MEDNIGHT presents the all-female Mediterranean Science Team in Istanbul

Jointly organised by European Women Rectors Association & Kadir Has University 

A team of 11 scientists from the Mediterranean will be honoured on the 2nd of November 2023, 13.00 (CET) at a gala held in Istanbul, at Kadir Has University.

During the gala, which will be moderated by Ms. Rukiye Devres Ünver, each member of the Mediterranean Science Team will receive a football jersey with the MEDNIGHT coat of arms, symbolising their belonging to a pioneering team 

in the league of science.

The gala of MEDNIGHT Mediterranean Science Team will be attended by Prof. Canan Atılgan President of the Science Academy of Türkiye  as the guest of honour, as well as other figures in the world of science who want to show their support for this pioneering program.

The Mediterranean Science Team 2023

The team is made up of high-level women scientists, whose experience demonstrates the value of women in science and has been elected by jury members who are; Prof. Dr. Gülsün Sağlamer, Prof. Dr. Sondan D. Feyiz, Prof. Dr. Nagwa Abdel Meguid, Prof. Dr. Carmen Fenoll, Prof.Dr. Nektarios Tavernarakis, Prof. Dr. Juan Fuster and Prof. Dr. Ana Costa. 

Mednight hopes that the team will be an incentive for girls from the Mediterranean to pursue careers in science.

The members selected represent ten countries of the Mediterranean basin: Turkey, Spain, Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Italy, Portugal and Morocco which make this 2023 Mediterranean Science Team a step toward creating a Mediterranean identity with science as the common nexus.

The 2023 Mediterranean Science Team is formed of eleven women experts in topics of most interest to MEDNIGHT: sciences for the future, technology, health, climate change, and marine sciences.

The Mediterranean Science Team 2023 is made up of:

1. Cristina Romera Castillo (Spain) She is an oceanographer and works at the Institute of Marine Sciences-CSIC in Barcelona. Her research has focused on the oceanic carbon cycle.    

2. Seda Keskin Avcı (Turkey) As a Chemical and Biological Engineer, she has been recognised as one of the “Outstanding Women in Chemical Engineering Across the Globe” in 2022 by Chemical Engineering Research and Design Journal (ChERD).

3. Serim İlday (Turkey) Assistant Professor at the Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology & National Nanotechnology Research Centre (UNAM) at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Her research is at the intersection of soft condensed matter, nonequilibrium, and nonlinear physics and interfaces with materials science, nanotechnology, and mechanobiology.  

4. Despo Fatta-Kassinos (Cyprus) Professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Director of Nireas-IWRC at the University of Cyprus (UCY). Her research expertise focuses on wastewater treatment and reuse, advanced chemical oxidation processes, contaminants of emerging concern, and antimicrobial resistance in the environment and wastewater technical systems. 

5.  Rajaa Cherkaoui-El Moursli (Morocco) As a Nuclear Physicist, she is a Professor at the Faculty of Sciences, University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. She is a resident member of the Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technology. She is an associate member of the ATLAS International Collaboration. She is also a member of the Management Board of the Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security and of the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (CNESTEN/Morocco), and of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (Morocco/ CNRST).

6.   Sonia Ouali Hammami (Tunisia) Full Prof. of Internal Medicine, Geriatrician in The University of Monastir & PhD fellow in Geriatric and gerontology. President of Geriatric Tunisian Society.  Director of research laboratory in Aging Nutrition & Vascular health. Her research focused on ageing and its related issues.

7.  Helena Canhão, (Portugal) As a Dean and Full Professor of Medicine at NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA (Lisboa), she is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and of books and book chapters in the areas of medicine, rheumatology, aging, health.

8. Safaa Kumari (Syria) She is a Syrian plant virologist and heads the Seed Health/Virology Laboratory at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). She is known for developing “super seeds” resistant to the region’s most devastating viruses in faba bean.  Dr Kumari has also played a vital role in the growth and development of the Arab Society for Plant Protection (ASPP).  

9. Najat A. Saliba (Lebanon) Saliba is currently a member of the Parliament of the Lebanese Government. She is also a Professor in Chemistry at the American University of Beirut. Saliba leads several projects related to understanding the chemistry of inhalable tobacco and non-tobacco smoke and atmospheric aerosols. Saliba has collaborated with many colleagues from the health, engineering, and social science sectors to bring a holistic view to the air pollution problems in the region. 

10. Luisa de Cola (Italy) Professor at the University of Milano and Director of the Materials for Health Laboratory at the Istituto di ricerche farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano (Italy). She has published over 300 papers and filed 36 international patents.

11. Sarah Abdelkader (Egypt)  Environmental Engineer and Ph.D. fellow in global health and human ecology, specializing in water and wastewater treatment, climate change, and green buildings. worked on the green social housing project “Green Social Housing for all Egyptians”.    


14: 45 (CET) Group Photograph for the Media.

Prof. Canan Atılgan and the scientists on the All-Mediterranean Science Team will be available for a group photograph in the photocall set up at Kadir Has University.  

About Mednight

“Mediterranean Researchers’ Night” or Mednight project, which started in 2020 and is celebrating its third edition this year, has received funding from the European Union thanks to the “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and Citizens” call of the “Horizon Europe” programme. Mednight brings the participation of 10 institutions in consortia: FISABIO, INCLIVA, CSIC, MUDIC, El Caleidoscopio, SciCo Cyprus, the University of Messina, Kadir Has University and the European Women Rectors Association (EWORA), under the coordination of SciCo Greece.

The Mediterranean is going through a transcendental time for the 500 million people living on its shores. Mednight aims to generate Mediterranean unity around science, recognising common problems, highlighting the value and support of research and technology towards the common main concerns and highlighting the figure of women researchers, especially in areas such as “sea and pollution”, “climate and clean energy”, “diet and nutrition” and “life and health”. 

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For further information:

Lorena Sánchez | MST Coordinator | +34 616 81 69 59 |
Ricardo Dominguez | Project Communications Manager | +34 656 181 057 |