SEP 7 - 10 2020

16th H3Africa Consortium Meeting

We welcome you to the Sixteenth Meeting of the H3Africa Consortium. As you know we were due to meet in Tanzania this September with the African Society of Human Genetics. Unfortunately we have all been forced into detours which has created opportunities for creative engagement.  We hope that our virtual meeting experience will offer as many opportunities to share research findings and build upon them. We will dedicate time to explore research areas beyond the current scope of H3Africa to foster broader sustainable networks. Our early career scientists are always a key feature of H3Africa meetings, there will be several opportunities to engage young scientists during presentation and poster sessions. Our Principal Investigators and Scientists have also responded to the Covid-19 pandemic at various levels and are keen to share their experiences and findings with you. We appreciate your participation during this virtual meeting and look forward to meeting you in-person in time.


Show Resources


Opening Session: H3Africa Overview & Sickle Cell Disease

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Mogomotsi Matshaba, Francis Collins
Moderator: Ruth Chadwick
Presentation Time:4:30am PDT/7:30am EDT/11:30am GMT/1:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Solomon Ofori-Acquah, Mahmoud Sani, Julie Makani
Moderator: Ruth Chadwick
Presentation Time: 6:15am PDT/9:15am EDT/1:15pm GMT/3:15pm CAT


Session 1: H3Africa Projects Presentations

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Nicola Mulder, Ayton Meintjes
Moderator: Kay Davies
Presentation Time: 7:45am PDT/10:45am EDT/2:45pm GMT/4:45pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Nadia Carstens, Emma Weiner
Moderator: Kay Davies
Presentation Time:8:30am PDT/11:30am EDT/3:30pm GMT/5:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Adeyinka Ashaye, Jantina de Vries
Moderator: Kay Davies
Presentation Time:9:30am PDT/12:30pm EDT/4:30pm GMT/6:30pm CAT

Principal Investigator Meeting
10:40am PDT/1:40pm EDT/5:40pm GMT/7:40pm CAT

Funder & IEC Meeting
10:40am PDT/1:40pm EDT/5:40pm GMT/7:40pm CAT


Session 1: SARS-CoV 2 Covid-19 and Panel Discussion

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: John Nkengasong, Mark Daly
Moderator: Catherine Scheepers
Presentation Time:4:30am PDT/7:30am EDT/ 11:30am GMT/1:30pm CAT

Presenter: Gavin Churchyard
Moderator: Catherine Scheepers
Presentation Time: 5:30am PDT/8:30am EDT/ 12:30pm GMT/2:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Michele Ramsay, Christian Happi, Alash'le Abimiku, Leon Mutesa, Elizabeth Mayne, Simone Richardson
Moderator: Catherine Scheepers
Presentation Time: 6:00am PDT/9:00am EDT/ 1:00pm GMT/3:00pm CAT

Live Panel Discussion: Why Africa needs to be actively engaged in the search for a COVID vaccine Panelists: Lynn Morris, John Nkengasong, Gavin Churchyard, Thomas Kariuki, Paul Ndebele, Morenike Upkong, Mark Daly
Moderator: Barry Bloom
Presentation Time: 8:00am PDT/11:00am EDT/ 3:00pm GMT/5:00pm CAT


Session 2: H3Africa Projects Presentations

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Kidist Bobosha, Dan Masiga, Caleb Kibit
Moderator: Charmaine Royal
Presentation Time:9:30am PDT/12:30pm EDT/ 4:30pm GMT/6:30pm CAT

Speed Presentations & Live Q&A
Presenters: Kaitlyn Flynn, Ibrahim Guindo, Henrick Kola, Martha Luka, Tafadzwa Machipisa, Alaine Marsden, Joseph Mulama, Lakshmi Sujeen, Abdoulaye Yalcouye, Diabate Oudou
Moderator: Charmaine Royal
Presentation Time:10:30am PDT/1:30pm EDT/ 5:30pm GMT/7:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Enock Matovu, Magambo Phillip Kimuda, Ezekiel Adebiyi, Olufemi Aromolaran
Moderator: Charmaine Royal
Presentation Time:11:30am PDT/2:30pm EDT/ 6:30pm GMT/8:30pm CAT


Session 1: Guest Speakers & H3Africa Projects Presentations

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenter: Heidi Rehm
Moderator: Philip Awadalla
Presentation Time:5:00am PDT/8:00am EDT/ 12:00pm GMT/2:00pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Moses Joloba & Segun Fatumo
Moderator: Philip Awadalla
Presentation Time:5:30am PDT/8:30am EDT/ 12:30pm GMT/2:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Erisa Sabakaki & Francis Anyaka Amayoa
Moderator: Philip Awadalla
Presentation Time: 6:15am PDT/9:15am EDT/ 1:15pm GMT/3:15pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenter: Elissa Prichep
Moderator: Philip Awadalla
Presentation Time:7:00am PDT/10:00am EDT/ 2:00pm GMT/4:00pm CAT


Meeting Time: 8:00am PDT/11:00am EDT/ 3:00pm GMT/5:00pm CAT

Steering Committee (PI, IEC & Funders)
Meeting Time: 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT/4:00pm GMT/6:00pm CAT


Session 1: Guest Speakers & H3Africa Projects Presentations

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenter: Melissa Gymrek
Moderator: Rex Chishol
Presentation Time:5:00am PDT/8:00am EDT/ 12:00pm GMT/2:00pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenter: Florence N. Kivunike
Moderator: Rex Chisholm
Presentation Time:5:45am PDT/8:45am EDT/ 12:45pm GMT/2:45pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Collins Moranga, Olu Ajibola, Dominic Amuzu
Moderator: Rex Chisholm
Presentation Time:6:30am PDT/9:30am EDT/ 1:30pm GMT/3:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenters: Seydou Doumbia, Cheickna Cisse
Moderator: Rex Chisholm
Presentation Time:7:30am PDT/10:30am EDT/ 2:30pm GMT/4:30pm CAT

Presentation & Live Q&A
Presenter: Guillaume Lettre
Moderator: Rex Chisholm
Presentation Time:8:15am PDT/11:15am EDT/ 3:15pm GMT/5:15pm CAT


Working Group Report Back
Meeting Time:9:20am PDT/12:20pm EDT/ 4:20pm GMT/6:20pm CAT


