Dr. Nowsheen Goonoo

Current professional background:

I am a postdoctoral researcher currently working at the Biomaterials, Drug Delivery & Nanotechnology Unit, Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR), University of Mauritius.

Field of research:

High end biomedical applications of naturally-derived polysaccharides, for example seaweeds and Aloe vera.


Purpose of your last research visit:

The purpose of my last visit in March 2018 which lasted for 2 months was mainly to design new polymeric fiber based substrates and to test their efficacy in capturing various cancer cell lines such as pancreatic and breast cancer cells.  This work was conducted at the Physical chemistry I Group, which is led by Prof. Schönherr.

Relation to the University of Siegen and/or to the local host:

I first met Prof. Schönherr in 2013, at a Polychar conference in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. We began to talk about our work and we found out that there was much to be gained by conducting research together. Since then there has been a close cooperation between our research groups. The University of Siegen provides expertise in cell work and also allows us access to certain equipment which is not yet available in Mauritius. Whereas myself and the CBBR can offer extensive experience and expertise into the scientific applications of Seaweed and Aloe vera, as they are native to Mauritius and the surrounding ecosystem. It is noteworthy to mention that I spent one year (2016-2017) working in Prof Schönherr’s group as a Georg Forster Postdoctoral Researcher (awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation). The research stay was very fruitful and led to several joint publications with Prof Schönherr but also with other departments of the University of Siegen.

Future projects / Activities:

For us it is most important to ensure that the current research is complete before we begin anything new. However it is never possible to know exactly how much longer the current research will take; the results can lead us in many different directions. We will continue to cooperate closely to test the effectiveness of different substrates with varying fiber topographies in capturing cancer cells.  Thankfully it is relatively easy to share samples between Siegen and Mauritius by mail, and modern technology allows us to always stay in close contact.


Impressions of Siegen:

I found the working group of Prof. Schönherr to be warm and welcoming, they really made me feel at home very quickly. Siegen itself is very nice, and it is also not so big, coming from a small island I found Siegen easy to adjust to, except for the weather of course!