Crick Africa Network alumni

The first phase of the Crick Africa Network supported 18 Career Accelerator Fellows across five African partner institutions.


Emmanuel Amlabu

Emmanuel Amlabu

Emmanuel now has a tenured faculty appointment at the Prince Abubakar Audu University, Nigeria.

He has also been awarded an ARISE Fellowship from the African Academy of Sciences for his project ‘Development of novel antimalarial therapeutics targeting Plasmodium falciparum Lipid-binding proteins’.
"The CAN Fellowship has certainly enabled me to progress my career through training in cutting-edge research approaches and the use of state-of-the-art equipment located at the Crick’s science technology platforms.
"The provision of an inverted Nikon eclipse TE2000-U imaging microscope to my laboratory has facilitated capacity building and training in bioimaging research, which university staff members, interns, undergraduate and postgraduate students have found very useful."

Irene Andia-Biraro in the lab

Irene Andia-Biraro

Irene, an infectious diseases physician, is now an associate professor at Makerere University, Uganda.

She is the director of her research group (The TAC Research Consortium), which is currently managing a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of tuberculosis chemoprophylaxis among diabetes mellitus patients with latent tuberculosis infection and a second grant investigating halting tuberculosis among exposed household contacts.

The group has obtained over 17 publications in the past two years and currently has two PhD and six master's student trainees. 

"The CAN fellowship contributed to my promotion to the post of associate professor at Makerere University. The mentorship I obtained during the fellowship has continued to inspire me to pursue my transition into a senior research leader."

Dr Yaw Aniweh

Yaw Aniweh

Yaw is now the head of technology platforms at WACCBIP, University of Ghana where, inspired by the Crick’s STPs, he aims to establish well-resourced core facilities.

"The CAN fellowship enabled me to fortify the collaborations that I had earlier initiated with the Blackman group while offering me the chance to meet new investigators at the Crick. The fellowship funding allowed me to charter this course which otherwise would have been difficult to secure funding."

Benoit Assogba

Benoit Assogba

Benoit is now head of molecular biology at the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM.

"The CAN fellowship gave me the opportunity to develop new skills in proteomic DNA engineering applied to mosquitos which is essential for me to develop a research niche to find innovative tools for controlling mosquito-borne diseases. I plan to use this rare skill and apply it to the study of mosquitos on the African continent."

Dr Aida Badiane, CAN fellow

Aida Sadikh Badiane

Aida is now chief of the Parasitology and Mycology laboratory at Dalal Jamm Hospital and is deputy director of the Centre International de Recherche & de Formation en Génomique Appliquée et de Surveillance Sanitaire (CIGASS) at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal.

"The CAN fellowship enabled me to become a full professor in July 2022 thanks to my research, as well as my supervision of master's and PhD students."

Yaw Bediako

Yaw Bediako

Yaw founded Yemaachi, a biotech company based in Accra, Ghana.

Yemaachi is focused on investigating the molecular and immunological basis of cancer among people of African descent to discover novel biomarkers and drug targets for the treatment of cancer.

"The CAN fellowship is one of the very few initiatives that provide support for African researchers during the critical transition from postdoc to independent researcher.

Having this support at such a defining point in my career allowed me the freedom to relocate back to Ghana and has served as a catalyst for my continued development as a research leader."

Caroline Beltran

Caroline Beltran

Caroline is now a specialist senior scientist at Synexa Life Sciences, a South African-based bioanalytical company that specialises in biomarker discovery and development.

Her focus area is to develop patient-derived 3D organoids for personalised drug testing for diseases such as cancer, COPD and Crohn’s disease.

"My involvement in the CAN Fellowship programme played a vital role in progressing my career and enabled me to become an expert in 3D imaging technologies. Through showcasing my research, I have been approached by several independent research groups to build collaborations to utilise the techniques and methods I have developed beyond strict TB research."

Kanny Diallo

Kanny Diallo

Kanny is an associate researcher in the Environment and Health Research group and head of the Project Support Unit at Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS) in Côte d’Ivoire.

She is also the director of francophone Africa of Yemaachi, a Ghanaian biotech company founded by fellow CAN alumni Yaw Bediako, working predominately to develop the business in francophone countries of West Africa starting with Senegal and Côte D’Ivoire.

"The CAN fellowship allowed me to progress in my career providing me with stability and enabling me to establish a small research group. I now have more legitimacy as a researcher in Côte d’Ivoire and have been able to build a network of colleagues in Africa and in the UK."

Brigitte Glanzmann

Brigitte Glanzmann

Brigitte is now working at the South African Medical Research Council’s Genomics Centre as a specialist scientist and bioinformatician, where she can continue her paediatric tuberculosis research and train the next generation of bioinformaticians. 

"African researchers often run the risk of becoming 'sample collectors' in a project but the CAN fellowship allowed me to gain independence in my research field. It provided the platform to slowly start transitioning from a postdoctoral fellow into an early career scientist by providing funding and a safety net which allowed for growth and development."

