Plenary Speakers

Chemistry, Biology & Health

Professor Kelly Chibale

Professor Kelly ChibaleDepartment of Chemistry
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Kelly Chibale is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he holds the Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric Drug Discovery & Development. He is also a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery, founding Director of the extramural South African Medical Research Council Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit at UCT, Founder and Director of the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D and a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine.

Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK (1989-1992) with Stuart Warren.  This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool in the UK (1992-94) with Nick Greeves and at the Scripps Research Institute in the USA (1994-96) with KC Nicolaou. He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California San Francisco (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008) and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer in the UK (2008).

In 2018 Kelly was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and in 2019 he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine.  In 2020 he was named as one of the world’s top 60 most inspirational leaders in the pharmaceutical industry (one of the world’s top 20 inspirational medicine makers in the field of small

molecules) on The Medicine Maker’s 2020 Power List. Kelly also serves on Editorial Advisory Boards of the American Chemical Society (ACS)’s Accounts of Chemical Research, ACS Infectious Diseases and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Amongst other awards, he is a recipient of the Gold Medal of the South African Chemical Institute for 2018 and held a University of Leeds (UK) Cheney Visiting Fellowship (2017-2018).


Education & Science Communication

Dr. Temechegn Engida

Dr. Temechegn EngidaProgram Officer

Dr. Temechegn Engida has been the Programme Officer for ICT Use in Education at the UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) since October 2003. He has been designing and implementing many education and ICT projects for Africa, some of which are the ICT-enhanced Teacher Standards for Africa, ICT-enhanced Teacher Development Model, and Contextualizing Science Teacher Education in Africa Using Open Source Software.

Prior to this, he spent about 15 years in the Addis Ababa University (AAU), Faculty of Education, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate (MA and PhD) courses as well as researching and advising research works through face-to-face and distance modes. He was the first Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Programs of the Faculty of Education in the AAU. He served as the founding President of the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry and is serving as Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Chemical Education.


Green Chemistry

Professor Jillian Buriak

Professor Jillian BuriakDepartment of Chemistry
University of Alberta


Jillian Buriak received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1990, and a Ph.D. from the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France, in 1995. After an NSERC postdoctoral appointment at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Buriak started her independent faculty career at Purdue University in 1997, being promoted to associate professor, with tenure, in 2001. In 2003 she joined the University of Alberta as a full professor, Canada Research Chair, and Senior Research Officer.

She was on the Board of Reviewing Editors (BoRE) at Science from 2003 to 2008, was an Associate Editor at ACS Nano from 2009 to 2013, from 2014 to 2020 was the Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society journal Chemistry of Materials, is the Editor-in-Chief of the new ACS Materials Letters, and has recently returned to her role as Associate Editor with ACS Nano. Buriak has co-authored over 100 papers in the area of surface chemistry, nanoscience, synthetic materials chemistry and inorganic nanomaterials, has an h index of 57, and over 13,000 total citations.


Materials & Nano Chemistry

Professor Teri Odom

Professor Teri OdomDepartment of Chemistry
Northwestern University & Nano Letters

United States

Teri W. Odom is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. She is an expert in designing structured nanoscale materials that exhibit extraordinary size and shape-dependent optical and physical properties. Odom has pioneered a suite of multi-scale nanofabrication tools that have resulted in plasmon-based nanoscale lasers that exhibit tunable color, flat optics that can manipulate light at the nanoscale, and hierarchical substrates that show controlled wetting and super-hydrophobicity. She has also invented a class of biological nanoconstructs that are facilitating unique insight into nanoparticle-cell interactions and that show superior imaging and therapeutic properties because of their gold nanostar shape.

Odom is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Optical Society of America (OSA). Select honors and awards include: the RSC Centenary Prize; the ACS National Award in Surface Science; a Research Corporation TREE Award; a U.S. Department of Defense Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship; a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University; an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award; the MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award; the National Fresenius Award from Phi Lambda Upsilon and the ACS; an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship; and a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.

Odom was founding Chair of the Noble Metal Nanoparticles Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and founding Vice-Chair of the GRC on Lasers in Micro, Nano, Bio Systems. She was an inaugural Associate Editor for Chemical Science and founding Executive Editor of ACS Photonics. She is Editor-in-Chief of Nano Letters. Odom’s Personal Story of Discovery was featured by ACS Publications.