The Global Young Academy is pleased to welcome 45 new members to its ranks. All new members were inaugurated at the opening of the 8th International Conference of Young Scientists and GYA Annual General meeting in Pattaya, Thailand on 8 May.

The 2018 new GYA members represent more than 34 countries, among them our first members from Côte d’Ivoire, Namibia, Lebanon, Panama, Peru, and Albania. Moreover, this year’s members are comprised of 23 females and 22 males, which pushes the gender balance of the GYA membership to 57% male and 43% female. Including alumni, the GYA has members in 83 countries.

Welcome to the Global Young Academy!


DmitryDmitry Alexeev (Russia)
Scientist + bioinformatics
A bioinformatics scientist with over 15 years of experience, he has been a lab head for over 5 years and written more than 50 scientific papers. Winner of the 2015 Moscow Government Prize to Young Scientists for his outstanding contribution to the development of microbiome research technologies. Current CEO of Knomics, based in Moscow.
AbdalhadiAbdalhadi Alijla (Sweden)
Palestinian + Swedish academic and writer
An associate researcher at Varieties of Democracy Institute at Gothenburg University, Sweden, and the Regional Manager of the Gulf. He is also the Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, Canada (IMESC). In 2010, he was a visiting researcher at ICCROM in Rome, Italy. He was also selected as a junior scientist at the 30th Alternative Noble Prize.
ShaliniShalini Subash Arya (India)
Food scientist + technologist
Having witnessed an increasing number of malnourished children, as well as people affected by diabetes and cardiovascular disease in India, she develops diabetic- and heart-friendly foods using resources that are locally available. She has been recognised by various international and national organisations for her significant contributions.
MichaelMichael Backes (Namibia)
Lecturer + astrophysics
Senior lecturer and head of the Namibian research group working on the H.E.S.S. telescopes at the University of Namibia, he was also appointed extraordinary senior lecturer at the Centre for Space Research, North-West University (South Africa). His interests lie in understanding the highest-energetic emissions from active galaxies.
SezginSezgin Bakirdere (Turkey)
Researcher + analytical chemistry
His research has mostly focused on metal speciation, hydride generation systems, cold vapor metal determination, SQT atom trap systems, food analysis, wastewater treatment, and chromatography. In addition to receiving national and international academic awards, he was selected as an associated member of the Turkish Academy of Science in 2015.
RigersRigers Bakiu (Albania)
Molecular biologist + aquatic science researcher
His research focuses on marine aquaculture, applied biotechnologies on aquaculture, and artisanal fisheries statistics. In April 2017, he won the Most Successful Young Scientist 2016 Prize from the Albanian National Academy of Sciences. Current Head of the Section about Technical and Natural Sciences, Albanian Young Academy.
ChristopherChristopher Paul Barrington-Leigh (Canada)
Associate professor + physicist
His recent research is focused on empirical and quantitative assessments of human well-being, measured through subjective reports, and their implications for policy. He was originally trained in upper atmospheric and space plasma physics at MIT, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, before studying Economics at the University of British Columbia.
SurajSuraj Bhattarai (Nepal)
Physician, infectious diseases + tropical medicine
His research interests are in infectious diseases, particularly vaccine-preventable and emerging infections. He works closely with the Nepal Academy of Science & Technology, IAP and other global networks to facilitate the development of science, research and public health in resource-poor communities.
KrishanuKrishanu Biswas (India)
Professor + metallurgy
He has made significant contributions towards understanding several important scientific and technological aspects of metallurgy and materials engineering. His recent research activities involve sintering of high entropy alloys, nanomaterials, nanocrystalline, ionic nanoparticles, and graphene. He also teaches extensively on a variety of subjects.
PatrickPatrick Cobbinah (Ghana)
Geographer + urban and regional planning
His background is in human geography and includes broad experience in urban and regional planning. He is a member of the Ghana Institute of Planners, a visiting scholar at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town South Africa, and a University of Michigan African Presidential Scholar (UMAPS).
JohnJohn Kuumuori Ganle (Ghana)
Lecturer + health and development
His current research interests are in sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, gender and health, gender and development, and population and development. He is a recipient of a one-year USAID Systems for Health Innovations Grant and a three-year Iso Lomso Fellowship Award for Exceptional Early Career African Researchers by the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, among others.
RoulaRoula Inglesi-Lotz (South Africa)
Energy economist + macroeconomy
Her research focuses on the interlinkages between energy, the environment, and the macroeconomy. She is the founder and president of the South African Association for Energy Economics (SAAEE), and was awarded the Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in the Humanities and Social Sciences category at the 2017 Women in Science Awards by the South African Department of Science and Technology.
AliAli Jahanshahi (Netherlands)
Assistant professor + medical physiology
In 2007, he received his Master’s degree in medical physiology at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. In December 2008, he was awarded with a Marie Curie Fellowship to carry out his PhD studies at Maastricht University. Currently an assistant professor at the department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center.
MalanMalan Ketcha Armand Kablan (Côted’Ivoire)
Environmental scientist + human security specialist
He has a Master’s Degree in climate change and human security, and a Master’s Degree in environmental science. His research interests include urban land use/cover change, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk management and reduction, water, sanitation and environmental pollution, as well as sustainable development.
MonikaMonika Kedra (Poland)
Oceanographer + marine ecologist
An associated professor at the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, her scientific interests focus on the assessment of climate change impacts on marine ecosystem functioning and resilience. She is
particularly interested in the biodiversity of marine communities at the
