AAS Cohort 2 Affiliates
2017 - 2021
Dr Damaris is a molecular biology scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Her research interests are in using genomics to understand disease transmission dynamics and inform control strategies. She holds a PhD in Molecular Medicine from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and MSc in Biotechnology. Over the last two years she has been a post-doctoral fellow at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology where her research involved mapping risk factors associated with the emergence and occurrence of visceral leishmaniasis in endemic areas of Kenya. The study focused on understanding vector composition, distribution, vector genetics, parasite screening and characterization in correlation with ecological factors. Prior to this, Damaris’ doctoral studies focused on determining the population genetic structure and insecticide resistance of Anopheles mosquitoes after long-term use of vector control tools in Western Kenya with funding from NIH.
To translate her research to impact, Damaris works with several forums dedicated to disease control, including as a committee member of the Pan-African Mosquito association (PAMCA), Community of Excellence Research of Neglected vector borne and Zoonotic diseases (CERNvec), and the Kenya National Malaria Forum (KNMF). Damaris is passionate about encouraging young scientists especially women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She has organized several workshops/trainings in Vector Biology and Management, Bioinformatics and genomics as part of capacity building. Damaris is a mentor and supervisor of graduate and postgraduate students some of which have been awarded local and international competitive scholarships. In addition, she is the organizing Secretary of the KEMRI Annual Scientific Conference that provides a national platform for disseminating health research outcomes and building capacity in the next generation of scientists.
Mohamed has an engineer and MSc degrees in Instrumentation from the National Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Tunis. He is graduated from the University Paris-Sud, France, with a docteur in physics in 2012. Since 2012 he is associate professor in the High School of Biomedical Technologies, department of biophysics and medical technology, Univ. Tunis El Manar. He is giving course on biomedical instrumentation, medical imaging technologies and maintenance of medical equipments.
Nakkach is member of the Laboratory of atoms, molecules Spectroscopy and applications (Fac. sciences, Univ. Tunis El Manar). During his MSc project he used the Laser Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy to detect plant stress induced by heavy metals. This field was well developed with the collaboration with Laser Research Institute (Stellenbosh, South Africa) and a grants from African Laser Center. During his PhD research, he was interested to biophotonics, by making optical biosensors based on surface plasmons resonance imaging system in the laboratoire Charles Fabry (Palaiseau, France).
Dr Nakkach Has 10 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals and around 16 papers presented in conferences.
Dr Mpariwe is a clinical epidemiologist with over ten years’ experience in clinical research. Her research has focused on understanding the possible role of chronic immune-modulating infections (such as worms) on allergic conditions (eczema, asthma) among children and adolescents, in Uganda.
Her skill set includes identifying research questions, writing study protocols, conducting field studies to collect data and biological samples, data analysis and presentation.
She received her MBChB from Makerere University Kampala in 2001, where she won the 2000/2001 Fredrick and Robbins award for overall best performance in the final examinations of the MBChB programme. She joined the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit where her research career has progressed from Medical Officer to the current level of Senior Scientist. She received her MSc (Epidemiology) and PhD from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2005 and 2011, respectively, and received the Woodruff Medal for best PhD thesis.
In 2010, she won the TWAS-ROSSA (The African Academy for Sciences-Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa) prize, for young African Scientist, in Applied Medical Sciences.
She is currently a Wellcome Trust training fellow, investigating the risk factors for asthma among children and adolescents, and is the Uganda project leader for a multi-country study investigating asthma phenotypes among children and adolescents in five countries. She has 19 publications, 16 conference presentations and is actively engaged with public engagement activities for school children. She is passionate about professional development, and is a member of her Institution’s training committee.
Mwangi is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University, a visiting scientist at the University of Nairobi, and a Wellcome Trust Public Health and Tropical Medicine Fellow at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. He attained his PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh (2012) quantifying the burden due to infectious diseases and the consequences of concurrent co-infections with multiple pathogens. Previously he worked on the molecular diagnosis and spatial epidemiology of African Animal trypanosomiasis at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, as part of his thesis work for the Masters of Science degree in Genetics and Animal breeding (2008) University of Nairobi and holds a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (2005) from the same University. Currently, Thumbi Mwangi leads a One-Health research group investigating the zoonotic, socio-economic and nutritional pathways that link animal health to human health and welfare. He is actively involved in post-graduate education supervising several Masters and PhD students in local and international universities, and has received several awards including the 2016 Aspen Institute New Voices fellowship, 2016 Kenya’s top 40 under 40 for his contribution towards rabies elimination in Kenya, 2015 Kenya Research Veterinarian of the Year Award, 2015 Outstanding Research Article Award by the International Society for Disease Surveillance among others.
