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LSHTM work experience student wins prestigious award

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

One of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)'s 'Young Scientists' is celebrating after winning the 'Young Star' category of the prestigious 'Women of the Future' awards. Despite being the youngest candidate shortlisted, Tabitha Manzuangani, aged 16, was singled out by the judges as an outstanding young woman who was sure to go on to make the world a better place. Well done Tabitha!!

TabithaTabitha, who attends the Norwood School in West Norwood, South London, joined LSHTM's award-winning 'Young Scientists' Programme in March 2010 for her Year 10 work experience as one of forty-six students participating in the scheme in 2009-10.

Like all work experience students, Tabitha conducted an independent research project, and then presented her findings at an open scientific seminar. This seminar was chaired by then-Director of LSHTM Sir Andy Haines, who subsequently nominated Tabitha for the award. He says: 'Tabitha made an outstanding impression. Her scientific presentation stood out amongst a number of high quality talks as a result of her assured communication skills, the clarity of her ideas and excellent responses to questions. When I discovered she was unable to speak English before coming to this country 5 years ago from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was extraordinarily impressed with what she has achieved'.

While at LSHTM, Tabitha contributed to the ongoing 'On The Buses' study, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR PHR) programme and lead by LSHTM researchers. 'On The Buses' is examining the public health impacts of introducing free bus travel for young people in London. Tabitha conducted a survey on this topic at her school, helped deliver an 'On The Buses' school workshop and has returned in her holidays to assist with study fieldwork.

Anna and TabithaAnna Goodman, 'On The Buses' researcher and organizer of the Young Scientist Programme, says: 'Tabitha is quite simply the most impressive work experience student I have yet met, and fully deserves this award. She is truly outstanding'. Tabitha will join Anna at the NIHR INVOLVE public engagement conference on 16 November 2010, where they will hold a workshop outlining the innovative ways in which On The Buses has involved young people in its research.

Pinky Lilani OBE, founder and chair of the Women of the Future awards, says: 'Young women are achieving more now than ever before. The Women of the Future Awards champion these women and give them a platform from which they can go even further'.

Tabitha was one of ten Women of the Future Award winners announced at a glittering ceremony in London on 9 November, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Tabitha's award is one example of LSHTM's commitment to supporting female researchers at all stages of their careers. A further example is the launch later in November of the 'Power Lunch Supporters' Group,' which will create a network of 'powerful women' to support female students from underprivileged backgrounds.

Tabitha says 'I'm absolutely delighted to have won - it's a great honour and thank you so much to LSHTM for everything you've done'.

For further details, or to interview Anna Goodman or Tabitha Manzuangani, contact Lindsay Wright in the London School of Hygiene Press Office on 020 7927 2073/07941 294885 or email: lindsay.wright@lshtm.ac.uk or anna.goodman@lshtm.ac.uk 

Notes to Editors:

The Women of the Future Awards are hosted by Caspian Publishing and Real Business magazine, in association with Shell.

The Women of the Future Awards are also supported by: Aviva, Asda, Barclays, Visa, Sodexo, Hobbs, Booz & Company, KPMG. Media partners are: Financial Times & CNBC. Educational partner is: Cambridge Judge Business School.

The On The Buses study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research programme (project number 09/3001/13). The views and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR PHR programme or the Department of Health.

The National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR PHR) programme was launched in autumn 2008. It commissions research to evaluate public health interventions, providing new knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider effect of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The scope of the programme is multi-disciplinary and broad covering a range of public health interventions. Visit www.phr.nihr.ac.uk

The National Institute for Health Research provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients www.nihr.ac.uk

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