Researchers' Database

Researchers from across the University of Cambridge and its affiliated institutes are engaging with the initiatives of the Cambridge-Africa Programme by carrying out collaborative research with African colleagues, and/or mentoring African fellows.

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Dr Annettee Nakimuli, Makerere University and MUII PhD Fellow, and her Cambridge co-supervisor Professor Ashley Moffett, Department of Pathology.




In order to recruit excellent post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students from Africa into Cambridge for training, we have built (and are continuously expanding) a database of current and potential Cambridge collaborators/mentors and their expertise. The >180 Cambridge researchers listed are either already engaging with, or have indicated their interest in being matched to Africans who have similar research interests. Cambridge researchers who would like to get involved do not need to have a pre-prepared project available, or existing African links, in order to be included in the database. If you would like your details to be included, please complete the (short and painless) registration form.

Note to African researchers searching for a Cambridge mentor/collaborator: Please be aware that any enquiries about potential mentorship by, or collaboration with a Cambridge researcher need to be directed to one of the Cambridge-Africa Programme staff in the first instance. They will then put you in touch with the Cambridge researcher if there is an appropriate match in the research interests. Thanks for your cooperation.


Dr Richard Fenner (Water And Sanitation In Developing Countries ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer and Course Director for MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development, Centre for Sustainable Development, Dept of Engineering

Research Interests:

Water and sanitation in developing countries, with specific reference to household water treatment systems and alternative (ecological) sanitation methods. Sustainability assessment of water services and infrastructure in hot climates.

Possible project topics: Any water related project.

Current African links: Contacts with Water Aid, Oxfam, Practical Action, Engineers Without Borders, and CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technologies). Links with University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban and University of Cape Town, South Africa.

(1) Flores A et al. (2009) Selecting Wastewater Systems for Sustainability in Developing Countries. Water Science and Technology, (WST) Vol 60 No 11 pp 2973-2982.

(2) Ngai TKK and Fenner RA (2008) A systems approach to characterise the dissemination process of household water treatment systems in developing countries. IWA World Water Congress Vienna, Austria 8-12 September 2008.

(3) Fenner RA et al. (2007) Process Selection for sanitation systems and wastewater treatment in disaster relief situations. Water and Environment Journal (CIWEM) Volume 21, December 2007, Number 4, pp 252264.

Dr Brian Ferguson (Innate immune responses to virus infection) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
University Lecturer in Innate Immunity, Pathology Department

Research Interests:

We study the innate immune response to virus infection in a wide variety of models with the aim of understanding host and viral factors that influence both the outcome of infection and the development of optimal memory immunity.


Julia Zinngrebe, Eva Rieser, Lucia Taraborrelli, Nieves Peltzer, Torsten Hartwig,Hongwei Ren, View ORCID ProfileIldikó Kovács,Cornelia Endres, Peter Draber, Maurice Darding, Silvia von Karstedt, Johannes Lemke, Balazs Dome,Michael Bergmann, Brian J. Ferguson, Henning Walczak
LUBAC deficiency perturbs TLR3 signaling to cause immunodeficiency and autoinflammation

Hongwei Ren, Brian J. Ferguson, Carlos Maluquer de Motes, Rebecca P. Sumner, Laura E. R Harman, Geoffrey L. Smith
Enhancement of CD8+ T-cell memory by removal of a vaccinia virus nuclear factor-κB inhibitor. Immunology 2015.10.1111/imm.12422

Brian J Ferguson Daniel S Mansur Nicholas E Peters Hongwei Ren Geoffrey L Smith DNA-PK is a DNA sensor for IRF-3-dependent innate immunity. IMMUNOLOGY MICROBIOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE, 2012

Prof Mark Field (Cell Biology of Trypanosomes) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Cell Biology and Parasitology, Dept of Pathology

Research Interests:

The laboratory is interested in the cell biology of trypanosomes, and how this applies to virulence and host pathogen interactions. We have two major areas of interest: biosynthesis and maintenance of the cell surface proteome; and understanding the biology of the nuclear envelope and how this applies to control of gene expression.

Possible project topics: Projects in the areas of defining the functions of proteins involved in surface maintenance and nuclear envelope will be available. These will encompass imaging, reverse genetics, proteomics and bioinformatic strategies.

(1) deGrasse J et al. (2009)

(2) Field MC et al. (2009) 'Macromolecular trafficking and immune evasion in African trypanosomes.' International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 278 1

(3) Chung W-L et al (2008)

Prof Rob Foley (Human Evolution And Adaptation In Africa) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Human Evolution, Head of Dept of Biological Anthropology and Co-Director of Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies

Research Interests:

Human evolution and adaptation in Africa.

Current African links: Kenya, with the Turkana Basin Institute, the National Museums of Kenya, and The British Institute in Eastern Africa.

Prof Robin Franklin (Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Neuroscience, Dept of Veterinary Medicine and MRC Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Brain Repair Centre

Research Interests:

Stem cells and regenerative medicine. Biology of stem cell-mediated regenerative processes in CNS and especially oligodendrocyte regeneration. and and

(1) Fancy SP et al. (2009), Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway inhibits timely myelination and remyelination in the mammalian CNS. Genes & Development 23:1571-85.

(2) Franklin RJM and ffrench-Constant C (2008),

(3) Shen S et al. (2008), Age-dependent epigenetic control of differentiation inhibitors: a critical determinant of remyelination efficiency. Nature Neuroscience 11: 1024-1034.

Dr Simon Frost (Mathematics Of Pathogen Evolution) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
University Senior Lecturer, Dept of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests:

Mathematical, computational, and statistical approaches to understand the dynamics and evolution of pathogens.

Possible project topics: Molecular epidemiology, mathematical/simulation modeling of infectious diseases.

Current African links: I am currently involved in the use of a sampling technique called respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit individuals from 'hidden' populations such as injection drug users (IDUs), commercial sex workers (CSWs), and men who have sex with men. I am involved in RDS studies in Libya and Uganda.

(1) Kosakovsky Pond SL et al. (2009) Evolutionary fingerprinting of genes. Mol Biol Evol (in press).

(2) Volz EM et al. (2009) Phylodynamics of infectious disease epidemics. Genetics (in press).

(3) Poon AF et al. (2009) Parsing social network survey data from hidden populations using stochastic context-free grammars. PloS One 4:e6777.