Dr Oridupa has a PhD from University of Ibadan, Nigeria in Veterinary Pharmacology, with her research focus on Drug Discovery and Development from African Medicinal plants. Her research entails verification of medicinal claims, toxicological assessment and establishment of empirical basis for the pharmacology of medicinal plants. Dr Oridupa received the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) grant for Academic Staff Development (Nigeria) in November 2012 which was utilized for her Post-Doctoral Training at the Cancer Research Laboratory, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdome (November 2012 – October 2014).
Her postdoctoral studies involved investigation of the ability of a medicinal plant or its compounds with proven in vivo and in vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, to induce Nuclear factor erythroid 2 p45 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in specialized cell lines; AREc32 cells. Induction of Nrf2 eventually leads to activation of metabolizing enzymes involved with cellular protection by their antioxidant and detoxifying capacity.
These enzymes includes aldo-keto reductase (AKR), heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), and glutathione S-transferases (GST), along with reduced glutathione (GSH) and its biosynthetic enzymes glutamate cysteine ligase (GCL, comprising GCLC and GCLM subunits) and GSH synthase. Expression of these enzymes was assessed using Western Blot Technique in proteins of these specialized cells.
Dr Oridupa is a Veterinary Surgeon and she teaches Veterinary Pharmacology in the Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She also works as a Clinical Pharmacologist with the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Ibadan. Her interest in Ethnopahrmacology is fueled by the increasing relevance of plants to science as it explores nature in search of remedies for diseases of humans and animals.
Dr Padonou has background in Agronomy & Forestry and Natural Resources Management. He is a lecture at National University of Agriculture in Benin. His research ambition is advocated to give an efficient contribution to combat land degradation and desertification particularly bowalization. Using metadata on environment and vegetation combined with GIS and remote sensing, he is expecting to elucidate possible drivers, indicators and impact of bowalization at regional scale (West Africa). Up to now, he has published 17 scientific papers in recognized high-qualified journals and participated to more than 7 international conferences. He has been involved in UNDESERT project (EU FP7 243906), QualiTree (Danida research and development project) and got 5 grants & 3 awards. Dr. Elie Padonou is affiliated to (1) Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), (2) Restoration Ecology, (3) Laboratory of Applied Ecology and (4)CAPES NGO in Benin.
Abdel received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Physics from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, in 2004 and 2008, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer and Information Science from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia, in 2014. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Al-Azhar University and his research interests include the telecommunication, information theory and quantum information. He published 24 papers in a recognized journals and international conferences.
Mohamed graduated from the college of Science-Alexandria University, Egypt- in 2005 with B.Sc in chemistry and physics, and then immediately joined the graduate program at the University of South Florida-Tampa, USA- in fall 2005. He graduated with Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the USF in 2010 and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology-KAUST, KSA, where he was a founding member for the center of functional materials design, discovery, and development. In July 2012 he joined the newly established Zewail city of science and technology, as a founding faculty, where he helped outlining the undergraduate programs in several areas, developing the admission exam, detailing the undergraduate handbook, and helped establishing several labs as well as the center for materials science (CMS) where he serves now as an associate professor and joint director. His scientific interests range from small molecules synthesis, construction of microporous solids through coordination and covalent synthesis, as well as mechanistic investigations of the self-assembly process in supramolecular chemistry.
Dr Badu holds an M.Phil in Clinical Microbiology and a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Biology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, Ghana. He also holds other certificates in Cell Biology and Molecular Parasitology. He has extensive experience investigating transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases such as; malaria, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and lately leishmaniasis.
His pre-doctoral research focused on quantifying transmission intensity, and identification of medically important vector species to understand their role in disease transmission. These studies highlighted the need for alternative approaches towards estimating malaria transmission intensity (MTI). Due to EIR becoming laborious, high cost and increasing inaccuracies (at low transmissions) and unethical approaches.His Ph.D and postdoctoral research was dedicated to developing sero-surveillance tools for measuring malaria transmission intensity in the western Kenyan highlands and the forest zone of Ghana. He is a recipient of the prestigious Africa Research Excellence Fellowship (AREF) 2015 and the African German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES) 2016 Awards.
