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President of Niger visits MIT

On April 3, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger visited MIT and toured the biophysics laboratory of Ibrahim Cissé, a native of Niger and an assistant professor of physics courses including 8.01 and 8.02.

Impressed by Professor Cissé’s and his team’s research into deciphering the physics of molecular mechanisms in living cells, President Issoufou said that his country should follow the “Cissé model” of scientific achievement.

Cissé, who in October 2014 received a $2.34 million New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health for the study of transcription in live mammalian cells, conversed with President Issoufou throughout the afternoon and said, “It’s an honor for us to have the president visit us,” according to an MIT News release.

Namrata Jayanth, a postdoctoral associate working in Cissé’s lab, said: “We were very excited to present our research to [Issoufou]. We were even more thrilled that he took such a keen interest in the lab research and spent time talking to each one of us about our area of specialization.”

This was the second time that Issoufou had visited MIT. The first was in 1981.

—William A. Rodríguez