Three Early Career Scientists at the Institute have been awarded the 2022 Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) Research Development Fellowship Programme. Dr. Prince Asare and Dr. Dorothea Obiri will be at the University of Cambridge, and Dr. Frederica Partey will be at the University of Copenhagen to conduct research in their respective fields as Principal Investigators.
Dr. Asare’s project is on ‘Building capacity in computational biology for exploring the clinical relevance of zoonotic TB and non-tuberculous mycobacteria towards future control tools development and drug resistance‘. Dr. Obiri will focus on ‘training in experimental study design, bioinformatics, and placental transcriptomics to build placental research capacity in Ghana’, whilst Dr. Partey’s research will be centered on ’Characterization of Malarial Antibody Glycosylation and Its Correlation with Immunity In Children ’.
AREF is a research funding firm established by Professor Tumani Corrah ( the first Emeritus Director of the UK Medical Research Council, The Gambia Unit, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) to retain African talents in Africa for Africa. Within five years, AREF has nurtured close to 300 talented African researchers from 29 different African countries who are based in Africa whilst winning their own research funding, publishing their research findings in peer review journals, and increasingly gaining promotions in their institutions.
Congratulations to our winners. You have made Noguchi Memorial Institute proud again.
Profile of the winners
Dr. Prince Asare is a Research Fellow at the Bacteriology Department. As a young scientist, he is trained as a molecular epidemiologist and has developed keen interest in mycobacterial diseases over the past decade. His career vision and aspirations are to use the invaluable knowledge and skills gained to lead a research team to explore mycobacterial diseases of public health importance, focusing on understanding transmission dynamics and detecting epidemics using genomic epidemiology as well as computational biology approaches to aid their management and control. Bacterial pathogens of prior interest to Dr. Asare include Mycobacterium tuberculosis M. ulcerans and Vibrio cholerae. Dr. Asare is also poised to transfer the knowledge and skills gained to younger generation scientists through frequent teaching and workshops. He is familiar with working in Microsoft Windows, Ubuntu and IOS Environments and has knowledge in programing languages including R and Python.
Dr. Dorotheah Obiri is a Research Fellow with the Department of Immunology. Dr. Obiri envisions a world where maternal mortality is eliminated and a key aspect of her research is channeled into investigating pregnancy complications associated with the placenta. She has a strong interest in understanding maternal and fetal interactions to improve pregnancy outcomes and lifelong health of women and unborn babies in sub-Saharan Africa. Her active disease areas are preeclampsia, placental malaria, sickle cell disease, and COVID-19. The overarching goal is to identify novel targets and interventions through basic and translational research to provide further insights into preventive management, diagnosis, and treatment for these conditions during pregnancy.
Dr. Frederica Partey is a Research Fellow in the Immunology department. Her broad research interest involves understanding humoral and cellular responses against viral and parasitic infections in individuals naturally exposed to guide the design of next-generation vaccines and her present research work focuses on examining the effect of different malaria transmission intensities on the development of functional antibodies.