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The Office for Research Support (ORS) in collaboration with Yale Office of Sponsored Research was awarded a grant by NIH for a project titled “Capacity Building for Enhanced Research Administration (CaBERA) at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research” for capacity building of the ORS and establishing an office of sponsored research in two identified universities in Ghana. 

One of the aims of the project is to train the NMIMR Research Faculty using customized modules relevant to the Institute’s research environment.

 In view of this a Research Management Training Workshop was held at the Institute for research and administrative assistants on the 12th and 13th of September 2017.

The Director, Prof. Kwabena Mante Bosompem, in his welcome address mentioned that a training like this, was essential in enhancing the research knowledge of NMIMR staff who are the driving force of the Institute.

Prof. Kwabena Mante Bosompem- Director, NMIMR

The Coordinator of the ORS, Nana Oye Aniapam in her presentation informed participants of the responsibilities of the ORS to provide pre and post award administrative services for sponsored projects as well as to help ensure the overall effective coordination of research administration service, system, policies and processes. “Over the past twelve years since the office was established, it had grown to become a full fleshed unit with affable and hardworking staff, who see to the effective running of the office”. Ms. Aniapam said the unit’s challenges were inadequate institutionalized professional development in research administration, and lack of a Faculty reviewing unit to critical review proposals before submission. Delving further into its financial challenges, she made appealed to the accounts section to initiate a process that would ease access of funds to Principal investigators (PI) to make research work more effective.

She again mentioned that, NMIMR has made certain significant hallmarks in maintaining a high class that sought to compete with other grant award winning institutions and is currently working around five million dollars’ worth projects.

Nana Oye Aniapam, ORS Coordinator/Research Administrator

Miss Griselda Annan, a from ORS presented on the relevance of communication as a leadership and management tool which is very critical in research management. She said “communication is the project manager’s briefcase and the tool used to generate and reduce conflict”.

Ms.Griselda Annan, Research Administrator

A presentation was also made on identifying grant opportunities by Ms. Isabella Rockson, from the college of health sciences. She enlightened participants on how to find, submit and track grant. Some of the grant opportunities can be found on the NIH website, Grants.gov. and status of submissions checked on eRA commons. She also mentioned the various budget categories essential in submitting a grant.

Ms. Isabella Rockson, Research Administrator
Financial management which forms part of the post award administration was handled by Mr. Adams Kpebu from the Accounts office. He mentioned the different departments in the office and the specific roles they play. The processes for creating project accounts, requesting for funds and retiring of imprest were not left out.
Director with Facilitators of the Workshop

The workshop came to an end with the Director urging the administrative and the research assistants present to help build a research network at their various departments. Whilst applauding the seriousness shown by participants to the training, he also urged them to apply the skills acquired for building an Institutional work excellence.

Certificates were awarded to participants to climax the event.

                                   
Prof. Bosompem awarding a certificate to a participant                                                                     A section of participants at the workshop

Professor (Mrs). Regina Appiah-Opong

The Management and staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) wish to congratulate Professor (Mrs.) Regina Appiah-Opong on her new appointment as an Associate Professor of toxicology in the Institute.

Professor Appiah-Opong has devoted much of her working life to biomedical research, mostly at NMIMR. She is a Toxicologist at the Department of Clinical Pathology, Head of the Department and until her promotion, a Senior Research fellow. Her PhD studies were focused on pharmacokinetic drug interactions mediated by cytochrome P450 and glutathione s-transferases drug metabolizing enzymes.

Her research interests include Toxicology/Pharmacology, Drug discovery – Anticancer, antimalarial, Drug-drug/drug-herb/drug-food interactions and Environmental contaminants – Heavy metals, aflatoxins

In 2001, she undertook further training in molecular biology techniques at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NIID), Tokyo, Japan and during this time contributed significantly to the construction of a DNA cassette vector that was useful for drug susceptibility testing of anti-HIV drugs.

Professor Appiah-Opong is also a part-time lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana and the Principal Investigator on the University’s Research grant funded project that is conducting onshore assessment of the Jubilee oil field in the Western region of Ghana. She has been involved in projects in the area of drug discovery, evaluating the efficacy and safety of drug candidates and medicinal plants and environmental contaminants, particularly heavy metals and aflatoxins. She has been Principal investigator or co-investigator for several projects and has other funded studies currently ongoing.

Professor Appiah-Opong is collaborating with University of Washington, Bothell (where she is also an adjunct lecturer), in research on genes of cytochrome P450 drug metabolising enzymes to identify differences in SNPs between Caucasian and African ethnicities, particularly Ghanaians. The result of this study may provide a foundation for altering approaches to drug approval in Ghana and other regions of the world. She was a collaborator on the JICA/JST/Nagasaki International University/Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine/NMIMR research project that investigated anti-HIV and anti-trypanosomiasis compounds in Ghanaian medicinal plants. She is also collaborating with the Pharmacology Department of Yale University Medical School on chemical and biological fingerprinting of some Ghanaian medicinal plants. She is a member of a multidisciplinary team that is investigating the efficacy of Ghanaian medicinal plants used by Traditional Medicine Practitioners to manage cancer. Currently, she is collaborating with Department of Chemistry to study the antitumor, anticancer and monoamine oxidase inhibitory potentials of isoflavones from the Millettia thonningii plants and their synthetic derivatives.

