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      Restoring quality of life for patients with facial bone defects: Get to know WiSTEM2D Scholars Award Winner Dr. Ange Therese Akono

      Each year, Johnson & Johnson selects outstanding female researchers from across the globe who are driving breakthroughs in STEM2D. See how recent winners are using the critical funding and mentorship opportunities that come along with the WiSTEM2D Scholars Award.

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      Circular crop of headshot of WiSTEM2D Scholar Therese Akono

      Year: 2022
      University: Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
      Discipline: Design
      Country of Origin: Cameroon
      Research: Advancing bone tissue regenerative engineering for facial bone defects

      Dr. Ange Therese Akono is working in the realm of bone tissue regenerative engineering, with a focus on discovering nanostructured bone scaffolds to help patients who require maxillofacial bone repairs.

      She credits her WiSTEM2D Scholars Award funding with “providing a bridge in a new area that I have been investigating over the last three years.” She shares that “the funding, mentoring and research time commitment are crucial for growth and recognition as a scholar.”

      Dr. Akono heard about the WiSTEM2D program from the Office of Sponsored Research at her university, Northwestern. “The award has been a huge distinction, and many have congratulated me at my institution and beyond for receiving it,” she says.

      While Dr. Akono acknowledges that working as a woman in STEM2D can be daunting at times, it can also be very rewarding. “The benefits extend to other areas: parenting, family, life planning. There are also generational benefits as the next generation gets inspired from their parents,” she says.

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