Working Group Report Back & Closing
Meeting Time:
11:30am PDT/2:30pm EDT/ 6:30pm GMT/8:30pm CAT

Discussion & Closing
Meeting Time:
1:00pm PDT/4:00pm EDT/ 8:00pm GMT/10:0pm CAT



  • Alash'le G. Abimiku
    Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria

      Professor Alash’le Abimiku has been pivotal to the establishment of a long-term collaboration between Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) where she serves as the Executive Director of the International Research Centre of Excellence at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria; and the Institute of Human Virology University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore where she is a Professor. As a trained Medical Microbiologist with specialization in Retrovirology, Prof. Abimiku first demonstrated the unique nature of the HIV strain prevalent in Nigeria in 1993 as subtype G during her postdoctoral training at NIH and provided the first reliable HIV research laboratory in central Nigeria. Prof. Abimiku’s research focuses on the role of HIV subtypes in disease pathogenesis using mother to child model; and effects of co-infections such as TB on HIV pathogenesis. In addition to being a successful fully funded independent researcher with funding from NIH, CDC, and Canadian Institute for Health Research, Prof. Abimiku has trained a cadre of pre and post-doctoral Nigerians engaged in research through the UM-IHV NIH Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program Grant and CDC Health Human Resources Strengthening grant; and significantly contributed in the IHVN PEPFAR program. She is internationally recognized in her role as the chair of the board of directors of the African Society of Laboratory Medicine, a member of the WHO HIV Research for Prevention organizing committee. She is the Principal Investigator of the IHVN H3Africa Biorepository (I-HAB) and the H3Africa BEAMING project that examines the role of breast milk microbiota in conditioning infant’s microbiome and growth of HIV exposed uninfected infants.

    • Ezekiel Adebiyi, BSc, MSc, PhD

        Prof. Ezekiel F. Adebiyi is a H3Africa, DFG (aka German Science Foundation) Projects Principal Investigator and the head of the Covenant University Bioinformatics Research (CUBRe) Group. He is the Centre Director for Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication African Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE), a new World Bank funded ACE Impact. And he is a guest Professor at the Faculty of BioSciences, Heidelberg University, Germany.

        He obtained his PhD degree in 2002 in Computer Science-Algorithms and Bioinformatics from the University of Tubingen, Germany, and had his basic and research training in Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

        His main research interests are in computational complexity and computational molecular biology.

      • Olumide Ajibola, PhD
        Postdoc, MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM

          I am a Postdoctoral scientist on the PAMGEN project at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. I have a PhD in Infection and Immunity from the University of Glasgow. I have experience working on malaria, schistosomiasis and trypanosomaisis in Africa and UK. My skills and interests are in genomics, and microbiome related research.

        • Dominic Amuzu, MPHIL
          PhD Research Fellow, WACCBIP, University of Ghana

            I am a student pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry (Human Genetics) at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana. As a PhD research fellow, I am investigating the effect of glycophorin B gene deletions on Plasmodium falciparum invasion of erythrocytes and growth. Glycophorin (GYP) proteins are important in malaria research as they act as receptors for the invasion of erythrocytes by the parasite P. falciparum. I have been developing high-throughput PCR-RFLP assays for identification of GYPB gene deletions in the laboratory of my external supervisors Prof Dominic Kwiatkowski and Dr Kirk Rockett in the University of Oxford. Currently, I am screening communities in Ghana for individuals with the GYPB deletions variants and using it to identify phenotypes for P. falciparum invasion of erythrocytes and growth assays in my home institution University of Ghana (WACCBIP, Dept of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology) under the guidance of my internal supervisors Prof Gordon Awandare and Dr Luca Etego-Amenga. Also, I am interested in the changes that occur on the surface of erythrocytes with GYPB deletions by assessing levels of proteins directly linked to erythrocyte invasion and malaria disease.

          • Amayoa Francis Anyaka, BS
            Master Student, Makerere University
              Amayoa Francis Anyaka is the Environment Officer of Uganda Prison Service. He is also a final year student of Master of Health Sciences in Bioethics at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University. He is a recipient of a scholarship from the International Health Research Ethics Program (IHRET). His final year research project was on "Assessing participants' understanding of informed consent for genomics research: a case of the Collaborative African Genomic Network (CAfGEN) study". Francis' interest in research Ethics stems from his earlier exposure to Research and Research Ethics as a trainee at Uganda National Council for Science and Technology under the Research Quality Assurance unit and the Research Registration, Clearance and Analysis unit (2017-2018). This exposure enhanced his desire to contribute towards making Research in Uganda more ethical. Upon completion of the master's program, he intends to apply for a PHD in Bioethics and progress towards a career as a Researcher in Ethics and the Environment.
            • Adeyinka Ashaye
              University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Nigeria

                Dr Adeyinka Ashaye is the Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. She is the Principal Investigator for Eyes of Africa: The genetics of Blindness study funded by NIH and Welcome Trust.

              • Kidist Bobosha

              • Nadia Carstens, PhD
                Principal Medical Scientist, Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory Service and the University of the Witwatersrand

                  Dr Carstens is a medical scientist specializing in the field of human genetics. She joined the Division of Human Genetics (National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Witwatersrand) as a principal medical scientist in 2016. She has a particular interest in the application of next-generation sequencing technology to improve diagnostics for rare Mendelian disorders in African populations. She is an active member and past chair of the H3Africa Rare Diseases Working Group and co-investigator on the Deciphering developmental disorders in Africa (DDD-Africa) project.

                • Cheickna Cisse, PhD
                  Assistant Professor at University of Sciences Techniques and Technologies (USTTB)
                    Cheickna CISSE, PhD is an assistant professor of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics at the the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB) since 2016. In addition to his training commitments, CISSE is leading research activities on structural Bioinformatics into the African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics of Bamako (ACE-B). His current research projects consist of the identification, building models and characterization of Therapeutic Targets and the design of promising inhibitors using bioinformatics tools. After his bachelor's degree in 2003, he obtained a scholarship of excellence for higher studies of Biochemistry in France. Five years later, he obtained his master's degree in Biochemistry at the Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble. Three years later, he obtained his PhD in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Grenoble Alpes. During his PhD project, he worked on the design of peptide inhibitors from aptamers directed against the bacterial protein FUR (Ferric Uptake Regulator). Through molecular modeling, docking and high throughput virtual screening, he highlighted the key interactions that inhibit this protein activity by peptide inhibitors. He continued with one-year postdoctoral fellow at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN) in Paris before returning in Mali. During his postdoc, he worked on beta-lactamase inhibitors using an automated screening system involving covalent docking and metalloproteins for which he succeeded in resolving and depositing a crystallographic structure (Code PDB: 5HFO).
                  • Seydou Doumbia, MD, PhD
                    Dean and Director

                      Dr. Doumbia hold an MD degree from the National School of Medicine of Bamako, Mali and a Ph.D. from Tulane University, New Orleans, USA.

