Elizabeth-Irene Baitie is a woman in STEM who is also thriving in the arts. She is a Clinical Biochemist and Laboratory Director at Patholab Solutions Medical Laboratory. Baitie is also a writer and is living proof that women in STEM can also branch into any field of their choice. According to Elizabeth Irene-Baitie, books were always her favorite hobby as a child.
“Even as a young child, I was a voracious reader. Stories enthralled me. By the age of seven, my dream was to create stories that would captivate young people just the same way the books I had read did.”
Baitie studied biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Ghana, Legon and also earned a postgraduate degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Surrey. She now manages a medical laboratory in Adabraka which she founded.
She had wanted to create stories since she was seven years old, and she balances her writing with her day work and her family life in Accra, where she has three children and a husband. She writes after work, on weekends, and throughout her commute.
Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Works and Achievements
Baitie is the true definition of best of both worlds. Her passion for writing never dwindled in the chemistry lab. Her first book for children “A Saint in Brown Sandals”, was written after she begun working as the laboratory director of the medical. This book went on to win The Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa in 2006. Her debut young adult novel, The Twelfth Heart, was awarded first prize in Ghana’s first Burt Award for African Literature in 2010. In 2013 and 2016, the sequels, The Dorm Challenge and Rattling in the Closet, won the Burt Award for African Literature, respectively.
Sarah Odedina, who runs the Accord Literary agency, signed her up in 2019 and published her first novel since then in the United States in 2021.
She has received the Burt Award for African Literature twice, with sponsorship from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).
Baitie enjoys spending time with young people because it inspires her to watch them find and reach their full potential. When she is not in the lab or writing, she’s power-walking, eating chocolate, or chatting.