He has worked both as a staff scientist and a visiting scientist at local and international research institutions. Notably the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research, KNUST, Kenya Medical Research Intitute, Kisumu, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ghana, Yan lab UCI, USA, and the AG Kelm lab CBIB, University of Bremen, Germany.
Country: South Africa
Doorsamy received the Ph.d. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015, with his research focusing on inferential diagnostics on electrical machines. In 2011 and 2013, he was awarded the National Research Foundation (NRF) Freestanding and Scarce Skills scholarships, respectively. He is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg. His postdoctoral research was in the area of sustainable Decentralised Renewable Energy Systems (DRESs) for rural and remote applications. Dr Doorsamy’s current research, community and government engagements revolve around finding long-term sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by the world energy trilemma - i.e. energy poverty, energy security and environmental sustainability. He has published work on the use of system engineering in developing and implementing sustainable DRESs. Currently, his research focuses on the development of biomimetically intelligent subsystems in stand-alone DRESs to enable more flexible, robust and resilient solutions for off-grid rural application. He is a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
Cyril Ehi- Eromosile
My research interests lies in the syntheses, structural and physical characterization as well as potential applications of new materials with a variety of physical, chemical, electrical and magnetic properties. Before now, my research interest was in Environmental Chemistry having bagged my M.Sc degree in that field with many publications. I have held many junior research/lectureship positions in different institutions. I was a Visiting Research Scholar at the International Center for Materials Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. I bagged the PhD Chemistry degree at Covenant University in 2015. I was awarded the best graduating PhD student in the 2015 Covenant University Convocation Ceremony. My PhD research was titled: synthesis, surface modification and characterisation of optimised magnetic nanoparticles for potential biomedical applications.
The results of this research have been published in reputable journals and I have also presented them and others in many national conferences. Also, I won a travel award to attend the 4th Science of Global Prostate Disparities Conference, USA, 9-12 November, 2016. Recently, I received the Alexander von Humboldt Georg Foster Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Applied Sciences – Energy Storage Systems, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany on the research proposal: synthesis and electrochemical characterisation of cathode materials for lithium ion battery. In this work, I will be deploying my expertise in studying material-property relationships of novel materials that could be used as cathode materials with superior performance which could also form the basis of future improvements in cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. I am a recipient of several other awards including the Covenant University PhD Research Grant 2012/2013, University of Lagos Teaching/Research Assistantship Fellowship 2008/2009 and many university conference supports. Presently, I am involved with teaching and research supervision at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Covenant University, Nigeria.
Lahcen El Youssfi
As a professor of Agro-biology and Natural Resources Management at the Superior School of Technology of Khenifra (EST Khenifra), Moulay Ismail University, Morocco, El Youssfi is responsible of the training program on agriculture and rural development. His is member of the research group on Ecological Engineering and Natural Resources Management in his institution and a member of the steering committee of the University’s Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Research Cluster. He focuses in his research on the development of application of bio-ecological, technical and economic principles for sustainable agro-ecosystems management (Soil, Water and Plant continuum). In fact, he is combining the work on many research aspects; for example, the research he conducted in an international context project: SWUP-MED (Sustainable Water Use Securing Food Production in Dry Areas of the Mediterranean region), combined activities related to food security, integrated water management and climatic change prevention.
He is a member of the AfriAlliance Action Group on “Integrated Water Resource Management and Ethics” that regroups multidisciplinary researchers from African and European countries, which aims the reduction of the gap between Europe and Africa in Advancement of Integrated Water Resources Management. He is an Alumni of the BIARI program ‘climate Change’ at Brown University in the USA and member of many professional and research Associations working for Science. Being a fellow of the African Science Leadership Program ASLP, coordinated by the University of Pretoria in South Africa, He is conducting with a group of African young scientists a promising project on capacity building for young scientist in Africa and will continue working on this issue internationally since he was recently selected as new member of the Global Young Academy of Science 2017-2021. Lahcen is also interested in developing social entrepreneurship with a group of students and Young Leaders.