                      Dr. Doumbia, M.D., Ph.D., is Dean of the Medical School and Dentistry of the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technology of Bamako-(USTTB) since 2014 and Director of the University Clinical Research Center (UCRC). From 2006 to 2016 Dr Doumbia has been Deputy Scientific Director at the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) of the NIAID-USTTB International Center of Excellence in Research (ICER-Mali) and Chair of the Department of Public Health of University of Bamako-USTTB (2011-2014).

                      Dr. Doumbia research involves infectious diseases mainly malaria and leishmaniasis and HIV to facilitate the test of new interventions and cutting edge technology for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of those diseases. Dr. Doumbia is Program Director/Principal Investigator of several NIAID/NIH funded research grant including the West Africa International Center of Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR), Tropical Medicine Research Center (TMRC) Program on leishmaniasis and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases.

                      He has been involved in several capacity building initiatives in Africa through NIH Fogarty supported training grants: 1] in public health (MPH) in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, 2] in Bioinformatics/Genomics supported by H3Africa program (Human Health and Heredity in Africa) in collaboration with Tulane University in USA and Covenant University of Nigeria. 3] Bioethic research training program including Master degree. Other capacity building activities involves the development of clinical research at University of Bamako (University Clinical Research Center, UCRC) and the development of a West African Sub-consortium for clinical research on emerging infectious diseases, a network including Mali, Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone, aimed to harmonized clinical research for multi-center studies.

                    • Segun Fatumo, PhD
                      Assistant Professor

                        Dr. Segun Fatumo is an Assistant Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics at the MRC/UVRI Uganda and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) . He leads The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research group. His group’s expertise includes GWAS, meta-analysis, genetic risk score, fine mapping and Mendelian randomisation studies. He was recently (July 2020) awarded a prestigious Wellcome International Intermediate Fellowship to lead an innovative research programme at the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM.

                        Dr Fatumo’s research largely focuses on the genetic impact of non-communicable diseases in Africa. He is actively involved in capacity building across Africa including teaching and/or postgraduate supervision at the University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technology of Bamako (USTTB) Mali, and Covenant University Nigeria and the H3Africa Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) node at the Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation, National Biotechnology Development Agency (CGRI-NABDA) in Abuja, Nigeria.

                        He received postdoctoral training in genetic epidemiology at the University of Cambridge and Wellcome Sanger Institute and a postdoctoral fellowship in Bioinformatics at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA. Prior to that, He had postgraduate training in applied Bioinformatics at the University of Cologne, Germany and Ph.D. in Computer Science (Bioinformatics specialization) from Covenant University, Nigeria. During his Ph.D. Programme, Segun developed a model which identified twenty-two (22) potential novel drug targets against malaria, some of which have been tested and validated experimentally.

                        Dr. Fatumo is the Founder and pioneer President of the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network. He is the immediate past vice-president of the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB).

                      • Christian T. Happi, PhD
                        Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics; Director, African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases

                          I have the expertise and skills, leadership and motivation necessary to successfully conduct and oversee health research projects in West Africa.  I have a broad background in molecular biology and genomics with application in infectiousdiseases, including malaria, Lassa fever, Ebola virus disease and HIV. Of my career accomplishments to date, the most meaningful was my use of genomics technologies for early diagnosis and confirmation (within 6 hours) of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Nigeria.  This singular action was major in containing EVD in Nigeria, and therefore saving millions of lives in Africa.  This feat could only be achieved after I took the decision to go to Nigeria –the country in world with the highest burden of malaria, as well as a viral hemorrhagic disease called Lassa fever –to live and work in the midst of malaria and Lassa fever patients, after years of research and work at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.  I saw this decision as the realization of a mission to apply the genomics knowledge and cutting-edge genomics skills I had acquired at Harvard University to improve health care in Africa, and to share these skills with young African researchers so that key genomics research questions can be addressed in the natural setting where the disease occurs. I pioneered and rooted in Nigeria, North-South and South-South collaborations to make major breakthroughs in malaria, Lassa fever and Ebola Virus disease.  With funding fromthe World Bank and the NIH, along with collaborators we established at Redeemer’s University, Nigeria, the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID, in 2013. 

                        • Moses Joloba
                          Makarere University College of Health Sciences Kampala, Uganda

                            Prof. Moses Joloba is the current Dean School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. He was Head of Department of Medical Microbiology (2005 – 2014). Professor Moses Joloba has developed skills in conducting clinical microbiology and molecular biology, laboratory-based research and training as well as building laboratory capacity in Uganda and other countries. Initially he graduated as a physician at Makerere Medical School in 1994 and later as a clinical microbiologist at Case Western Reserve University (graduated in May 1996, MS Degree). after which he returned to Uganda and took a faculty position at Makerere university Department of Medical Microbiology. He also helped to establish a TB laboratory for the Tuberculosis Research Units (TBRU) and became its technical director and later a scientific director site (1996 – 1999). In 2000 – 2003, Professor Joloba undertook a Ph.D course at Case Western in Microbiology and Molecular Biology. After his return Professor Joloba, he established a Molecular Biology, immunology and mycobacteriology laboratories and a Biorepository at the University. He became the Director of the National TB Reference laboratory now a supranational laboratory Prof. Joloba has won many grants and published over 140 peer reviewed papers, he is a reviewer for 6 journals and trained 18 PhDs to completion.

                          • Guillaume Lettre, PhD
                            Professor of Medicine

                              Guillaume Lettre is a professor of medicine at the Université de Montréal and a principal investigator at the Montreal Heart Institute. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Complex Trait Genetics and is an elected member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.

