Women's Month Celebration: Building capacity of the next generation of women scientists

In celebration of Women's Month, we shine a spotlight on an extraordinary woman whose contributions to scientific research and leadership has led to significant breakthroughs in HIV prevention. Meet Dr. Cheryl Baxter, the Head of Scientific Support at CERI.

With a remarkable career spanning over two decades, Dr. Cheryl Baxter's journey in academia is inspiring. She brings immense expertise to CERI, having served as a Senior Scientist at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa for 19 years.

'My main research focus is HIV prevention, specifically strategies to reduce HIV acquisition among young women and issues related to sexual and reproductive health,' Dr. Baxter explains, demonstrating her dedication to addressing critical health challenges affecting vulnerable communities.

'My belief in the power of research to positively impact lives drives me every day. Whether it's finding ways to prevent HIV transmission or responding to a global pandemic, science has the potential to transform societies,' Dr. Baxter passionately asserts.

Beyond her research accomplishments, Dr. Baxter's commitment to capacity development stands out. She has been a driving force in leading training programmes that aim to build administration and research capacity for African investigators, nurturing the next generation of scientific leaders.

'Empowering fellow researchers and sharing knowledge is essential in advancing scientific discoveries. I find immense fulfillment in supporting young scientists and seeing them thrive in their work,' Dr. Baxter shares.

As a devoted mother of twins and wife, Dr. Baxter has also demonstrated that women can excel in both their professional and personal lives. Balancing the demands of academia while cherishing her family has been a testament to her resilience and determination.

'I believe that being a mother has enriched my perspective and strengthened my ability to tackle challenges with creativity and compassion,' Dr. Baxter reflects on the profound influence of motherhood on her approach to her work.

Her numerous publications and citations attest to the impact she has made in her field. As a one-woman powerhouse in academia, Dr. Cheryl Baxter continues to break barriers, inspiring other women scientists to pursue their passions and make significant contributions to scientific knowledge.

As we celebrate Women's Month, let us recognize and applaud the unwavering dedication of Dr. Cheryl Baxter and all the remarkable women who lead the way in scientific exploration. Their contributions to society inspire us all and pave the path for a brighter, more inclusive future.

News date: 2023-08-01