She has supervised research projects of Postdoctoral fellows (5), PhD (1), MPhil (23) and BSc (33) students in the University of Ghana and other Universities. She has also published extensively in her field of study.

The staff of  NMIMR  applauds you on this remarkable achievement and wishes you well  in  academia and all that you do.

 

Group photograph of the Director, Professor Mante Bosompem and the KOICA Team

The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on Wednesday, 23rd August 2017 called on the Director of the Institute. The meeting discussed possible opportunities for collaboration and was also aimed at strengthening Influenza and Malaria surveillance at the Ghana Health Service with the support of the NMIMR. KOICA is an aid implementing agency of the Republic of Korea and starting in 2018, wish to contribute to the strengthening of Ghana's emergency response preparedness through Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Project on two main areas: workforce development and laboratory strengthening.
The team’s visit which was facilitated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)  led by Maki Ozawa, had a fruitful discussion and hoped that a stronger partnership will be built between the two Institutions.


Members Present included;
•Sun Kyung Park KOICA, Assistant Manager, West Africa Department.
•Prof. Jacob Lee, Division of Infectious Disease, Kangnam sacred Heart Hospital Hallym University Medical Centre.
•Dr. Kim Yeon-Hee, Staff scientist, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
•Yoomi Noh, EIS Officer, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Risk Assessment and International Cooperation.
•Diah Ayu Istiqomah, Assistant Manager, Programming & Coordination (Health), KOICA Ghana Office

The University Council at its meeting held on 10th August, 2017  approved  Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem as the New Director for the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research per  recommendation  by the Appointment Board.

Professor Bosompem assumed office as the new director of the Institute on 15th August, 2017. He took over the administration of the Institute from Professor Kwadwo Ansah Koram.

The Management and staff of the Institute welcome and congratulate Professor Bosompem as he takes up this great task. We also say a big Ayekoo to Professor Koram for his excellent leadership over the years.

Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem

The PHARMANOVA Limited in association with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited, India organized a snakebite management symposium at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Friday 14th July, 2017.

A section of participants at the symposium

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Professor Kwadwo Koram welcomed the delegates and emphasized on the need for the country to produce its own anti-snake venom and added NMIMR has the required facility and will need only funds to do that. Prof. Koram said it was time for Ghana to move from managing snake bites  with imported anti-snake venoms to researching into the  right anti-snake venoms suitable for Ghana.

Professor Kwadwo Koram

Professor Kwabena Bosompem the Head of Department of Parasitology and the Coordinator for the Snakebite Management Study gave brief, detailed information on the geographical location of Ghana and the distribution of different species of snakes in Ghana. Prof. Bosompem further bemoaned the dangers people face in dealing with snakebites and snake control in the country as a whole and called for a broader stake holder’s forum and the need to build the needed skills to tackle the situation first hand. He emphasized why Ghana needs partnership with PHARMANOVA Limited in association with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited to manage snakebite in Ghana. He again expressed his gratitude to Dr. Irene Ayi, Dr. William Anyan and Dr. Daniel Boamah for their tireless efforts in helping to organize the symposium .

Professor Kwabena Bosompem

 The Director-General of Ghana Health Service Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare reiterated the need for the establishment of snake farms in the country to facilitate research into the production of anti-snake serum. He called for more partners to help in the establishment of anti-snake serum production unit as well as snake farms to help farmers and Ghanaians to ensure snake bite treatment.

Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare

The Director of VINS BIOPRODUCTS Limited Mr. Ajit Nair established the fact that Ghana needs to produce its own anti-snake serum since venom production of the same snake species is also influenced with its geographical location. Mr. Nair stressed that one of the problems most developing countries are dealing with is snakebites and so there is the need to intensify research in snake vaccines. One of the dangers he explained was deformities and death in the worst case and called for a team work approach in managing the menace. He therefore challenged NMIMR and all the Universities in Ghana to study the various snakes in Ghana to help in the production of the anti-snake serums.

                          

Dr. N.Ganpathy(Specialist in clinical toxicology and snake envenomation)                                   Mr. Ajit Nair( front left) and  Mr. Tripathi (right)

Mr. Sualihu I Kunguo-Momori , Head of Pharmacy at the Tamale Central Hospital noted that snake-bites were very rampant in the northern part of the country, especially during the rainy season with about two cases reported weekly . He said early reporting of snakebites at he hospital could prevent death and complications but most people died because they resorted to herbal treatment which was not effective.

He also mentioned that some serums did not work on the victims who presented at hospitals and thus reiterated the need for a local production of anti-snake venom to suit the kind of venom from snakes in Ghana. (Credit Daily Graphic)

Mr. Sualihu I Kunguo-Momori

In his remark the Director of Pharmanova Limited Mr. Dhananjay Tripathi expressed hopes that at the end of the symposium, his company will be able to help manage snakebites in Ghana. He noted the snake bites were often emergency medical situations that required immediate attention but some of the cases were difficult to handle due to lack of appropriate serums. He however assured that his company has developed the world’s most advanced anti-snake venom for primary healthcare use and was introducing it onto the Ghanaian market.

                         

         Dr. Dhananjay Tripathy                                                                                                          Executive staff of Pharmanova Ltd interacting among themselves          

                                                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

                                                                                                                            

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