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Dr. James A.M. Brandful

Email address:




+233-(0)302 502182



Short Bios /CV

Dr. J.A.M. Brandful is a molecular biologist and immediate past Head of the Department of Virology of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR). He has had extensive training in biosafety and the management of biosafety level 3 (BSL 3) laboratory at National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan, and Hitachi Corporation of Japan.His initial research focused on enterovirus, Coxsackie A24 variant, and its association with Acute Haemorrhagic Conjunctivitis (AHC). He has worked on the molecular epidemiology, phenotypic characterization of HIV and monitoring of drug resistance to ARVs in persons on treatment or naïve for ARVs in Ghana and implications for antiretroviral therapy, human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer in Ghanaian women and some serum biomarkers associated with HIV/AIDS progression.

 Dr.Brandfulhas interest in viral haemorrhagic and emerging diseases, the active surveillance of such diseases and the development of antivirals against such conditions.He is a strong advocate for researching herbal-based products/medicinal plants for the management of HIV/AIDS. Between 1997 and 1999, he coordinated a small clinical trial to evaluate the benefits of a Licorice-based drug to HIV patients in Ghana.

 Currently he collaborates with Japanese scientists and the Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, in the screening of Ghanaian medicinal plants for anti-HIV properties. He has and continues to serve on several committees of NMIMR and the university.

Dr Brandful worked in renowned HIV laboratories in Belgium, Japan, South Africa, Cambridge (UK). His training as a molecular biologist and a virologist cuts across several serological and molecular techniques, thereby enabling him to make significant contribution to the establishment of an HIV Genotyping Laboratory for the monitoring of the emergence of drug resistance in ART patients.

 He has authored, at least 23 original scientific papers, published in reputable journals on HIV, Coxsackie A24 variant and the aetiologic agent of acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis which broke out in Ghana in May 1987. He also contributed to scientific reviews on HIV, a book each on AHC and HIV diagnosis as well as evaluation of HIV laboratory diagnostic kits. He also authored the Guidelines for the operation of Biosafety Level 3 (BSL 3) Laboratories in NMIMR, andGeneral Biosafety Guidelines for NMIMR.  He is a co-author of “Guidelines for the Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV/AIDS Patients in Ghana” and ‘National HIV Drug Resistance Plan for Ghana 2006-2010’ of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Ghana Health Service (GHS) (2007).

He is a Consultant/Advisor to the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana on the establishment of MA/MPhil Programmes in HIV and AIDS Management in the Workplace, an external examiner to School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and a member of an International Consortium of Antivirals for the development of products to manage viral diseases.

Administrative Role:


He was Head of Department of Virology from 2006 to 2011.  During this period he promoted a conducive atmosphere for the conduct of research and laboratory services. Promotion of academic activity was pursued, enabling staff to undergo various internal and external technical trainings. Students of tertiary institutions in Ghana and abroad participated in various exchange programmes including attachments, national service, technical trainings and technology transfer, thesis work and mentoring in line with the overall mandate of NMIMR to provide to students opportunities for higher academic exploits.

 Research Fellows attracted projects to the department, keeping it vibrant and busy. Technical support was provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), WHO, CDC, Naval Medical Research Unit-Detachment 3 (NAMRU-3), Department of Defence, USA, National AIDS Control Programme, Ghana Health Service among others.

 In the period the department was designated as the National Influenza Centre. The department also saw some infrastructural development to increase the number of offices for the staff, especially during the summer holiday period.

Research Interests:

Molecular epidemiology of HIV, HIV drug resistance monitoring in drug-inexperienced and AIDS patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Researching herbal-based products/medicinal plants for the management of HIV/AIDS, Surveillance of viral haemorrhagic diseases,


1)      Integrated human-animal-vector surveillance for endemic and emerging vector-borne and  zoonotic pathogens in targeted high risk populations in Ghana (IHAVS)

2)      Molecular Surveillance of Hepatitis E Virus in Ghana,

3)      Screening of Anti-HIV Compounds in Selected Ghanaian Medicinal Plants


  1.  Nii-Trebi, Nicholas Israel,Brandful, James Ashun Mensah, Ampofo,William KwabenaBillalObengMusah, Barnor, Jacob Samson, Tokunaga, Kenzo. Rapid detection of HIV-1 subtypes in Ghana by heteroduplex mobility assay. Int J Biomedical Science and Engineering. 2014. 2: (4), 33-37.
  2. Rotimi C, Mulder N, Brandful JAM, A Ghansah et al. of H3Africa Consortium*. Enabling African Scientists to Engage Fully in the Genomic Revolution. Science.2014.344: (6190); 1346-1348.
  3.  Jantina de Vries, Akin Abayomi, James Brandful, Katherine Littler, Ebony Madden, Patty Marshall, OdileOuweMissiOukem-Boyer and Janet Seeley as members of the H3Africa Consortium. A perpetual source of DNA or something really different? Ethical issues in the creation of cell lines for African genomics research. Submitted BMC Medical Ethics. 2014: 15:60
  4.  Asmah RH, Boamah I,  Afodzinu M, Brown CA, Brandful J,Adjei DN, Adiku T, Gyasi R, Wiredu EK. Prevalence of Hepatitis D Infection in Patients with Hepatitis B Virus-Related Liver Diseases in Accra, Ghana. West Afr Med J. 2014. .
  5.  Barnor JS, Yamamoto N, Brandful JAM, Ampofo W, Bonney JHK, Bonney E, Odoom JK, Aidoo S, Alale M, Ntim NA, Amoah YO, Ofori SB, Ndzinu J, Aziati ID, Akwei N-A, Nyarko A, Ido E, Ishikawa K, Yamaoka S.Establishment of In-House Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR Assay for HIV-1 Viral Load Measurement: Application to Evaluate Efficacy of ART in Ghanaian Patients in an Urban Setting.J AIDS Clin Res.2014. 5:305. doi: 10.4172/2155-6113.1000305.
  6.  Adjei AA, Brandful J, Lurie M, Lartey M, Krampa F, Flanigan T, Kwara A, Adiku TK, Tettey Y, Gyasi RG. Human Immunodefiency Virus, Syphilis Prevalence and Risk Factors Among Migrant Workers in Ghana.2014. Advances in Infect Dis. DOI: 10, 4236/aid.2014.
  7.  Brandful JAM. A decade of antiretroviral therapy in Ghana: successes, challenges and way forward. Int J of AIDS and Res. 2013, 1:1. (mini review).
  8.  Nii-Trebi NI, Ibe S, Barnor JS, Ishikawa K, Brandful JAM, Ofori SB, Yamaoka S, Ampofo WK, WataruSugiura. HIV-1 Drug-Resistance Surveillance among Treatment-Experienced and -Naïve Patients after the Implementation of Antiretroviral Therapy in Ghana.PLoS One. 2013. 8: 8; e71972
  9.  Bonney EY, Addo NA, Ntim AA, Addo-Yobo F, Bondzie P, Aryee K-E, Barnor J, Brandful J, Bekoe V, Ohene S-A, Ampofo W. Low Level of Transmitted HIV Drug Resistance at Two HIV Care Centres in Ghana: A Threshold Study. Gh Med J. 2013. 47:2; 83-87.
  10.  Brandful JAM,Candotti D, J-P Allain. Genotypic Diversity and Mutation Profile of HIV-1 strains in Antiretroviral Treatment (ART)-naïve Ghanaian Patients and Implications for ART.J AIDS and HIV Res2012; 4 (7): 187-197.

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