Center Title and Acronym: West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP)

Host University and Country: University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Center Website Address: www.waccbip.org

Center Director and email address: Prof. Gordon Awandare (gawandare@ug.edu.gh)

Primary Thematic Discipline of Center: Cell and Molecular Biology of Infectious Pathogens

 

Brief Description of Center: The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) was established in 2014 as one of the World Bank’s African Centres of Excellence (ACE).The Centre is led by faculty from the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana. As the designated Centre of Excellence for Cell Biology, WACCBIP’s mandate includes providing Masters, PhD, and targeted short-courses in Cell & Molecular Biology, conduct applied research into biology and pathogenesis of tropical diseases, and increase research output and innovation by enhancing collaboration among biomedical scientists and industry/private sector leaders in the sub-region.  The mission of the Centre is to improve diagnosis, prevention and control of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa by providing advanced level training and research excellence on the cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens.

 

Key Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

  1. Train high level health professionals and biomedical scientists on cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens through MPhil, PhD and Post-doctoral programmes.
  2. Serve as a core facility with state-of-the art biomedical laboratories to support infectious diseases research in the sub-region.
  3. Establish a Biomedical High Performance Computing Unit to provide cluster computing services to promote teaching, research, and dissemination of information among health professionals and academics in the sub-region.
  4. Increase research output and innovation by serving as a focal point for enhancing collaboration among biomedical scientists and biotechnology companies in the sub-region

 

Major Accomplishments to Date: WACCBIP has leverage the ACE funding to secure an additional 7.8M USD from the Wellcome Trust’s Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS) Africa Initiative,  to strengthen its research, expand its regional network beyond West Africa, train postdoctoral fellows and provide additional PhD fellowships.  As part of the ACE project, the Centre designed specialized training programmes in Molecular Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases (MCBI) at the MPhil and PhD levels which were accredited in 2014 by the Ghana National Accreditation Board and received International Advanced Accreditation from the Royal Society of Biology, UK in November 2016. These programmes are the first in Africa to receive such endorsement from the Royal Society. Since 2014, the Centre has recruited 89 Masters students, 50 PhD students, 11 Postdoctoral fellows, and 30 Graduate Interns. WACCBIP has strengthened its research facilities by investing over $3,000,000.00 to procure lab equipment such as a Flow cytometer, Confocal Microscope, Gel imager, Biosafety cabinets, Centrifuges as well as High Performance Computing unit, furniture, and vehicles. To further improve teaching and learning environment at the Centre, a building annex is being constructed to provide additional seminar rooms, lecture rooms, offices, a Bioinformatics lab, a student resource center, and a cold room.

 

Primary Regional and Global Partners: Regional collaborators include Center Suisse de Recherche Scientifique, Cote d’Ivoire, Medical Research Council (MRC) unit, the Gambia, Malaria Research and Training Center, Mali, Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Burkina Faso, Centre MURAZ Research Institute, Burkina Faso, Institute of Child Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya, and University of Cape Town, South Africa. Major international partners include the American Society for Cell Biology, University of Pittsburgh, USA, University of New Mexico, USA, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, University of Oxford, UK, University of Cambridge, UK, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, MalariaGEN Consortium, UK and University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

 

Senior Faculty Email Address Research Area
Prof. Gordon A. Awandare gawandare@ug.edu.gh Malaria parasite biology, immunology and pathogenesis
Prof. Kwadwo Koram KKoram@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Epidemiology of infectious diseases
Dr. Patrick K. Arthur parthur14@gmail.com Chemical biology and proteomics in infectious diseases
Dr. Osbourne Quaye OQuaye@ug.edu.gh Molecular virology
Dr. Lydia Mosi LMosi@ug.edu.gh Microbiology, molecular biology, Mycobacterium ulcerans research
Dr. Theresa Manful Gwira TManful@ug.edu.gh Trypanosomes and Leishmania, molecular biology, bioinformatics
Prof. Laud Okine kennieo1951@yahoo.com Natural products, toxicology
Dr. Augustine Ocloo AOcloo@ug.edu.gh Bioenergetics, protein chemistry
Dr. Jonathan Adjimani jpadjimani@ug.edu.gh Nutritional biochemistry
Dr. Samuel Duodu t_duodu@hotmail.com Environmental microbiology
Dr. Winfred Peck-Dorleku wdorleku@ug.edu.gh Plant biochemistry
Rev. Dr. W. S. K. Gbewonyo wskgbewonyo@ug.edu.gh Natural products
Prof. Neils Ben Quashie Molecular epidemiology of parasitic disease, parasite genetics, parasite biochemistry,  pharmacology of anti-parasitic drugs NQuashie@noguchi.ug.edu.gh
Dr. Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi akusi@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Antibody and T cell immunology
Prof. Michael David Wilson MWilson@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Molecular biology, genetics and population biology
Dr. Anita Ghansah AGhansah@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Genetic epidemiology, malaria parasitology
Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu DYeboah-Manu@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Microbiology
Prof. Daniel A. Boakye DBoakye@noguchi.ug.edu.gh NTDs, diagnostics, vector biology and control, molecular biology, integrated vector management
Dr. Linda Eva Amoah lek.amoah@gmail.com Antimalarial drug resistance, recombinant DNA technology, malaria transmission biology
Dr. Michael Fokuo Ofori MOfori@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Immunology, infectious diseases, malaria, pregnancy associated malaria, vaccine development
Prof. Ben Gyan BGyan@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Vaccine immunology, host-pathogen interaction, malaria pathogenesis
Dr. Nancy Quashie NDuah@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Parasitology, immunology and molecular biology
Prof. William Ampofo WAmpofo@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Surveillance of viral infections
Dr. Evelyn Bonney yayrab@gmail.com HIV drug resistance
Prof. George Armah GArmah1@noguchi.ug.edu.gh Rotavirus and gastroenteritis