AAS Affiliates Cohort 3

Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi

Dr Kusi is an Immunologist and a Research Fellow with the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon. He is also a part-time lecturer in Biochemistry and faculty of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana. Kusi has postgraduate training in biochemistry from the University of Ghana and graduated with PhD in Medicine (Vaccine Immunology) from Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, in 2012, based on work he did at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. He undertook postdoctoral training between 2012 and 2014 at NMIMR on the development of sero-epidemiological models for predicting malaria transmission intensity in disease endemic areas. His research interests include identification of immunodominant T cell epitopes in Plasmodium antigens for vaccine design and the identification of antibody correlates of immunity against clinical malaria in children.

He is also studying the impact of Plasmodium antigen polymorphisms on antigen-specific antibody and T cell responses and the application of multi-allele vaccine formulation strategies to overcome the strain-dependent effects of parasite antigen polymorphisms on antibody and T cell responses. He is part of a team working on identifying key biomarkers of cerebral malaria pathogenesis and to explain the mechanisms underlying the development of severe forms of childhood malaria. Kusi has collaborated with scientists at the US Naval Medical Research Center for over 10 years and has authored/co-authored 20 peer-reviewed research articles, one review paper and two book chapters. He has trained a number of students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has served as a peer reviewer for a number of academic journals in his field. In 2012, Kusi was a joint recipient of the Ghana National Youth Achievers Gold award for Science.

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Dr Maha Nasr

Dr Nasr is currently working as an Associate Professor and researcher of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Egypt. She is teaching several pharmaceutical courses and pursuing research in the field of drug delivery and formulation since 2003. Dr. Maha has been awarded two research travel grants (six months each) funded by the government at the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom and the University of Leiden, Netherlands. She is also an awardee of the Daniel Turnberg UK/Middle East travel fellowship for initiation of research collaboration with the University of Bradford, funded by the Wellcome Trust. Dr. Maha is currently leading a large team of researchers (28) in several projects which are either non-remunerated or funded by agencies in Egypt, in collaboration with several Egyptian and foreign universities as well as Egyptian pharmaceutical companies and research institutes.

She is also a peer reviewer/editor in 52 international scientific journals. Dr. Maha was granted several awards by diverse funding bodies such as Fondation pour l’Universite’ de Lyon, TWAS/Biovision unit in Bibliotheca Alexandria, FIP foundation for education and research, the National Academy of Sciences, Robert Bosch Stiftung foundation, and the National Institute of health. She is also Africa Science Leadership program ASLP fellow, a TWAS arab regional office young affiliate, a Next Einstein Forum (NEF) fellow, and an elected member of the Global young academy (GYA) and the Arab-German academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA).

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Caroline Wangari Ngugi

Dr Ngugi is a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology with a strong background in medical microbiology and molecular epidemiology. Her Career in science started after graduating with a BSc in Medical Microbiology, magna cum laude, from JKUAT, and then an MSc in Molecular Medicine and a PhD in Epidemiology from JKUAT with a research placement at the Institute of Applied Tumor Biology, Heidelberg University.  Dr Ngugi has also held a research placement at Centre for Virus Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute. Her professional career started JKUAT as a graduate assistant in the department of Medical Microbiology and is currently serving as a lecturer and also sits in various academic committees where she serves in different positions. Dr Ngugi has received a number of research grants and scholarships in her academics and professional career and she has carried out research in early detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer as well as factors affecting uptake of cervical cancer screening. She is involved in community cervical cancer screening awareness and is a volunteer at different Cancer Foundations.

Dr Ngugi is a founder member and an official of the Kenya National Young Academy of Sciences. She is also a committee member in the JKUAT Jica-ai-Japan Kenya project, the JKUAT Ethical Review Committee and is currently the Examination Officer for the School of Biomedical Sciences in JKUAT. She also serves in the Infectious and Parasitic Disease Research Program, Kenya. She is also involved in community development programs and is currently serving as Chairman, Board of Management Githuya Secondary School, Gatundu, Kenya. Ngugi has strong interest in creating research ideas that will enhance the nation’s efforts in the management and control of cancer, infectious and other related diseases as well improving maternal health care.