Dr Samje holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Buea, Cameroon. Currently, he is a lecturer of Biochemistry at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Bamenda and a Researcher at the Pan-African Centre of Excellence for Onchocerciasis Drug Research at the University of Buea. Moses is interested in the discovery and development of drugs and control tools against neglected tropical diseases with a focus on onchocerciasis. He contributed significantly in the development and validation of filariasis drug screening assays which is recognized internationally. Using these assays, he has established the efficacy and safety of some pure compounds against onchocerciasis (river blindness). Dr. Samje has also shown the feasibility of repurposing existing drugs for the treatment of onchocerciasis. As part of a consortium, one of such efficacious repurposed drug is under clinical trials. His contribution to science is published in both renowned national and international journals.
He has attended many conferences and training workshops where his findings have been communicated through oral and poster presentations. Moses has worked as a Senior Research Officer in a series of projects funded by WHO/TDR, NIH and ANDI. He received the 2014 University of Buea, Faculty of Science meritorious award on the promotion of research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In addition, he won the Africa Network for Drugs and Diagnostics (ANDI) award to attend a training fellowship in the development of an immunodiagnostic test kit in Cairo, Egypt. Recently, he was awarded the 2016 Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Collaborative Research Travel Award, generously funded by the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, USA to study the mode of action of drugs on some helminthes at Iowa State University, USA. Moses is a dynamic researcher who is committed in contributing for the eradication of diseases that plagues Africa most.
Country: South Africa
Dr Stokwe has seven years of experience in the field of integrated pest management, with a particular focus on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) as biocontrol agents of insect pests. She has worked as a researcher at the Agricultural Research Council (2010-2016) where her duties involved:
- Managing research projects on Integrated Pest Management
- Compiling project proposals for new funding
- Planning and undertaking research projects
- Supervising postgraduate students
- Providing leadership to research technicians
- Managing project budgets
- Publishing research outputs in peer – reviewed journals, semi scientific publications and technical reports
- Identification and quantification of plant parasitic nematodes
Stokwe also worked as a Radiation Protection Officer (2012-2016) and coordinated a multi-faceted, internationally funded project involving the use of the sterile insect technique for the control of certain specified pests of fruit and other commodities. She was also responsible for the safe use of a gamma irradiator.
Dr Stokwe received her PhD in Agricultural Entomology from Stellenbosch University in 2016. She is currently employed by the University of Stellenbosch as a lecturer and researcher, and her main duties are teaching, research and service. She is involved in the overarching curriculum development of undergraduate modules and presentation of a Nematology undergraduate module. Dr Stokwe is also involved in the development and operation of a research programme that thematically fits into the research theme of the department. She develops greater research capacity through student recruitment and fundraising. Dr Stokwe ensures continuous publication of research results by means of reports, papers, research articles and popular articles. She has also attended and presented at a number of professional conferences and symposia at national level.
In 2016, she received an award from HORTGRO Science for the best final report.
Dr Zohra is a Research Scientist at Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT). She has a PhD in biochemistry from Université de Tunis El-Manar in 2010, when she focused on structural and biological characterization of novel proteins from snake venom related to VEGF. After that, she get a post-doctoral fellow as assistant professor at the Molecular Epidemiology and Experimental Pathology Laboratory (LEMPA) at IPT. She is a Principal Investigator of a project funded by IPT in relation with drug delivery at a cutting edge between biochemistry/pharmacology and nanotechnologies.
With her colleagues at LEMPA, Dr Zohra Aloui developed an innovative programme in relation to Leishmaniases; a group of neglected infectious diseases that constitute major public health problems in Tunisia and the Afro-Mediterranean region. The outpout of this project will contribute to the valorization of natural plant products for the development of novel intervention tools and strategies against leishmaniasis mainly drugs for prevention or therapy.
Dr Zohra Aloui supervised and promoted the training of many undergraduate and postgraduate students at her laboratory specially young female scholars. With AAS, Dr Zohra work on STEM Cell programme to promote the skills and career development of young African researchers on cell biology and regenerative medecine. Zohra hope and will work on more collaborations between african researchers.
Jerome Fru Cho
Cho is a Senior-Instructor in the University of Buea.
