Nadila Duolikun: International Women's Day 2019 Profile

Nadila Duolikun began her clinical training over eight years ago. She joined The George Institute for Global Health in 2017, focusing on non-communicable diseases, specifically diabetes in rural and urban China.

Nadila was attracted to her field by the constant challenges that the medical research sector presents. Rapid technological developments and changes in disease treatments and diagnosis protocols mean that researchers always have to stay on their toes. 

“While these challenges can be frustrating sometimes, they are powerful motivators for me because I am forced to grow professionally in the course of devising solutions and overcoming such obstacles.” 

Nadila is firmly focused on continuing to build her skills and experience, while working closely with her team to improve the health of the general population.

“At some point, I look forward to developing another perspective from a more commercial point of view and forming a more comprehensive understanding of health topics.”

Her wish list for the research agenda in coming years highlights the most vulnerable members of society.

“I would love to see the voiceless and marginalised represented better. People who suffer deep-rooted social stigma such as those with HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases or mental illness need to have their voices heard and be engaged so that research outcomes are better informed about these critical issues.”

Nadila considers the strengthening of enabling environments as crucial for societies to develop more gender equity.

“I picture a gender-balanced world as somewhere women and men share the same amount of freedom and courage to fulfil their professional responsibilities, with adequate support when it’s needed, regardless of gender.”

Nadila advises other women thinking about getting into medical research to dive right in, but try to keep focused on what they want from the sector.

“I don’t see any reason why gender should be a concern that deters women from pursuing any career we are passionate about, but we do need to keep in mind why we wanted to enter the sector in the first place.”

With all the challenges that the research sector presents, this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #Balanceforbetter, has particular resonance for Nadila.

“As an early-stage researcher, I often got frustrated that I was not getting where I wanted to be with my work. I think it’s inevitable that everybody at some stage in their life experiences self-doubt. Balance reminds me to bounce back to be more confident and faithful when I doubt myself too much.”