History was made in Helsinki, Finland on the 7th of June, 2019 when a Nigerian became the first African female to bag a PhD in pharmacognosy at the faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki.

Eunice Favour Ego Mgbeahuruike, formerly Eunice Ego Njoku who hails from Aboh Mbaise in Imo State, Nigeria made the Diasporan community proud. She became the first African female to bag a PhD in Pharmacognosy from the Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki. Eunice published five journal articles in high impact and reputable journals during her PhD worked on “African medicinal plants as sources of antimicrobial lead compounds.” She isolated and characterized the bioactive compounds from Piper guineense (Uziza) as potent antimicrobial lead compounds for possible drug discovery.

Her opponent was Professor Kemal Husnu Can Baser from the Department of Pharmacognosy, Near East University, Northern Cyprus. Prof Baser has a wealth of experience in herbal medicinal research and has published numerous papers on related subjects, especially on plants and essential oil. He commended Eunice for her resilience and academic prowess. In 2015, an Egyptian lady dropped out of the doctoral programme due to a heavy workload. The PhD thesis defence took place on the 7th of June 2019.

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