                              In December 2008, he completed 3.5 years of postdoctoral training in the lab of Joel N. Hirschhorn at the Broad Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston working on the genetics of complex human traits using genome-wide association studies. Guillaume obtained his BSc in Biology from the Université de Sherbrooke (2000) and his MSc in Biological Sciences from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2001). In 2005, he completed his PhD in Developmental Genetics at the University of Zurich.

                            • Dan Masiga, PhD
                              Theme Leader

                                Daniel Masiga is a scientist at International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, based in Nairobi. Masiga's research interests are in infectious diseases, principally neglected tropical diseases (such as African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis), but also malaria and arboviruses. His role as a scientist has increasingly become one of science guidance and mentorship. He leads the icipe node of H3ABioNet, the Pan African Bioinformatics network, and is also PI of the Eastern Africa Network for Bioinformatics Training (EANBiT). He remains fascinated by the biology and transmission of trypanosomatids and generating knowledge and skills that will lead to simple tools and approaches to control them at village and household level. 

                              • Enock Matovu, BSc, MSc, PhD
                                Associate Professor

                                  Enock Matovu obtained his PhD in Molecular Parasitology from the University of Bern, Switzerland in 2001. Since then has continued his work on drug resistance and later diagnostics for African Trypanosomiasis. In 2004, he relocated to the Makerere University as a Lecturer. In 2008, Enock received the prestigious Royal Society Pfizer Award in recognition of his work on molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in African trypanosomes. The previous year (2007) he had obtained the Joint Third World Academy of Science Award for Young Scientists, for his contribution to Molecular Parasitology. He has over the years gained experience in research including disease surveillance, diagnostics, drug resistance, clinical trials, and genetics/genomics.  Enock has  supervised several  Msc, PhD students; and post-doctoral fellows and has consequently published mainly in trypanosomiasis, but also HIV, malaria, animal tick-borne disease and a few projects in plant biology.
He has served in various capacities and on several committees; such as Honorary Research Fellow, Division of Infection and Immunity, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow since 2008. In 2009 he was appointed member of the Technical Advisory Group 3 (TAG3) of the WHO/TDR, which set research priorities for Chagas disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis. From 2011-to-date, he has been Member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Trypanosomiasis. Between 2012 and 2014, he served on the Technical advisory committee of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). He is also Associate Editor, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
In addition to the several collaborative projects Enock has participated in to-date,  he presently leads TrypanoGEN+ that investigates host genetic determinants of trypanosomiasis and schistosomiasis infection outcomes/phenotypes. 

                                • Elizabeth Mayne, MBBCH, MMED FCPATH
                                  Head of Department, University of Witwatersrand/NHLS

                                    Professor Mayne is the academic head of department of Immunology at the University of the Witwatersrand and the National Health Laboratory Service. She is also the Principal Investigator of the H3A biorepository based at Clinical Laboratory Services in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. A haematopathologist by training, Professor Mayne trains fellows and scientists in laboratory medicine. She is a councillor for the Colleges of Medicine and heads the National Immunology Expert Committee for the National Health Laboratory Service which is the largest provider of laboratory services in South Africa. She has published extensively on infectious disease immunology, laboratory medicine and biorepository science. As the director of the biorepository, Dr Mayne is a representative on the ESBB Africa committee and on the Science and Policy Committee of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories. She also sits on the executive committee of the South African Immunology Society as well as being a member of the Federation of African Immunology Societies and the International Union of Immunology Societies.

                                  • Collins Misita Morang'a, Msc
                                    PhD Research Fellow, WACCBIP, University of Ghana

                                      Mr. Collins Misita Morang’a is a PhD research fellow at WACCBIP, funded by the Wellcome Trust DELTAS Programme at the University of Ghana. He finished his studies in Biochemistry from Egerton University and obtained his Master of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Maseno University in Kenya. In his Ph.D., he is interested in using artificial intelligence approaches to classify the malaria infections, as well as deconvolution of transcriptomics and genomics data from asymptomatic and clinical malaria individuals. The secondary focus of his Ph.D. research is to identify regulatory mechanisms that dampen the activation of the Type I interferon pathway by sensing Plasmodium DNA during malaria infections. The regulation checkpoints can provide opportunities for therapeutic interventions against clinical malaria.

                                    • Nicola Mulder, PhD
                                      Professor, H3ABioNet PI

                                        Professor Nicky Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town, and leads H3ABioNet, a large Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 27 institutions in 17 countries. H3ABioNet aims to develop bioinformatics capacity to enable genomic data analysis on the continent. She is also co-PI of a Sickle Cell Data Coordinating Centre. Prior to her position at UCT, she worked for 9 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, as a Team Leader. At UCT her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, and microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Her group provides bioinformatics services and develops new algorithms for the analysis of complex African genetic data. Prof Mulder is actively involved in training and education as well as curriculum development in Bioinformatics and Genomic Medicine. She co-chairs international committees on Bioinformatics education and sits on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards for African and International projects.

                                      • Leon Mutesa

                                      • Erisa Mwaka Sabakaki, PhD
                                        Senior Lecturer, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

                                          Dr. Erisa Mwaka is an orthopaedic surgeon, academician and bioethicist. He holds a Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelors of Surgery (Makerere University, Uganda), Master of Medicine (Makerere University, Uganda), Master of Social Sciences in Health Research Ethics (University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa) and PhD (Fukui University, Japan). He is a senior lecturer of Human Anatomy at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, and chairs the Makerere University School of Biomedical Sciences Higher Degrees and Research Ethics Committee. He is a member of the bioethics working group at Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) and Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS); and faculty to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Forgarty funded International Health Research Ethics Training (IHRET) program at Makerere College of Health Sciences. His has research interest in ELSI of biobank and genomic research, spine disorders, bone health in HIV, occupational health, human anatomy, and medical education. He is an H3 Africa principal investigator investigating the Ethical and Societal Issues in informed consent processes in genomic research in Uganda. He is member to the H3 Africa Ethics and Community Engagement working group. He has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

                                        • Florence Nameere Kivunike, PhD
                                          Lecturer, School of Computing and Informatics Technologies, Makerere Universit

                                            Florence Nameere Kivunike, is a Key Personnel and Programme Coordinator of the NIH, H3Africa bioinformatics nurturing program (BRECA) in Uganda (PIs: Dr. David Kateete, Dr. Daudi Jjingo). She is a lecturer at the School of Computing and Informatics Technologies, College of Computer and Information Sciences (COCIS), Makerere University.

