COBREG Conference 2022 Info

Keynote SpeakersPosted: 24 July, 2022

Prof. George Acquaah-Mensah

Unique aspects of breast cancer in black women

George Acquaah-Mensah is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, USA. A product of Mfantsipim School and the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, he received his Ph.D., Pharmacology /Toxicology, from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2001, Dr. Acquaah-Mensah joined the Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado School of Medicine as a Regular Fellow. There, his research interests continued in Computational Pharmacology (Bio-Ontologies and Machine Learning) and neurotoxicology. He joined his current university as an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the beginning of 2005. He has since risen through the ranks, attaining full professorship eleven years later. George Acquaah-Mensah teaches Pharmacogenomics, Pharmacokinetics, and other elements of Pharmacology. His research work focuses on transcriptional- regulatory and signaling networks in a variety of models of disease and spans neurotoxicology, lung disease, and oncology. He has authored several widely-cited publications. He has, in the past, served as reviewer for the Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Canada, and the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom. He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. He has been an active member of the Society of Toxicology and the Toxicologists of African Origin group. He is also a member of the International Society of Computational Biology, and was founding President of the Ghana BioMedical Convention (now CoBREG).

Dr. Augustina Sylverken

Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Biomedical Research

Augustina Angelina Sylverken is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology at KNUST. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) at KNUST. Augustina holds a master’s and PhD degrees in Clinical Microbiology from KNUST. She had her postdoctoral training at the Department of Virology, University of Bonn Medical Centre and KCCR. Augustina’s research activities focus on the contribution of viruses as a proxy to zoonosis in the area of One Health. In addition, she continues to champion activities related to the transformation of young females in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Augustina has been in large scale multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies with teams of investigators with sponsorship from prestigious funders notably, the German Research Council (DFG), Global Fund, European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Royal Society – UK, and the KNUST Research Fund (KReF). With such funds, she has been a Lead Investigator, Co-investigator or Project Coordinator in executing research activities. She serves on several committees and boards including the National Tuberculosis Control Program Board of Ghana. She has won several awards and is a member of the prestigious Ghana Young Academy. Augustina continues to publish widely and has over 98 publications to her credit in reputable journals.

Dr. Anita Ghansah

From the Genome to Policy: unravelling the importance of Genomics in Public health in Ghana

Dr. Ghansah is a Biochemist working in the field of molecular/genomic epidemiology. She obtained a PhD in genetic epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2009. Dr. Ghansah’s PhD project was based on a severe malaria case-control study conducted in Navrongo (Upper East Region of Ghana). Her thesis began with a careful and systematic analysis of the epidemiological evidence for association with disease resistance, and proceeded to investigate the evidence for recent evolutionary selection. Various aspects of the analysis, and the analytical tools that she developed, have practical relevance to other malaria endemic regions and parasite genetics. In particular, she developed SNP-based methods of defining sickle haemoglobin haplotypes. These provide new insights beyond what is found with conventional methods based on restriction-fragment lengthpolymorphisms, which raise important questions about the validity of current theories about how sickle cell disease has evolved and spread across Africa. During her PhD program she spent time at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (Oxford University) to complement her epidemiology training and through this, Dr. Ghansah gained a very sound academic foundation for a career in genetic/genomic epidemiology.