist at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition said the response to the call for proposal was remarkable, “with more than 120 researchers from 20 different countries submitting their proposals. This challenge is organised by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, in collaboration with Mars, Sight and Life, and PACA with the aim to promote innovative solutions for aflatoxin control.”
Aflatoxins are natural compounds produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and related species. They are highly toxic to humans and animals, causing liver disease and cancer. Chronic exposure to aflatoxins is also associated with stunting and immune system suppression.
This award and seed money will help Nishimwe to further combat aflatoxins and to complete his Ph.D. in Toxicology at Iowa State University.