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NMIMR Receives Funding from BMGF to Conduct Research on Human Malaria Infection

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMFG) to conduct research on Human Malaria Infection.

The project “Collection of Pf field isolates in Ghana for CHMI studies”, an extension of the long-standing relationship between NMIMR and BMGF, is expected to run from April 2023 to April 2024, will focus on the isolation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites to generate research cell banks and study parasite diversity.

The long-term goal of the project is the collection of P. falciparum field isolates for the development of new P. falciparum parasite line (s) to support the Controlled Human Malaria Infection (CHMI) project at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in the USA.

Prof. Amoah, Principal Investigator of the project will be assisted by Prof. Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi as Co-PI. The two investigators are Associate Professors of Immunology at the Department of Immunology and have extensive experience in malaria research including malaria parasite culture and drug assays and mosquito infection studies.

Profile of the Principal Investigator

Prof. Linda Eva Amoah is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the Department of Immunology whose primary research focuses on malaria transmission and gametocyte biology.

Prof. Amoah is interested in identifying host genetic traits including polymorphisms in the HBB gene that influence the infectiousness of circulating plasmodium gametocytes as well as parasite genetic traits that enhance their infectiousness to the mosquitoes as well as designing and validating diagnostics tools for various disease states, HIV and NCD research.

She has excellent skills in organic and physical chemistry labs, recombinant DNA technology, various forms of PCR, ELISA, malaria parasite culture, antimalarial drug assays, performing direct and standard mosquito membrane feeding assays, performing public health surveillance studies at large and small scale, teaching molecular biology and biotechnology.

She is a skilled chemist, biochemist and molecular biologist with a unique combination of academic and industrial research experience in performing Protein purification, Western and Northern blots, PCR and real-time PCR, Drug transport assays, Molecular cloning and Sequencing. She is experienced in the use of instrumentation pertaining to Protein separation science such as the PF 2D protein fractionation system and fluorimetry, photometry, spectrophotometry, scintillometry.

 Prof. Amoah also works with the Ghana National Malaria Elimination Program to conduct periodic surveillance and characterization of malaria parasites with hrp2 gene deletion.

Profile of Co-Principal Investigator

Prof. Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the Department of Immunology and the Head of Department at the Department of Electron Microscopy and Histopathology at the Institute.

Prof. Kusi’s research interest focuses on identifying protective immune response targets in Plasmodium and on multi-allele vaccine formulation strategies to counter the strain-dependent effects of antigen polymorphism on immune responses.

His work focuses on humoral and cellular immunology of parasitic and viral infections, immunology co-infections and clinical trials and he is lead Immunologist on a number of on-going clinical trials at the Institute.

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