I have a good background in Microbiology and Medical Laboratory Sciences, with my past work centred on immunoparasitology and molecular biology. I have worked in several field projects for the acquisition of primary research data. I have gained high expertise in directing and supervising field work/data collection and archiving for subsequent analysis, as well as developed communication skills in relating with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. I have equally gained student supervision skills and project development skills through my Ph.D. training programme both at the University of Notre Dame, USA and the University of Buea. I equally gained bench skills including microscopy, biochemical, cellular and molecular techniques applicable in most fields of the applied sciences, especially in immunology and parasitology. Through my Ph.D. research work, I published the first molecular evidence of P. vivax infection in asymptomatic subjects in Cameroon. Subsequently, I published additional papers and developed skills in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, through short courses and seminars, which are now exploited in teaching and research.
I’m a confident, visionary and diligent builder with self-motivation to work reliably with a degree of independence, even under new and/or difficult conditions. I have a fine capacity to rationally develop questions for experimental testing and eager to putting a research hypothesis into investigation. With an excellent ability to work in a team-based environment, and relating with people of different cultures and backgrounds, my career goal is to more than ever before bring in humanity and integrity in the accomplishment of health research, especially in Africa, and Cameroon in particular (through teaching, training, research and advocacy), where violations of basic bioethical principles (largely unwitting) are common daily occurrences.
Ms Kemei studied structure-property correlations in frustrated magnetic oxides during her PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her expertise is in material characterization using techniques such as high-resolution variable-temperature synchrotron x-ray diffraction, magnetometry, and magneto-capacitance measurements. Through understanding the role of structure in determining material properties, one can create functional materials by design. The American Physical Society (APS) recognized Kemei’s PhD work in 2014 through the Richard L. Greene Dissertation Award in Experimental Condensed Matter or Materials Physics. After her graduate studies, Kemei joined the group of Professor Sossina Haile at the California Institute of Technology where she studied the local structure of solid oxide fuel cell materials to understand the role of cation-substitution in enhancing electronic and ionic mobility. She also studied solar fuel generation through the thermochemical process using cation-substituted ceria as a catalyst. In 2015, Kemei joined Intel Corporation as a Module engineer where she is working towards advancing Moore's law. Kemei's passion is enhancing education and science opportunities in Africa, her dream is to contribute to the development of future scientists from Africa.
Adandé Belarmain Fandoha
Dr Fandohan holds a PhD degree in Natural Resources Management from University of Abomey Calavi, Benin Republic. He is currently a tenured Assistant Professor of Forestry at the National University of Agriculture, UNA (Benin).
He is recipient of several prestigious international awards and fellowships including: The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation-Georg Forster (HERMES) Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)–Research Fellowship for Distinguished International Young Scientists; the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Postdoctoral Fellowship for Distinguished International Young Scientists. He is also recipient of the Support Africa International Foundation Award for Best research paper in Ecology 2011-2012 edition, and the African-German Network of Excellence in Science - Award for Junior Researchers 2012 edition.
His scientific niche covers cross-cutting issues combining ethnoecology, conservation and biogeography of prominent plants that can be used to improve rural communities’ livelihoods. Currently he is customizing recently developed tools (e.g. point process models, up-weighted and down-weighted regressions; mixed effects models; demographic based models) to assess ecotype-specific response of key agroforestry species to climate change (i.e., the Baobab, the Tamarind, and the Shea butter trees) in Africa.
From 2008 to present, he has co-authored twenty-seven (27) scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals with ISI web of science impact factor (Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports), eight (08) publications in peer-reviewed international journals without impact factor, three (03) dissertation reports and three chapters in books/ proceedings (i.e., Adaptation to climate change through water resources management).
Sameer is currently an Assistant Professor at the Bahir Dar Energy Centre, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. He has served as the Acting Head of Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering Department at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. In his tenure at NM-AIST, Dr Hameer was the Principal Investigator for the Erasumus+ project and led the NM-AIST team along with local and international partners that won the grant of 883,000 Euros for three years (2016-2019) for the project: Development of the Harmonized Modular Curriculum for the Smart Grid (DAMOC) . Dr.Hameer holds all his degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA : BSc. (Hons.) Electrical Engineering, MSc. Aerospace Engineering, and PhD. Aerospace Engineering. Dr.Hameer has a substantive number of publications in the area of energy storage, thermal energy storage, and solar thermal energy.
