Vanessa Chilunda is a young Tanzanian scientist pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Prior to that, she attended St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York where she was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Biochemistry and Statistics under the UWC Davis Scholarship. She is currently doing research on the effects of HIV and drugs of abuse on the central nervous sytem.
In addition to her passion in biomedical research, she is a co-founder and executive secretary of ProjeKt Inspire. ProjeKt Inspire is a social enterprise that focuses on career guidance and inspiration for young adults and kids, with a niche in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) careers. For the past four years, she has been organizing Annual STEM Youth Boot Camps that have impacted more than 500 innovators from secondary schools all over Tanzania; Rising STEAM Stars, monthly projects-based sessions that have reached out to about 2500 primary students. Moreover, she is a team consultant for designing science kits for children in order to develop creativity, interest and passion for STEM careers at an earlier age.