                                            Florence has played a key role and participated in the implementation of the Bioinformatics training programmes at Makerere University from curriculum development through accreditation, to now the smooth running of these programmes. She has research interests and experience in applying multidisciplinary approaches in the assessment of digital transformation, and programme evaluation in various sectors including health.

                                            Florence holds a PhD in Computer and Systems Sciences from Stockholm University Sweden as a SIDA scholar, a master’s degree in computer science of Makerere University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering of Makerere University. 

                                          • Solomon Ofori-Acquah
                                            University of Ghana, Ghana

                                              Professor Ofori-Acquah was appointed Dean of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences in the University of Ghana in January 2017, and as Associate Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, and Director of the Center for Translational and International Hematology in the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Professor Ofori-Acquah was born in the historical city of Cape Coast in Ghana. He attended Adisadel College where he obtained the West African Examinations Board’s Ordinary and Advanced General Certificates of Education respectively in 1982 and 1984. He migrated to England in 1985. Professor Ofori-Acquah graduated from the Bromley College of Technology in 1989 with a Higher National Certificate in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a Fellowship (Part 1) in Laboratory Hematology in 1990, from Birkbeck College, University of London with an MSc in Bio-molecular Organization in 1992, and from King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London in 2000 with a PhD in Molecular Genetics. He joined Farnborough Hospital in 1987 as a trainee medical laboratory scientist. He was Senior Biomedical Scientist at King’s College Hospital from 1995-2000. He was appointed Scholar of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center in 2001, and as Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience in 2002 at the University of South Alabama. He joined Emory University as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in 2007 until his relocation to the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Ofori-Acquah’s research interests are in the molecular pathogenesis, genetics and innovative therapy of acute complications of sickle cell disease with a focus on the lungs. He developed the first mouse model of the acute chest syndrome that helped to define extracellular heme as a prototypical erythroid danger associated molecular pattern molecule. He maintains two active research programmes in the US and in Ghana focused respectively on preclinical studies using transgenic mouse models, and genetic determinants of clinical phenotypes studying large patient cohorts in Ghana, with collaborative sites in Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and the US. Professor Ofori-Acquah has received numerous research, training and achievement awards and honors. The NIH has continuously funded his work since 2004 with multiple R01 and R25 grants, and U01 and U54 awards. He has authored over 60 research papers, reviews and book chapters, and mentored over thirty students at undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate levels as well as many early stage investigators. He was recipient of the Outstanding Postdoc Mentor award at Emory University in 2012. He is a Standing Member of NIH Study Section, and has served on the review committees for many other funding agencies including the Wellcome Trust, American Society of Hematology, American Heart Association, and the UK Lottery, as well as on the advisory boards of many government and non-government entities, including the National Technical Advisory Committee for Newborn Screening for Ghana in 2011-2013. Professor Ofori-Acquah is a founding Executive Member of the Ghana Biomedical Convention serving as the maiden Chair of the organization’s Scientific Committee in 2008, and assuming that position again in 2014. He was Vice-President and President of the Ghana Biomedical Convention in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2016 he received an Appreciation Award for his role in founding the Ghana Biomedical Convention.

                                            • Michele Ramsay, PhD
                                              Professor of Genetics, Director

                                                Michèle Ramsay (PhD) is the director of the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Professor in Human Genetics and South African Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics of African Populations. As a member of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Consortium (H3Africa) she leads the AWI-Gen study on the genetic and environmental contributions to obesity and cardiometabolic disease risk in six centres across four African countries. Her research aims to shed light on the role of African population genomic variation in susceptibility to diseases, given the ethnolinguistic and environmental diversity across the continent. The SBIMB has a research focus to support translational genomics in Africa. Michèle is the President of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies and past President of the African Society of Human Genetics. She is the winner of the 2019 South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA): Distinguished Women in the Natural (Life and Physical) Sciences and Engineering category and the Lifetime Achievement Award 2019/2020 of the National Science and Technology Forum.

                                              • Simone Richardson, PhD
                                                Postdoctoral fellow

                                                  Simone is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Antibody Immunity Research Unit of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where she also completed her PhD. Her research focuses on the role of Fc effector function in HIV, COVID-19 and Influenza infection and vaccination and the improvement of broadly neutralizing antibody function for passive immunization. She is currently the scientific lead for all Fc effector function work at the unit and leads a small team of passionate immunologists. She was recently honoured as an early career fellow of two of the biggest HIV vaccine bodies, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery. She is currently a co-investigator on an H3 Africa NIH U01 grant that aims to assess Fc effector function of antibodies and although the exciting science keeps her busy, is extremely passionate about science communication!

                                                • Mahmoud Umar Sani, MBBS, PhD, FWACP
                                                  Department of Medicine, Bayero University Kano and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano Niger

                                                    Professor Mahmoud Sani is a Cardiologist with the Department of Medicine, Bayero University Kano (BUK)/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano, Nigeria. He received his medical degree in 1993 from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria and completed residency in Internal Medicine and Cardiology in 2002. He won the SF Kuku price for the best graduating Fellow of the West African College of Physicians for the year. He obtained PhD in Medicine from the University of Cape town, South Africa in 2016. His areas of interest include Heart Failure, Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Disease in HIV and sickle cell disease. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers some of which in leading medical journals. He has been involved as PI and Multi PI in collaborative clinical trials and registries both regionally and internationally. Together with other colleagues, he also co-founded the Nigerian Heart Failure Registry and the Registry for acute coronary events in Nigeria (RACE – Nigeria). He is a project lead for the SickleGenAfrica studying the genetic determi nant of cardiovascular genotypes in sickle cell disease. Professor Sani was Head of Department of Medicine, BUK/AKTH (2012 – 2014), Deputy Provost College of Health Sciences, BUK (2016-2018), Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, BUK (2018 -2020) and Council Member, Nigerian Cardiac Society (2006-2012). He is currently Vice President Nigerian Cardiac Society, Chair Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) task force on Heart Failure and Assistant Secretary General for PASCAR (West). He has been an Examiner to the West African College of Physicians since 2008 and a World Heart Federation (WHF) emerging leader from 2015.