He was also the recipient of a 2 year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Stellenbosch University, South Africa from October 1st 2013 to September 30th 2015. His research work concentrated on thermodynamic modelling aspects of thermal energy storage and practical work on the development of a solar water heating test centre of excellence. He also co-wrote a book on the status of energy research in South Africa, sponsored by the ASSAf. He successfully led a technical team to evaluate the aircraft maintenance and pilot training programme at Karume Institute of Science and Technology, which is a technical school in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The programme is already running with 35 students. Dr.Hameer was the recipient of the TWAS-DFG award in 2012 for a visiting scientist from Sub-Saharan Africa hosted by the Technical University of Berlin and Reiner LemoineInstitut in Berlin, Germany, where he served as micro-energy systems engineer. He is also a professional engineer recognized by (ERB-TANZANIA), PENG. 3442.
Ms Kapulu is a post-doctoral research scientist at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya. Melissa trained in her home country of Zambia, at the University of Zambia (2004), Lusaka where she obtained her BSc in Biological Sciences with a bias in Molecular Biology and Genetics. During her undergraduate studies, she gained an interest in immunology and further pursued this by obtaining an MSc in Immunology of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2007, University of London, UK). Upon completion, keen on exploring the skills gained, she returned to Zambia where she taught various undergraduate programmes in the Schools of Natural Sciences and Medicine as well as pursuing research interests in understanding of immune responses to especially oral vaccines. In 2009, she followed up her interests in immunology by reading for a PhD at the Jenner Institute (University of Oxford, UK) working on pre-clinical development of malaria transmission-blocking vaccines. In 2013, she moved to Kilifi, Kenya based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust to expand her work on malaria with key interest in understanding the epidemiology of malaria transmission from human to vector populations.
Following on from this, her research interests have grown to include understanding immunological aspects of malaria transmission with the aim of identifying and developing vaccine candidate targets; developing experimental platforms for investigating naturally acquired [transmission-blocking] immunity; exploring malaria transmission biology in the context of natural infections; and developing platforms to test interventions that interrupt malaria transmission. Melissa currently contributes to building research capacity in her role as supervisor for post-graduate diploma, MSc and PhD research projects. In addition, she is a member of the early-career advisory board for the journal ELife and of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (MalERA) Refresh group on Characterizing the Reservoir and Measuring Transmission.
Athanasia O. Matemu
Dr. Matemu is a senior lecturer in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at NM-AIST. With more than 8 years of research experience, Dr. Matemu has been involved in multidisciplinary research and outreach activities. Dr. Matemu’s research interest lie in the areas of value addition to agro-products/ignored indigenous food/products (edible/inedible wild mushrooms & edible insects), functional foods and food safety. She has published over 15 papers and gave more than 20 presentations in international conferences. She is also an instructor for different subjects under the field of food science and biotechnology. She is also supervising a number postgraduate students.
Dr Eboka is an emerging young and dynamic researcher, chemical and mechanical engineer with research innovation in the area of Green and Renewable Energy technologies, thermodynamics and internal combustion engines with special interests in biofuels, biomass, biodiesel and environment. His niche area has been carved to reflect Food-Energy-Water-Climate nexus. Dr Eloka-Eboka has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with speciality in Energy Studies from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, and Bachelor degree Honours in Chemical Engineering/Technology from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. He is currently a research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he is currently spear-heading research in an emerging research field, Bio-Nanotechnology for engineering and thermal applications and investigative/comparative study of generic biofuels' sustainability and technologies using case studies of the Republic of South Africa at the Green Energy Solution Research Centre of the university. He has developed research proposals to establish engine testing facilities and laboratory for bio-Nanotechnology research and thin film solar cells development which he is developing at the university.
He has delivered well accepted and seasoned research papers at different local and international conferences and has won an overall best paper award in 2013. He had a doctoral research fellowship of TWAS ROCASA where he utilised the state of the art facilities and laboratories for research on green energy from microalgal technology. He was amongst the selected Africans to attend European Science Forum 2016. With several grants, awards technical reports, research collaborations and more than 25 peer-reviewed journal publications and nearly ten years’ experience in conducting research, he is set to revolutionise Africa and the world with research ideas and innovations in green energy and sustainability. He is currently supervising masters and doctoral students in various areas of his research interests.