Congratulations to Henrietta Monye, Ophthalmologist, Eleta Eye Institute, Ibadan, Nigeria on winning the first runner-up prize at the Fellows Presentations at the 20th H3Africa Consortium Meeting that took place recently in Cape Town. We caught up with her to learn more about her career. What was the title of your presentation at the 20th Consortium meeting? The title of my presentation was “The burden, manifestations and parental willingness to test for genetic eye diseases in children in Ibadan, Nigeria – evidence for planning”. What is your research interest? My research interests include ophthalmic genetics and the ethical, socio-cultural and legal implications in a developing country setting. How do you feel about being the first runner up winner in the best fellows’ presentations at the 20th Consortium meeting? I was delighted at the acknowledgement and feel encouraged to do even better. Can you give your thoughts about young women in science? I believe that with the appropriate support and mentorship, like that provided by H3Africa, many more young female scientists can reach their potential and prove their scientific worth by excelling in their spheres of influence. How do you see the future of Genomics research in Africa? The future is very bright. In recent years, there has been a surge of advancements in skilled human resources, infrastructure, and the quality of genomics research emanating from Africa and led by Africans. African scientists are breaking new frontiers in diverse fields of genetics and are moving onto the global stage. The H3Africa Consortium has been a major driving force for these breakthroughs. It is indeed an exciting time to be an African female scientist. How has H3Africa helped you in advancing your career and opened doors for you? My experience with working on the Eyes of Africa: Genetics of blindness study nurtured my interest in ophthalmic genetics. As an H3Africa fellow, I have benefitted immensely from the wealth of opportunities it provides – from travel grants, workshops, and specialized courses, to strategic opportunities for mentorship, networking and collaborations. I would say that all these have set my career off on an excellent trajectory. I recently completed my ophthalmology training with a thesis on genetic eye diseases in children, and I plan to undergo further fellowship training in ophthalmic genetics.
Eyes of Africa: The Genetics of Blindness