After growing up in Ghana, Yaw travelled to the US to study immunology, completing his PhD at Northwestern University, Chicago. Spurred by his desire to return to the African continent, he then became a post-doc at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, studying immunology in cohorts of children in Kenya who had malaria. He then moved to the UK to continue his postdoctoral training in Jean Langhorne’s Lab, whilst continuing to travel to Kenya as part of his research.
As a CAN Fellow, he will study malaria in African children, at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana. He will compare the immunological responses of children in areas of high and low malaria transmission, as it has been observed that people in high transmission areas develop partial immunity to the disease over time. This research could inform future malaria vaccine design.
In addition to his research, Yaw is part of the team leading the African Science Initiative (ASI) – an online networking platform for African scientists that encourages direct interaction. Yaw is passionate about building capacity in Africa, through projects such as ASI and CAN, “but you can’t do that without doing good science.”