Dr. Ghanya Al-Naqeb, Italy
1. Please describe your (scientific) work/research in a short way?
My research focused on the biological activities and molecular mechanisms of functional foods and traditional herbal medicine used by our society in the area of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. So far my research has focused on the determination of the bioactive compounds of some Yemeni selected plants, identification and application and also research on safety evaluation and genotoxicity assessment for functional foods and herbal medicine used by Yemeni society.
2. Which aspect of a sustainable life, work and research is especially relevant for you and why?
In developing countries and particularly in Yemen, a large segment of the population still relies on folk medicine to treat serious diseases especially in rural areas. However, there is a very lack of documentation and lack of enough information concerning the chemical characterization, potential health benefits, safety and toxicity of the medicinal plants is a problem that needs to be addressed efficiently. Medicinal plants used in Yemen are usually prescribed by traditional healers without scientific evidence. MY research is providing new knowledge on the health benefits of the selected Yemeni herbal plants as a folk remedy and searching about new effective natural products for disease prevention from some selected Yemeni herbal plants to be used as health supplements or nutraceuticals.
3. What would be your wish for the future (and why) with this regard?
I wish to have a scientific database for all the traditional medicine in Yemen that is used by our society and that will help the society in enhancing the use of this herbal medicine and also giving awareness on the safety issues related to some herbal Yemen I plants that showed scientifically to not be safe for human consumption.
4. How is the Corona crisis affecting you in your every-day life and work?
The Corona crisis affected me negatively in many ways. I was locked at home for 6 months, I could not do my experimental work and travel and participate in many scientific events, losing of many people, friends, relatives and many good people was a big loss and made me think more about the importance of science at that moment. I was also reading a lot about the Corona virus and thought more to find a solution through my research on the natural products that can enhance the immune system and reduce the danger of the Coronavirus.
Even though I could not do my experimental work during the Corona crisis, I could use my time in developing my career in preparing the review for my coming research and learning other things that I could not learn before. Also, the Corona crisis gives me more time to be with my family.