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Dr Siana Nkya Profile

Dr Nkya is a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) and a honorary lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). Dr Nkya has a background in Microbiology and Chemistry (BSc) and Molecular Biology (MSc). As part of her MSc training she conducted research in malaria focusing on molecular resistant markers of drug resistance in P. falciparum. In 2008, Dr Nkya spent six months at Kemri Wellcome Trust, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kenya as an intern studying the role of cytoadherence of infected red blood cells in severe malaria. Since joining MUHAS as a research scientist she has participated in a number of Sickle cell disease (SCD) projects and since 2009 has led SCD genetic research. The primary focus of her PhD (Human genetics) was the genetic determinants of fetal haemoglobin: as part of this she established a genetic database of more than 1700 individuals with SCD with well described SCD phenotypes and undertook the first Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) analysis of an African population in collaboration with Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

She held a Commonwealth Split-Site Fellowship spending one year of her PhD at the Molecular Hematology Department of King’s College London, UK. Dr Nkya received a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship (2016-2017) sponsored by NIH to conduct a follow up study on genetics of fetal haemoglobin in individuals with SCD. Siana was involved in establishing a newborn screening (NBS) programme for SCD as the laboratory manager. Siana continues to work with the Sickle Cell Programme in rolling out NBS for SCD at Temeke Hospital as the leading researcher. Dr Nkya also works with the department of Biological Sciences to conduct research in factors affecting science education in Tanzania.

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Dr Adeniyi Olagunju

Dr Olanjugu obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, graduating in 2008 with distinction and in the top 5% in a class of 105 students. After a one-year internship and another year of national youth service, he decided to pursue his long-held dream for a career in academia. He was appointed as a Junior Trainee Fellow (equivalent to assistant lecturer) at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University in July 2010. With a grant from HIV Research Trust, UK and study leave from his employer, he went for the Master of Research in Biomedical Sciences and Translational Medicine programme at the University of Liverpool, UK, graduating as the best student in a class of over 40 students. He was shortlisted for the highly competitive Duncan Norman Research and Sir Joseph Rotblat Alumni Scholarships of the University of Liverpool and was awarded the latter to start the PhD Pharmacology programme, which he completed with funding from the Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund and the University of Liverpool.

His PhD research included a cohort of about 500 HIV positive pregnant/breastfeeding women and over 200 HIV-exposed babies recruited from three healthcare facilities in Nigeria. He completed his PhD within three years under the supervision of Professor Andrew Owen and Professor Saye Khoo. He was examined by Professor Charles Flexner of Johns Hopkins University, USA and Dr Ana Alfirevic of the University of Liverpool, UK. He is now a lecturer and a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He is currently investigating the effect of host genetics on the dynamics of the HIV-1 virus and antiretroviral drugs in mother-to-child transmission fluids. He is also using mechanistic modelling to evaluate foetal and infant exposure to maternal therapeutic drugs in utero and through breastmilk, respectively.

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Dr. Olujimi Olusoji Olanrewaju

Dr Olanrewaju is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, College of Environmental Resources Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He obtained his Bachelor in Environmental Management and Toxicology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (2002), MSc in Environmental Sciences from The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom (2006) and Doctor of Technology (D.Tech) in Environmental Health from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa (2012). He had his postdoctoral training at the Department of environmental health sciences,Faculty of public health, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria with the support of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Department for International Development (DfID).