                                                  • Jantina de Vries

                                                  • Kaitlyn Flynn
                                                    MSc Student

                                                      Current MSc student in the Division of Human Genetics, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Science at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Passionate scientist, looking to expand my knowledge in the field of genetics, molecular biology and bioinformatics. 

                                                    • Jeffrey N Weitzel, MD
                                                      Director, Clinical Cancer Genetics, Professor, Director, Cancer Screening & Prevention City of Hope
                                                        Dr. Jeffrey N. Weitzel is Chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics and the Cancer Screening & Prevention Program at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, is Board Certified in clinical genetics and medical oncology, and is a Professor of Oncology and Population Sciences at the City of Hope and a Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. At the vanguard of personalized medicine, Dr. Weitzels multidisciplinary clinical, research, and training programs emphasize translational research in genetic cancer risk assessment, chemoprevention, targeted therapy, clinical and psychosocial outcomes, genetic epidemiology and health services research in underserved minorities, and hereditary cancer in Latin America. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Genetics/Familial Risk Assessment practice guidelines committee. Dr. Weitzel is the principal investigator for the City of Hope Cancer Genetics Education Program and for the Clinical Cancer Genetics Community Research Network, which are funded by the National Cancer Institute.
                                                      • Francis S Collins, M.D., Ph.D
                                                        Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

                                                          Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. On June 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his selection of Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.

                                                          Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008.

                                                          Before coming to NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.

                                                        • Mogomotsi Matshaba
                                                          Principal Investigator for Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN) Group is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Retrovirology, Baylor College of Medicine, and Executive Direct

                                                            Dr. Mogomotsi Matshaba, Principal Investigator for Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN) Group is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Retrovirology, Baylor College of Medicine, and Executive Director- Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence. He is a medical graduate of University College of Dublin, Ireland. He worked as a medical officer in Botswana from 2005-2008, during which time he spent one year as a physician-in-training at the Botswana-Baylor Clinic and subsequently completed his residency training in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas. From 2011 to 2014 he was the Associate Director- Training and Clinical Services at the Botswana- Baylor Clinic in Gaborone Botswana. In 2014 he moved to Swaziland Centre of Excellence as the Interim Executive Director. He continues to be active in the clinical, research, training and administrative capacities at the COE. He sits in several Ministry of Health Committees as the pediatric expert; Botswana National HIV Guidelines Committee, TB/ HIV Integration Technical Working Group, Drug Forecasting and Purchasing Committee, TB/HIV Drug Resistance Technical Working Group, Adolescent HIV Guidelines Committee. Internationally he is a member of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, serves in the Adolescent HIV Prevention and Treatment Implementation Science Alliance (AHISA) at the Forgaty Institute, NIH and member of the Child Survival TWG, Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT), UNICEF.


                                                          • Jeremy Farrar
                                                            Director of the Wellcome Trust

                                                              Jeremy Farrar is Director of the Wellcome Trust - a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation that exists to improve health by helping big ideas to thrive. Jeremy is a clinician scientist who before joining Wellcome was, for eighteen years, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Viet Nam, where his research interests were in infectious diseases and global health with a focus on emerging infections, he has published almost 600 articles. He was named 12th in the Fortune list of 50 World’s Greatest Leaders in 2015 and was awarded the Memorial Medal and Ho Chi Minh City Medal from the Government of Viet Nam. In 2018 he was awarded the President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian of the Year Award.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK, the National Academies USA, the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of The Royal Society.  Jeremy was knighted in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours for services to Global Health.

                                                            • Aython Meintjies
                                                              Bioinformatics Software Engineer at CBIO

                                                                Ayton Meintjes is a Bioinformatics software engineer at CBIO. He completed a BSc in Computer Science at the University of Pretoria, and after a period of development in the commercial field, returned to do a BSc (Hons) with specialisation in Bioinformatics. In 2008, he joined the CBIO Group at UCT and has collaborated on projects mostly focusing on human population genetics and genome wide association studies. He is currently part of the H3ABioNet Central Node, taking active part in the Infrastructure, Research, Node Assessment and User Support groups. His current research interests are in visualisation of complex biological datasets, workflow integration and computational challenges posed by the large databases produced by modern sequencing technologies

                                                              • Emma Wiener, BSc Hons, MBBCh
                                                                PhD Student, University of Witwatersand

                                                                  Emma started her studies at UKZN in 2009 doing a BSc in Biochemistry and Genetics. She then went on to do Honours in Biochemistry at UKZN before moving to Johannesburg to start the Graduate Entry Medical Programme at Wits University in 2013, graduating with her MBBCh in 2016. She started Internship at Tambo Memorial Hospital in 2017, but chose not to complete it, in favour of pursuing research. Emma started a PhD in 2018 as a PhD fellow on the DDD-Africa Project.

                                                                • John Nkengasong
                                                                  Director Africa CDC

                                                                    Dr John Nkengasong was appointed first Director of Africa CDC in November 2016 to provide strategic direction and position it as an African-owned institution supporting countries to improve surveillance, preparedness, response and prevention of disease threats. He is a leading virologist with nearly 30 years of work experience in public health. Prior to his appointment with Africa CDC, he was Associate Director of Laboratory Science and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier in his career (1993 to 1995), Dr Nkengasong worked for the WHO as Chief of Virology at the Collaborating Centre on HIV Diagnostics at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and later joined US CDC in 1995 as Chief of the Virology Laboratory in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Dr Nkengasong has over 120 publications focusing particularly on HIV diagnosis, pathogenesis and drug resistance in internationally revered journals such as The Lancet, Journal of Virology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, and Journal of Clinical Microbiology. He has written multiple book chapters on HIV therapy in resource-constrained settings. Dr Nkengasong has received several awards and recognitions, including the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for Excellence in Public Health Protection Research, multiple Director’s Recognition Awards, and the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for his outstanding work in public health in that country. He has been nominated for the US Agency’s prestigious Shepard Award many times and continues to serve on numerous international advisory boards and journal review panels. He led the processes leading to the establishment of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. Dr Nkengasong holds a master’s degree in tropical biomedical science from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, a master’s degree in medical and pharmaceutical sciences and a doctorate degree in medical sciences (virology) from the University of Brussels School of Medicine, Belgium. He also holds a certificate in management and leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dr Nkengasong speaks fluent English and French.

