Center Title and Acronym: African Centre of Excellence For Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology (ACENTDFB)

Host University and Country: Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, NIGERIA

Center Website Address:

Center Director and email address: Prof A.J. Nok,


Primary Thematic Discipline of Center: Health


Brief Description of Center: The Centre which is anchored in the Centre for Biotechnology Research and Training (for the research and capacity training) and the Department of Biochemistry of the University (for the award of the degrees and certificates), has five other departments in the University involved – Zoology, Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Pathology, Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, and Veterinary Public Health & Preventive Medicine. Its postgraduate degree programmes (MSc and PhD Biotechnology and Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Biotechnology) were approved on 24th April, 2014 at the 461st Senate Meeting of the University. Its research focus is on neglected tropical diseases, principally, trypanosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and rabies.


Key Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

Key Objectives

  • Develop and conduct short term trainings on molecular diagnostics to medical laboratory technologists in the area of diagnosis, management and prevention of NTDs
  • Build human capacity in the area of forensic science required in criminal investigation and forensic analysis
  • Develop graduate curriculum for and mounting of MSc and PhD Biotechnology programmes with exceptional bias to regional needs
  • Provide support service for reference hospitals for diagnosis
  • Provide baseline data on the epidemiological status of neglected tropical diseases prevalent in the study región
  • Develop and produce vaccines for prevention of neglected tropical diseases
  • Conduct joint research regional training to build competence in development, planning and performing research projects, with applied biotechnology as major focus
  • Capacity building in networking and grant applications

Expected Outcomes

  • Availability of skilled manpower in management and control of NTD
  • Availability of Database on the distribution of NTD in the region
  • Developed diagnostic tools for the three NTDs
  • Availability of vaccine development facility for NTDs
  • Availability of capacity in forensic biotechnology


Major Accomplishments to Date:

  • Establishment of MSc and PhD Biotechnology and Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic biotechnology degree programmes in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, the latter being the only such programme in West Africa
  • Establishment of a consortium of academic and research institutions and research experts drawn from several parts of the World with towards resolving problems of neglected tropical diseases
  • Training of over a hundred middle level manpower in the art of diagnosis of neglected tropical diseases in the West and Central African region
  • Establishment of core and specialized biotechnology research facility.


Primary Regional and Global Partners:

Primary Partners

  • Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis and Onchocerciasis Research, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

Regional Partners

  • University of Ngaundaure, Ngaundaure, Cameroon
  • Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Cameroon
  • University of Western Cape, South Africa
  • Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
  • Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

Global Partners

  • Department of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Kuvin Medical Centre of Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, USA)
  • Institute for Tropical Medicine, University of Nagasaki, Japan


Senior Faculty Email Address Research Area
Prof Junaid Kabir Molecular Epidemiology
Prof YKE Ibrahim Epidemiology and Drug Development
Prof JKP Kwaga Rabies
Prof I.S. Ndams Filariasis
Prof Mamman Mohammed Trypanosomiasis & Drug research