His research interest is  on emerging endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) e.g. phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ether, pesticides, heavy metals etc in different environmental matrices, pollution monitoring and control, health risk assessment, greenhouse gases emission monitoring and synthesis of nanoporous materials from waste materials. My motivation at attending this event is to learn new skills required for policy formulation with respect to my work current study on water pollution from solid waste management in Lagos, Nigeria and mitigation of greenhouse gases from charcoal production during pyrolysis. Researches at science-policy interface are: solid waste management vis-à-vis commissioning of new landfill and decommissioning of existing one and (ii) control of wood pyrolysis for charcoal production with consequent health challenges. Dr. Olujimi has to his credit 30 publications in peer reviewed journals, six book chapters and two edited conference proceedings. He is a reviewer to local and international reputable journals and had won several grants from recognized institutions within and outside of Africa e.g. International Foundation for Science, Coimbra Europe, University of Bergen, Norway, University of Graz, Austria, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, South African National Research Foundation, University of Nottingham Developing Solution to mention few.

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Khalid M. Saqr

Dr Saqr was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1982. He received B.Sc. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Alexandria University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2004 and 2011, respectively. Dr. Saqr is specialized in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He has published more than 80 papers in international journals and conferences covering a broad spectrum of the theory and applications of CFD including turbulence modelling, combustion dynamics, renewable energy and most recently intracranial hemodynamics. Dr. Saqr received international recognition for his research from several universities around the world. He has been a visiting researcher, then a visiting research fellow and invited lecturer with UTM, Malaysia, from 2012 to 2014. He regularly receives the Distinguished Publications Award from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport every year since 2014.

Most recently, Dr. Saqr has been a visiting professor with the Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, Japan in the summer of 2017. Since 2010, his biography is listed in Marquise Who’s Who® biographical dictionary. In 2017, Dr. Saqr received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his scientific achievements in the past ten years. Along with international recognition, Dr. Saqr has contributed efficiently to the national research priorities of Egypt.  He was nominated for Egypt’s most prestigious scientific award, State Encouragement Award, for his works on the applications of CFD in modeling renewable energy systems. Dr. Saqr co-founded the Research Center for Computational Neurovascular Biomechanics (RCCNB) in collaboration with Alexandria University and the Egyptian Science and Technology Development Fund. RCCNB is the first nationwide research center specialized in vascular biomechanics with a primary objective to contribute to the brain stroke research in Egypt.

Now, Dr. Saqr leads the CFD team at RCCNB to develop anatomically accurate CFD simulations of blood flow in intracranial blood vessels. In addition to his academic and research endeavours, Dr. Saqr is proactive in providing consultancy in the fields of research management and simulation systems on the national and regional levels.

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Ahmed Adel Seida

I obtained my bachelor degree in Veterinary Sciences in 2003 ranked 4th in my class (A class of 756 Students) from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt and followed by Master degree in Immunology in 2006, thesis about "Preparation of Monoclonal Antibodies against Tetanus Toxoid and evaluation of its neutralizing potentials" from the Immunology and Microbiology Department, Cairo University, Egypt and in collaboration with Monoclonal Antibodies Unit in the Holding Company for Biological Products & Vaccines (VACSERA), Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt. I was appointed first as Teaching/Research Assistant in 2004 then a Senior Teaching/Research assistant in 2006 till 2008 at Immunology and Microbiology Department, Cairo University, Egypt. In 2008, prestigious Marie-Curie scholarship funded from the European Union gave me the opportunity to improve my knowledge in immunogenetics at Department of Immunology, Medical Faculty, Rostock University, Germany.

In December 2008, I started my Ph.D. studies in Tumor Immunology at Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research, research group "Tumor progression and immune escape", Medical Faculty, Würzburg University, Germany. In addition, I became a member in graduate program “Immunomodulation” at the institute of Immunobiology and Virology, Würzburg University, Germany which gave me great opportunity to improve my knowledge in the field of immunology. In November 2012, I got my PhD degree in Immunology from Würzburg University, Germany. Then in November 2013 I got my diploma in Vaccinology from Pasteur Institute, Paris, France. In July 2013, I got EFIS postdoctoral research fellowship in Immunology at Institute Albert Bonniot, Grenoble, France. Then in August 2014 till April 2015, I am postdoctoral research scientist in Molecular Immunology at Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Düsseldorf, Germany. In November 2013 till present, I appointed as University Lecturer of Immunology, Vaccinology and Microbiology at Immunology and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt.

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