Egyptian Newton Prize winner to establish research lab at Minya University

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Nov 2020

Egyptian Marco Zaki
A file photo of Dr Marco Zaki (Photo: Facebook)

The Egyptian winner of the Newton Prize 2020 Marco Zaki said on Tuesday he will donate half of the award to establish a research lab at the University of Minya.

Zaki, the first Egyptian to win the prestigious award, said on TV he will allocate the other half of the award to his research on liver cancer.

Last week, Egypt's Minya University researcher Zaki and Newcastle professors Helen Reeves and Fiona Oakley won the Newton Prize 2020 for their research on liver cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The Egyptian-British research project “The Liver Microenvironment - A Driver of Hepatocellular Carcinoma” won the prize besides four other research projects from Turkey, Jordan, South Africa, and Kenya.

The Newton Prize is an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of Newton Fund partner countries like Egypt.

The project of the researchers from Minya and Newcastle universities aims to identify new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, like molecules, genes, or characteristics that indicate the presence or severity of disease in the body in order to halt the progression of the disease.

Results have led to a collaboration with Cancer Research UK and Medimmune Alliance to develop a diagnostic/therapeutic antibody, which could improve the life expectancy of more than half of liver cancer patients.

“Many congratulations to Egypt’s first-ever winner of the #NewtonPrize: Dr Marco Zaki has been honoured for his research on liver cancer,” tweeted Sir Geoffery Adams, the British ambassador to Cairo, last week.

Adams described the event as a great boost to UK-Egypt partnership in scientific research.

The Newton-Mosharafa PhD scholarship programme is delivered by the British Council and financed by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. 

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