sea floor, population dynamics, food webs and carbon cycling.
SedaSeda Keskin Avci (Turkey)
Chemical + biological engineer
An associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at Koç
University, her research is on molecular modelling of new generation
nanoporous materials for energy applications such as gas storage and
separation. Her research group performs atomically-detailed simulations
of metal organic frameworks for various gas separations.
StefanStefan Kohler (Germany)
Economist + medical doctor
Stefan is a research associate in global health at the Institute of Public
Health at Heidelberg University. His research focuses on strengthening
health systems and evaluating the impact of population health programmes
on health, economic and social outcomes.
SergeySergey Kostyrko (Russia)
Associate professor + thermodynamics
His research area covers the different aspects of mechanics and thermodynamics
of thin film materials, such as the effect of surface and
interface properties on the mechanical behaviour of film coatings, morphological
patterns formation due to surface and volume diffusion, and
multiscale modelling of layered composites.
JunpengJunpeng Li (China)
Sociologist + convergence and divergence
He investigates ideological convergence and divergence in contemporary
China, and the social forces behind people’s political orientations.
He is also working on intellectuals’ engagement with politics throughout
Chinese history. His multidisciplinary research has been published
in journals in sociology as well as in political science, inter alia.
SandraSandra Lopez-Verges (Panama)
Virologist + immunologist
Her research focus is on the virus-human host interaction as she tries to
understand the role of innate immunity in viral diseases. Currently, arboviruses
are her main focus. She participates in scientific associations
and a new movement of young scientists in Panama that are involved in
science communication.
AbAbhijit Majumder (India)
Assistant professor + chemical engineering
An assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT
Bombay and Wellcome Trust-DBT India Alliance Early Career Fellow.
He has published in many internationally reputed journals including
Science and received multiple awards for his research, including the
TR35 Young Investigators India awarded by MIT Technology Review.
ElhadidyElhadidy Mohamed (Egypt)
Microbiologist + food-borne pathogens
Currently an associate professor of Microbiology at Mansoura University
and an adjunct faculty member at Zewail City for science and
technology. He investigates the molecular characterisation of different
genetic markers that play a role in virulence potential, antimicrobial
resistance and transmission of food-borne pathogens to humans.
StefaniaStefania Mondello (Italy)
Physician + critical care
She has extensive experience in clinical neurotrauma, biomarker research
and statistical analysis methods. Her research focuses on the use
and clinical validation of novel biochemical markers of brain injury to
assist in patient management, and to improve diagnostic classification,
clinical decision-making and inform a rational approach to personalised
clinical interventions.
SarahSarah Morales (Canada)
Assistant professor + indigenous legal traditions
Her research centres on indigenous legal traditions, specifically the traditions
of the Coast Salish people, Aboriginal law and human rights.
She is committed to the recognition and reconciliation of indigenous
legal traditions with common law and civil law traditions in Canada.
Her research has resulted in the creation of policies and procedures that
reflect the laws and legal orders of the communities who utilise them.
DalalDalal Najib (United States)
Science policy + space engineering
Senior program officer at the Development, Security and Cooperation in
the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the U.S. National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, working mainly on international
development and capacity-building through science and technology.
ChiomaChioma Daisy Onyige (Nigeria)
Criminologist + environmental sociologist
Her research interests include gender and crime, women and conflict,
gender and climate change and environmental sociology. Her current
research examines the criminal exploitation of women and children
through human trafficking from Africa to Europe.
CamilaCamila Ortolan Fernandes de Oliveira Cervone (Brazil)
Consultant + biology
PhD candidate at the State University of Campinas and a consultant to
the PROMOB-e project, a technical cooperation project executed by
the Brazilian Government in partnership with the German government
through the German international cooperation agency, GIZ. She has
worked as a consultant to various international organizations.
IgnacioIgnacio Palomo (Spain)
Researcher + human-nature interaction
He is interested in human-nature interactions in social-ecological systems,
the impacts of climate change in mountains and how society responds
and adapts to them. A postdoctoral researcher at the Basque
Centre for Climate Change, he is also a fellow of the Intergovernmental
Science-Policy Platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
FatinFatin Aliah Phang (Malaysia)
Researcher + STEM education
Her research area is in STEM education, with a focus on problem-solving,
metacognition, qualitative research methodology and the nature of
knowledge. She is the Chair of the Science Education Working Group
of the Young Scientists Network – Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
FlaviaFlávia Ferreira Pires (Brazil)
Social anthropologist + child development
She is dedicated to understanding the everyday lives of children from
their own perspectives and the macro structures that outline their existence.
She is the mother of two very young girls aged two and four years
old, who inspire her positive attitude towards the betterment of science
in society given its social and individual transformation power.
KhamarrulKhamarrul Azahari Razak (Malaysia)
Research manager + international migration
Having worked on constitutional identity, democracy theories, global
migration, and international jurisprudence, his research addresses
one of the biggest challenges facing liberalism today: international
migration, national belonging, and the future of citizenship in the
context of a globalised world.
ClarissaClarissa Jazmin Rios Rojas (Peru)
Molecular biologist + science advisor
At the Joint Research Center from the European Commission’s science
and knowledge service, she provides scientific advice and support to
EU policy. As the founder and Director of the non-profit Ekpa’palek,
she creates free programs for professional development to Latin-American
students and young professionals from vulnerable communities.

