Founder and CEO of Nexakili
Session: Plenary Session 3: “Building Clinical Trials Capacity in Africa”
March 13, 2020
10:00 – 11:00
Yvonne is the founder and CEO of Nexakili, a professional network of African and African-diaspora health professionals and scientists, whose mission is to connect African experts across the globe, circulate scientific knowledge, and accelerate the availability of innovative medicine in Africa.
Yvonne did her undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry in Canada, followed by a doctorate in immunology in the United States. She then won a prestigious postdoctoral grant from the Cancer Research Institute to pursue research on the immunotherapy of cancer at the Marie Curie Institute in Paris, France. Throughout her scientific career, Yvonne has been passionate about the immune system and its dysfunction in diseases such as cancer. With time, her African roots and dynamic personality nudged her to pivot her career towards entrepreneurship with the goal of mobilizing the human and intellectual capital of the African diaspora to catalyze innovative research on the continent, and contribute more effectively to achieving sustainable outcomes in science and medicine.
A multi-lingual, global citizen, Yvonne sits on French President Emmanuel Macron’s Presidential Council for Africa, a consultative body through which she advises him on issues concerning health, science and innovation in Africa. She is an afro-optimist by nature, and has an unrelenting personal, professional and intellectual commitment to Africa’s emergence, growth and transformation of its global relations.