Omar Janha

Omar Janha

Omar is now a senior postdoctoral research associate at the University of Glasgow whilst supporting work ongoing in the Tobin lab aiding postgraduate students and early postdocs. 

"The CAN fellowship allowed me to grow over the past two years. It has improved my self-confidence and helped me realise potential I had previously shied away from.

During my period at the Crick with the Treeck lab, I acquired new and essential laboratory skills in molecular parasitology and project management skills. These useful tools will help me to advance my career."

Simon Kimuda

Simon Kimuda

Simon is now a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Infectious Diseases at King’s College London where he plans to identify, isolate, and characterise protective antibodies against hantaviruses from exposed human participants. 

"The CAN fellowship has greatly advanced my career. I was able to develop and answer a unique research question leveraging the wealth of epidemiological data and sample archives from longitudinal research study cohorts at the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Unit in Uganda. My stay at partner institutions exposed me to new technologies and innovative ways of thinking which have influenced my future work."

Dr Mandy Mason

Mandy Mason

Mandy is now a research officer at the Medical Microbiology Research Unit (MMRU) at the University of Cape Town supporting research investigating components of the mycobacterial cell envelope that may play a role in mitigating drug efficacy.

"The experience of having my own research program funding as a CAN Fellow has been transformative. It not only allowed me to ‘learn by doing’ in a safe and supported framework, but critically, it reinforced my desire to continue this trajectory.

By allowing me to control and be responsible for the organisation of my research program at multiple levels, I was able to develop critical skills not only in performing and communicating research but also in research management and collaborations."

Dr Alassane Mbengue

Alassane Mbengue

Alassane is now a research fellow at Institut Pasteur Dakar, Senegal where he leads the antimalarial resistance team.

In vivo and ex vivo experiments have been conducted in collaboration with the West African Centre for the Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana in the highly malaria endemic region of Kedougou, Senegal. Preliminary data analysis indicates that Artemisinin resistance remains a serious threat in West Africa.

"The CAN fellowship enabled me to not only develop my research activities in the field but also to implement a malaria culture system in Senegal. The resulting collaboration between IPD and WACCBIP is working well, and we have been able to generate knowledge about antimalarial resistance."

He has produced a short film detailing his research that was funded by CAN.

Isaac Dark Otchere

Isaac Darko Otchere

Isaac is now a senior research fellow at the Bacteriology Department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana where he is looking to establish his own lab as an independent research lead.

Isaac is also in conversations with fellow CAN alumni, Mandy Mason to work on a joint multi-country tuberculosis (TB) study in South Africa and Ghana.

"Through the CAN fellowship, I have had the opportunity to test some hypotheses that arose from my PhD work which has opened the way for me to carve a niche for myself within the TB research group at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana.

I have had the opportunity to meet and establish research collaborations with top scientists in the field, as well as fellow young African scientists, which will help me going forward. I am a better scientist today due to CAN."

Suraj Parihar

Suraj Parihar

Suraj is now an associate professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa leading a research program focusing on the immunology and immunometabolism in infectious diseases. 

"The CAN fellowship enabled me to establish a research program and assemble a team of talented researchers. During my CAN fellowship, I established independent collaborations and networks within Africa and the UK through the Annual Meetings and my visit to the Crick. This fellowship also allowed me to drive independent research distinct from my mentors and receive independent research grants while maintaining long-term collaborations”.

Peter Quashie

Peter Quashie

Peter is now the deputy director of research at WACCBIP, University of Ghana.

"The leadership training that I benefited from early on in my CAN Fellowship was instrumental in helping me plan my career, supervise students and staff, and apply for grants.

By allowing flexibility to pursue COVID-19 research when other research had stalled, CAN allowed me to shine and become known as a scientist repute, beyond HIV. As a result, I drove a lot of centre-level COVID-19 projects and helped obtain over $3 million in funding to WACCBIP."

Ursula Rohlwink

Ursula Rohlwink

Ursula is now a Wellcome International Intermediate Fellow at the Paediatric Neurosurgery research enterprise, the African Brain Child Initiative at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

She is working on expanding their postgraduate student intake, building their research capacity through the development of a new laboratory, and developing their public health reach.

"During the time of my CAN fellowship, I was able to apply for and secure a Wellcome International Intermediate Fellowship which will support me and my research for five years. This fellowship involves collaborative work with the Crick, and I am delighted to maintain my visiting scientist status for the next five years. The CAN Fellowship has undoubtedly been a tremendous and deeply appreciated stepping stone for me to advance my career."

Kate Webb

Kate Webb

Kate is now head of paediatric rheumatology at the Red Cross Hospital and the University of Cape Town, a clinical and research role, which allows her to continue with her lupus research.

"The CAN fellowship has been invaluable to my career as a South African clinician researcher. Without it, I would have had to stay abroad to perform my research or give it up to return to South Africa.

I have used the fellowship to collect extremely rare and valuable samples and data in a neglected field, leveraged it to get local funding, published high-impact papers and set up a laboratory research group, while establishing myself as a clinical and research leader."