Dr. Rolande R. Hodel received the 2009 Astellas USA Foundation humanitarian award for her work as founder and president of AIDSfreeAFRICA, a non-profit organization focused on helping Africans to produce essential generic medicine. www.AIDSfreeAFRICA.org Born in German, she is a US citizen and a legal resident of Cameroon. She has worked for companies such as BASF/Germany, Nanocrystals Technolopgy/NY, Pharmaceutical Discovery Corporation/NY (today Mannkind/CT) and Emisphere Technologies/NY and is currently teaching Chemistry at SUNY/WCC Westchester Community College/ Valhalla. Education: She received her Masters of Science in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1995 and her Ph D in Organic Chemistry from the City University of New York, Queens College in 2005 with Dr. Harry Gafney.
Activities: Serves on the board of directors of Chemists Without Borders. Active at the local, national and international level within the American Chemical Society, ACS i.e., Committee on International Activities, African Subsection. National Tour Speaker speaker. Represents Servas, an international peace organization at the United Nations. She is active in Rotary and coach’s people like herself at Landmark Education in NYC. She loves ballroom dancing, travels, hikes, swims, skies and does yoga.
The Production of Pharmaceuticals in Africa
The presenter’s design of AIDSfreeAFRICA, reached the semi finals of the Buckminster Fuller Design Challenge. Buckminster Fuller himself stated that “after decades of tracking world resources, innovations in science and technology, and human needs, the options exist to successfully surmount the crises of unprecedented scope and complexity facing all humanity”. It took research – although not the traditional lab bench definition thereof – to find out what the challenges are and how to overcome them. A first hypothesis called for production of antiretroviral drugs and was soon disproved. Sinking mortality rates pointed towards success in making antiretrovirals available. However, infection rates did not follow that trend. The connection between HIV/AIDS infection rates and untreated STI’s (sexually transmitted infections other than HIV) emerged strengthening AIDSfreeAFRICA’s resolve to focus on production of essential generic drugs. What it takes to accomplish that goal and how you can help is the focus of this picture presentation.