NMIMR

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Ghana

NMIMR_logo

 

Tell us something interesting about your institution    It is the leading medical research institution in Ghana.

What are the main research interests of your institution? Biomedical Research in the areas of HIV, malaria, influenza, neglected tropical diseases, Cancer, TB, Environmental toxicology, drug discovery, plant medicine, kidney disease   

 

Class of 2016

NMIMR_class_of_2016

What are the academic backgrounds of the IBT_2016 participants in the NMIMR classroom?    Molecular Biology, Epidemiology, Biochemistry, Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, Genetics

The NMIMR team

Wisdom_Akurugu

 

Wisdom A Akurugu

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant, system administrator

Wisdom Alemya Akurugu earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana in 2007. He received his Master of Science in Bioinformatics in 2013 from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa where he researched on “Effects of nucleotide variation on the structure and function of human arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1” supervised by Prof. Alan Christoffels. While pursuing his MSc degree, Mr Akurugu worked as an Anatomy/Physiology Laboratory Assistant and Chemistry/Physics mentor respectively in the Medical Biosciences and Nursing Departments of the University of the Western Cape. He has also worked as a Research Assistant in a number of research projects with the Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana. He was involved in bio samples collection, field coordination and training of Fieldworkers and National Service Personnel on study protocol, Case Report Forms and other relevant documents. Mr. Akurugu is currently employed as the Bioinformatician for the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) H3ABioNet Node. His work schedule includes the provision of Bioinformatics support and assisting life scientists in basic and advanced Bioinformatics. He also takes part in various Bioinformatics related projects carried out in the Node but most importantly, prepares training materials and teaches in bioinformatics workshops.

samuel kwofie

 

Samuel Kwofie

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

Samuel has just been awarded a Visiting Scientist position at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge in UK, funded by the Isaac Newton Trust. Previously, he was a CAPREx Research Fellow also at Cambridge University, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Alborada Trust Fund. Currently, I am a Lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana. I teach and supervise student research projects in bioinformatics and computational biology. My ongoing research with my collaborators at the University of Cambridge, include the use of high performance computing to undertake analysis of next generation sequence data to aid in the assembly of whole viral genomes and elucidate their evolutionary dynamics. I am a member of the Noguchi/H3AfricaBioNet Consortium investigating the genomic epidemiology of hepatitis E virus in Ghana. I have co-facilitated the H3ABioNet funded bioinformatics workshops. I have a PhD in Bioinformatics awarded by the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, University of the Western Cape and MSc in Structural Biology from the University of Cape Town. During my doctoral training, I co-developed bioinformatics tools that aided in the identification of functional hypothesis of therapeutic and diagnostic relevance pertaining to hepatitis C virus infections.

Anita_Ghansah

 

Anita Ghansah

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

My research experience began at the Noguchi Memorial Institute where I was trained at the parasitology department to apply basic molecular Biology tools to identify malaria parasite and to answer basic research questions in malaria bothering on genetic variations in the malaria parasite. During this period I was involved in studies on molecular markers of drug resistance (chloroquine and pyremethamine/sulphadoxine (SP)), a study that informed policy change from chloroquine as first line treatment to the Arthemisinin based combination therapy in Ghana. I was also involved in studies on host and parasite genetic factors that predispose children in Northern Ghana to severe malaria. I completed my PhD in genetic epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2009. During the course of my program, I spent part of my time at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (Oxford University) to complement my epidemiology training at the LSHTM with genetic and genomics training. This has given me a sound academic foundation for a career in genetic/genomic epidemiology. As a PhD student I was involved with the Malaria Genomic Network (MalariaGEN) led by the Oxford Group. I have maintained a strong collaborative relationship with the Oxford Group and this has led to my pioneering role in a new network for studying and tracking P. falciparum genomic diversity and drug resistance in Africa, the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA). My research focuses on how genetic diversity influences the epidemiology and pathogenicity of malaria and its implication on therapeutic and vaccination strategies as well as malaria control. In addition, I have a keen interest in using population genetics strategies to identify genetic loci that contribute to drug resistance in P. falciparum and the development of genomic tools to characterize P. falciparum diversity in the population. I completed six month training in the Harvard School of Public (HSPH) in 2011 as an Exxon Mobil leadership training scholar. Whilst in Harvard, I undertook three relevant courses in, Population Genetics, I am working on a study on the Impact of Distinct Eco-epidemiology on Malaria Drug Resistance in Ghana, an NIH funded grant awarded me in 2013. I am also Exploring P. falciparum genome to understand the genetic diversity, emergence of drug resistance and vaccine efficacy. This was made possible by a fellowship granted me by the MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health, of Oxford University in 2013-2014. I am also involved in Bioinformatics training in Ghana through an NIH funded Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, H3ABioNet Node for Bioinformatics training in Ghana as a Co Principal Investigator. I am also involved in a just awarded Danida grant on Functional Immunogenetics of Malaria as a co-applicant, responsible for the identification of P. falciparum genetic markers of virulence and selective forces that shape virulence evolution and their association with P. falciparum infection outcomes. I also support the genetics/genomics aspects of research projects on other diseases apart from malaria. I am currently a co-investigator on two WELLCOME Trust/DELTAS grants for training in human genetics in Ghana, awarded the WACCBIB (West African Centre for Cell Biology and Biochemistry) and for training in malaria genomics, developing excellence in genomics for malaria elimination (DELGEME) awarded the PDNA in 2015.

Claude_Hayford

 

Claude Hayford

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

Claude holds a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Ghana and an MSc in Molecular Medicine from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He is currently an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana. Claude’s research interest is in the development and use of computational tools in healthcare delivery. Projects he has worked on have involved NGS data analysis of gene regulation by transcription factors and also health information management systems. He has also had the opportunity to attend an H3ABioNet training workshop as a participant.

Odame

 

Agyapong Odame

role for IBT_2016: teaching assistant

I hold a Bsc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Ghana and currently reading Mphil in Computational Biology at the University of Ghana, Department of Biomedical Engineering. My core research interests are based on leveraging machine learning algorithms for health analytics and text mining. I have a long term objective of becoming a core developer of biomedical health applications for addressing the challenges in our health care.

 

Read more about all the IBT_2016 classrooms here