MuhammadMuhammad Saif Ur Rehman (Pakistan)

Biochemical + environmental engineer
His research activities encompass bioenergy production from crop residue,
as well as monitoring and risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in
the environment and wastewater treatment. He has received various
awards for his contributions to promoting environmental conservation,
and is the General Secretary of Environmental Society of Pakistan.

MichaelMichael Saliba (Switzerland)
Researcher + optoelectronic materials
He is a group leader at the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Fribourg, Switzerland.
From 2015-2017, he was a Marie Curie Fellow at EPFL. His
research studies novel optoelectronic materials. He made pioneering
discoveries in the field of emerging perovskite solar cells that could trigger
a solar energy revolution, thus enabling a sustainable energy future.

MohammadMohammad Reza Salimpour (Iran)

Mechanical engineer + thermal design
As a professor of thermal science at the Department of Mechanical Engineering
at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, he has contributed
to the field of thermal design and optimisation of systems involving
energy transfer and conversion. His research focuses on the design and
optimisation of conventional and renewable energy systems to improve
their efficiency and reduce their cost and environmental side effects.

RuodanRuodan Shao (Canada)

Associate professor + corporate social responsibility
She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior from the University
of British Columbia and has worked in the Department of Management
of College of Business at the City University of Hong Kong. Her
research interests lie in corporate social responsibility, cross-cultural
management and business ethics/ethical decision-making.

YokoYoko Shimpuku (Japan)

Midwifery researcher + Africanist
She is committed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in
resource-poor settings, especially in Africa, working closely with
the World Health Organization. Based on her research on childbirth
experiences and cultural understanding of Tanzanian women, she has
developed educational materials for pregnant women and families.

Marie-EveMarie-Eve Sylvestre (Canada)

Professor of law + poverty and social exclusion
She is a full professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa.
Building upon several fields of knowledge (including law, criminology
and geography), her work explores how law and legal actors regulate
poor and marginalised populations and thus contribute to the creation
and reproduction of inequalities, poverty and social exclusion.

ShimaShima Taheri (Australia)

Advanced manufacturing + materials scientist
She is a strong research and development professional in the field of
adhesives and coatings as well as advanced manufacturing for automotive
and construction industries. She has worked in both industrial R&D
and academic roles, and is currently working on the design, fabrication,
and commercialisation of smart self-healing concrete.

SorachaSoracha Thamphiwatana (Thailand)

Nano-biomedical scientist + engineer
Her passion is to make better therapeutics to cure any disease using
engineering approaches. As a professor at the Institute of Biomedical
Engineering, Faculty of Medicine at Prince of Songkla University, her
research focuses on the development of biomimetic nanomaterials and
multifunctional nanoparticles for several therapeutic applications, including
the diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease and cancer.

XuanXuan Bach Tran (Vietnam)

Health economist + decision analytic modeling
He is an associate professor and vice head of the Health Economics Department
at Hanoi Medical University, and adjunct associate professor
at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests primarily focus on
applying decision analytic modeling to inform the development and
evaluation of health technologies and policies.

StefanieStéfanie von Hlatky (Canada)

Associate professor + military cooperation
Her research interests focus on military cooperation, NATO and gender
dynamics in the armed forces. She is also the founder and Chair
of the Board of Women in International Security – Canada, a not-forprofit
organisation that has organised mentorship activities for over 600
young women and junior scholars across the country.

LiyaLiya Wassie Dubale (Ethiopia)

Senior researcher + immunologist
Her main research involves understanding the host immune response
to different stages of tuberculosis (TB) infection and/or disease and
identification of possible biomarkers that have potential application in
TB diagnostics and/or vaccines using immunological approaches. She
also actively supervises and mentors postgraduate students.

AmandaAmanda Weltman (South Africa)

Researcher + theoretical physicist
She was awarded a prestigious Centre for Theoretical Cosmology postdoc
at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
at Cambridge University, and has made path-breaking contributions to
the field of theoretical cosmology, most notably the discovery of chameleon
gravity. She is an inaugural Next Einstein Fellow.

KarinKarin Carmit Yefet (Israel)

Associate professor + women’s rights
Both her scholarship and her public interest work are dedicated to employing
law in the service of women’s rights and gender equality. Her
award-winning scholarship focuses on the impact of religion on various
dimensions of women’s lives. She has also written extensively on issues
pertaining to the family, the military and female sexuality.

See all the GYA members!