                                                                  • Mark J Daly, Ph. D.
                                                                    Chief, Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Co-Director, Medical Populations Genetics at the Broad Institute of

                                                                      Mark Daly is the founding Chief of the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit (ATGU) at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School.His research has historically focused on the development and application of statistical methods for the discovery and interpretation of genetic variation responsible for complex human disease and with the creation of the ATGU, he and other core faculty are focused on the interpretation of genome sequence and the use of genome information in clinical settings. Mark is also an Institute Member and Co-Director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute, where he leads many large scale genome sequencing studies in autism and inflammatory bowel disease.While developing computational and statistical methods that can be broadly applied, his group has several primary medical genetics research foci.He has extensive research program in neuropsychiatric genetics – particularly in autism, schizophrenia and ADHD – and has led large-scale GWAS and exome sequencing efforts in this area.His lab serves as the analytic hub for the Psychiatric GWAS Consortium, and international consortium leading the largest collaborative GWAS studies in 5 major psychiatric disorders.He also has a longstanding effort in the mapping of genes for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis where he helped found and lead an international effort that has identified more than 150 genetic risk factors and, in collaboration with Dr. Ramnik Xavier’s group, pursues the functional interpretation and clinical ramifications of these continued gene discovery efforts.Mark was appointed Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki in February of 2018, He maintains his lab and affiliations in Boston.FIMM is a translational research institute with a focus on cancer, digital diagnostics,genetics and epidemiology is the home of landmark efforts such as the FinnGenn project.

                                                                    • Gavin Churchyard, MBBCh, FCP (SA), MMed, PhD


                                                                        Prof Churchyard is the Chair of the WHO/TDR Disease Reference Group for TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer (2009-2012) and a member of the WHO Stop TB Research movement, both of which set global research priorities for TB. He is also the Chair of the WHO Task Force for developing policy for new TB drugs, a member of the WHO Strategic Technical Advisory Group for TB that advises WHO on policy for TB, a member of the WHO expert committees for TB preventive therapy and TB screening and a member of the WHO Working Groups for TB/HIV, MDR-TB and infection control.

                                                                        He is the co-Chair of the NIH HIV Vaccine Trials Network-TB vaccine working group, Vice Chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Transformative Science Group for TB, Co-Chair of a Fogarty Global Infectious Disease training grant for MDR-TB. He is the principal investigator on a number of TB trials being conducted in South Africa. He has contributed to industry, national and international guidelines for TB and HIV, and has published widely in the areas of TB and HIV treatment and prevention.

                                                                      • Heidi Rhem, PhD
                                                                        Chief Genomics Officer at Massachusetts General Hospital; Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School; Clinical Lab Medical Director at the Broad Institute

                                                                          Heidi Rehm is the Chief Genomics Officer in the Department of Medicine and at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital working to integrate genomics into medical practice with standardized approaches. She is a board-certified laboratory geneticist, Medical Director of the Broad Institute Clinical Research Sequencing Platform and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, using these roles to guide genomic testing for clinical and clinical research use. She is a leader in defining standards for the interpretation of sequence variants and a principal investigator of ClinGen, providing free and publicly accessible resources to support the interpretation of genes and variants. Rehm also co-leads the Broad Center for Mendelian Genomics with Anne O’Donnell-Luria focused on discovering novel rare disease genes and co-leads the Matchmaker Exchange to aid in gene discovery. She is a strong advocate and pioneer of open science and data sharing, working to extend these approaches through her role as vice chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. Rehm is also a principal investigator of the Broad-LMM-Color All of Us Genome Center supporting the sequencing and return of results to a cohort of one million individuals in the US and co-leading gnomAD, the Genome Aggregation Database. More information about her work can be found at

                                                                          Rehm received her bachelor's degree from Middlebury College in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She completed her PhD in Genetics at Harvard University studying the genetic and pathological basis of Norrie Disease, a deaf-blindness syndrome, and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, expanding her studies into the genetic basis of hearing loss.

                                                                        • Melissa Gymrek, PhD
                                                                          Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego

                                                                            I am currently an assistant professor at the University of California San Diego in the Departments of Medicine and Computer Science & Engineering. I received my PhD in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics from the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology under the supervision of Yaniv Erlich and Mark Daly. Prior to my PhD, I received my B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics at MIT. My major research interest is to understand complex genetic variants that underlie phenotypic changes, ultimately leading to human disease. My recent work focuses on repetitive DNA variants known as short tandem repeats (STRs) as a model for complex variation. I develop computational methods for analyzing and visualizing complex variation from large-scale sequencing data. These tools allow us for the first time to answer many questions regarding STRs and other variant types, including their contribution to complex human phenotypes.

                                                                          • Julie Makani
                                                                            Senior Lecturer and Specialist Physician, Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

                                                                              Julie Makani is a senior lecturer and specialist physician in the Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. She also holds an appointment as a Clinical Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

                                                                              Tanzania has recognised sickle cell disease (SCD), as a major public health problem that has been neglected. Due to its molecular basis, SCD presents great opportunities for integrating clinical, epidemiological, patho-physiological and genetic research to test the paradigm of translation of research in genomic medicine into improvement in health and advancement of scientific knowledge.

                                                                              Muhimbili is the main clinical, academic and research centre in Tanzania. In collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, Muhimbili has developed a systematic framework for comprehensive research and care, with prospective surveillance of over 2,000 SCD individuals, making it one of the largest single-centre SCD cohorts in the world with detailed phenotypic data. SCD also confers protection against malaria and Muhimbili is a collaborative site for Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN). The SCD programme is integrated into health care provision with development of evidence-based policies to improve practise and the health of affected individuals.

                                                                              SCD could be used as a model to establish scientific and technological solutions in Africa that are locally relevant as well as having global significance. Achieving success in SCD will illustrate that with effective global partnerships, significant advances in biomedical science and health can be achieved. 

                                                                            • Ibrahim Guindo
                                                                              Faculty of medicine and dentistry of Mali

                                                                                My name is Ibrahim Guindo, I'm running my internship at the Neurogenetics lab from the University of sciences techniques and technologies of Bamako. My work is focused on the clinical and genetic aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

                                                                              • Henrick Aduda
                                                                                MSc fellow

                                                                                  Henrick Aduda has a BSc. Biotechnology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He has worked for the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services. Currently, Henrick is a MSc scholar under the Eastern African Network for Bioinformatics Training fellowship. He has well-developed research skills including the ability to extract and analyze relevant data as well as exceptional organizational and communication skills. His Masters research is focused on characterizing recent viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Uganda using sequence data. Henrick has an avid interest in phylogenetics, big data, next generation sequence analysis as well as utilizing machine learning & artificial intelligence algorithms in solving biological problems. In Future, Henrick hopes to leverage his Bioinformatics knowledge researching infectious diseases in Africa, with a fine focus on emerging and re-emerging viruses in East and Central Africa.

                                                                                • Martha Luka
                                                                                  MSc fellow

                                                                                    Martha is an EANBiT MSc Bioinformatics fellow registered at Pwani University and currently undertaking her project at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. She holds a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi and a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Health Research Methods from Pwani University. As a PGD fellow, she worked on the molecular characterization of human rhinovirus among school-going children. For her master’s research project, she aims to elucidate the transmission pathways of human rhinovirus across different social scales using whole-genome sequence data. The successful completion of this project will inform public health policies on the management of outbreaks of human rhinovirus and other respiratory viruses. Her research interests are in virology, genetics and genomics and data visualization.

                                                                                  • Tafadzwa Machipisa
                                                                                    RHDGen Fellow

                                                                                      Tafadzwa Machipisa is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently a visiting student at the Population Health Research Unit (PHRI) at McMaster University, Canada. Tafadzwa joined the Mayosi research group in 2015 and initially, worked on her master's project looking at cardiomyopathies in Afrikaner families, whilst also doing the wet lab part of RHDGen. Tafadzwa's PhD project work entails deciphering the genetics of rheumatic heart disease; using bioinformatics, genetic epidemiology, and statistical genetics methods such as the GWAS. She is currently supervised by Professors : Mark Engel, Guillaume Pare, and Bernard Keavney.

                                                                                    • Alaine Marsden
                                                                                      Masters Student

                                                                                        After graduating with Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of the Witwatersrand I went on to do my honours with the Antibody Immunity Research Unit. I completed a project using sanger sequencing to examine IGHV genes in a population of women from rural and urban KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. I stayed in the AIRU to do my masters which is an expansion of this work using NGS and novel genomic methods. This is close to completion and I will be started my PhD next year at the AIRU.

                                                                                      • Lakshmi Y Sujeeun
                                                                                        PhD student

                                                                                          Lakshmi Sujeeun is a first year MPhil/Phd student at the Center for Biomaterials and Biomedical Research (CBBR) at the University of Mauritius. Her research focuses on machine learning for predictive modeling applied to skin and bone tissue engineering data. She uses experimental data from 2D and 3D nano-scaffolds to model the interplay between physico-chemical parameters and biological properties in order to guide and optimize the design and performance of new scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. She has a BSc in Biology of Organisms and Populations and MSc in Life Sciences from the University of La Reunion. She has worked as Research Assistant in several bioinformatics projects including data analysis in pan-genomics, health informatics, machine learning and deep learning.

                                                                                        • Abdoulaye Yalcouyé
                                                                                          Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Mali

                                                                                            My name is Abdoulaye Yalcouyé, medical doctor graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, USTTB, Mali. My works focused on the clinical and genetic aspects of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 and this study led to discovering novel genetic variant. Manuscript reporting that has een published in international Journal. I am actually enrolled in a PhD program at the university of Cape Town working on the genetics of non-syndroming hearng impairment in Mali.    

                                                                                          • Magambo Phillip Kimuda, PhD
                                                                                            Postdoctoral fellow

                                                                                              Magambo Phillip Kimuda has a PHD in Bioinformatics from Rhodes University, South Africa. His background was originally in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. His current research work is centered around determining genetic markers of disease susceptibility/resistance for Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT). He is extremely passionate about elimination of neglected tropical diseases. His interests include genetics, community engagement, ethics, computational chemistry, programming, genetics and anime.

                                                                                            • Olufemi Aromolaran
                                                                                              Ph.D. Scholar

                                                                                                Olufemi Aromolaran was born in Lagos Nigeria, in 1985. He received the B.Sc degree in Computer science from the Lagos State University, Lagos in 2012 and M.Sc degree in Computer science from Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria in 2017. He is currently on his Ph.D in Computer science at Covenant University sponsored by the DFG scholarship.
                                                                                                In 2017, he joined Covenant University Bioinformatics Research group (CUBRe) as a Research Assistant. His current research interests include Machine learning, genomics and cloud computing. He is a member of Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomic Network. His hobbies are implementing algorithms, football, listening to music, traveling and making new friends.

                                                                                              • Caleb Kibet, PhD
                                                                                                Mozilla Science Fellow

                                                                                                  With a PhD in Bioinformatics from Rhodes University, South Africa, Caleb Kibet is a bioinformatics researcher, a lecturer, an open science advocate, and a mentor. Caleb is currently a bioinformatician at icipe, a Mozilla Open Science Fellow, and teaches bioinformatics at Pwani University. His research interests are in regulatory genomics, where he uses machine learning and statistical modelling to understand and predict transcription factor binding sites, and its link to diseases. Caleb is also a founder of OpenScienceKE, an initiative that promotes open, reproducible and collaborative approaches to bioinformatics researchers in Kenya. He builds Bioinformatics capacity, as part of H3ABioNet and EANBiT networks.

                                                                                                • Joseph Mulama


                                                                                                    Mining next-generation genome sequencing data for genetic diversity assessment of eastern Africa finger millet blast fungus.

                                                                                                  • Elissa Prichep
                                                                                                    Project Lead Precision Medicine, World Economic Forum

                                                                                                      Elissa spent the past 12 years launching specialty therapeutics and initiatives in the bio-pharmaceutical industry and developing economic policy in the public sector. She most recently lead patient strategy and digital innovation for biosimilar immunology products at Merck, brought their ground-breaking immunotherapy cancer treatment to market and developed their first 24/7 patient support program. Elissa earned her MBA as a Woodruff Fellow at Emory University and her B.A. from Cornell University.


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