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 supporting 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 encourage new collaborations with African researchers and to support African PhD students and post-doctoral fellows, we have built (and are continuously expanding) a database of current and potential Cambridge collaborators and their expertise. The 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 collaborator: Please be aware that any enquiries about potential collaboration with a Cambridge researcher should to be directed to one of the Cambridge-Africa team or 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.


Prof Nick Gay (Innate Immunity) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Dept of Biochemistry

Research Interests:

Innate immunity, structure function and regulation pattern recognition receptors particularly Toll-like receptors. Mechanism of signal transduction and molecular recognition by PRRs.

Possible project topics: Innate responses to tropical disease.

Current African links: Long standing links with S. Africa (PhD training, collaboration).

(1) Motshwene PG et al. (2009) An oligomeric signalling platform formed by the toll-like receptor signal transducers MyD88 and IRAK4. J Biol Chem, in press.

(2) Bryant C et al. (2009) The molecular basis of the host response to LPS. Nature Rev. Microbiol., in press.

(3) Wang L et al. (2008) Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein-SD Provides Versatility of Receptor Formation in Drosophila Immunity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 105, 11881-11886.

Prof John Gibson (Human Red Blood Cell Pathophysiology) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor in Pathophysiology, Dept of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests:

Cellular ion and water pathophysiology. Main interest is red blood cells, especially their altered behaviour in haemoglobinopathies including sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and enzyme deficiencies. Also interested in articular chondrocytes. Main projects currently on altered cation balance, membrane transport activity and phospholipid exposure in red blood cells from sickle cell patients, their link with disease and how they might be corrected to ameliorate symptoms.

Possible project topics: Behaviour of red blood cells from patients heterogeneous for HbS and HbC - as these constitute a third of all sickle cell patients - compared to those from homogeneous HbSS individuals.

Current African links: Potential students from Ghana.

(1) Gibson JS and Ellory JC (2002). Membrane transport in sickle cell disease. Blood Cells, Molecules and Disease 28, 1-12.

(2) Browning JA et al. (2006). Pathophysiology of red blood cell volume. Contrib. Nephrol. 152, 241-268.

(3) Gibson JS et al. (2008). Oxygen and reactive oxygen species in articular cartilage: modulation of ionic homeostasis. Pflugers Archiv 455, 563-573.

Dr Chiara Giorio (aerosol chemistry, urban air quality, indoor air quality) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Research Interests:

Chemical characterisation of atmospheric aerosols, chemical-health links, source apportionment of aerosol in polluted environments, indoor air quality


Dr Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas (Epidemiology Of Enterovirus & Emerging Infectious Diseases ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Clinical Director, Infectious Diseases, Dept of Medicine and MRC Fellow, MRC Dept of Epidemiology

Research Interests:

Emerging infectious diseases, population genetics and disease susceptibility epidemiology.

Possible project topics: (1) GIS systems for emerging infectious diseases in Africa. (2) Non-polio enterovirus infections epidemiology in Africa.

Professor Beverley Glover (pollination and floral diversity) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Research Interests:

Plant development and evolution; Plant pollinator interactions; Flowering plant diversity

Prof Julia Gog (Mathematics & Infectious Disease Dynamics) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor, Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Research Interests:

My research group uses mathematical modelling to study the dynamics of infectious disease: at the epidemic scale, the microscopic scale, and everything in between. Current projects include influenza dynamics at the population level and within host, and salmonella and macrophage dynamics at the in vitro level.

(1) Gog JR (2008) The impact of evolutionary constraints on influenza dynamics Vaccine 26 C15-24.

(2) Gog JR et al. (2007) Codon conservation in the influenza A virus genome defines RNA packaging signals. Nucleic Acids Research 35, 1897-1907.

(3) Grenfell BT et al. (2004) Unifying the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of pathogens. Science 303 327-332.

Prof Ian Goodfellow (Norovirus and Zoonotic RNA Viruses) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Virology, Division of Virology

Research Interests:

Our research to date has focus primarily on understanding the molecular mechanisms of norovirus replication and pathogenesis. We have recently initiated more clinically focused studies on antiviral treatment for chronic norovirus infection, norovirus antigenic evolution and hepatitis E virus.

Possible project topic:
We are particularly interested in gastrointestinal diseases and have a growing interest in zoonotic RNA viruses

Current African links:
Professor Alisson Elliott, MRC/UVRI, Uganda


Dr Andrew Grant (Bacterial infection, Drug Discovery and Vaccination and Resistance and Immunity) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer in Bacterial Pathogenesis

Research Interests:

Bacterial infection
Host pathogen interactions
Molecular basis of bacterial virulence
In vivo dynamics of bacterial infections
Vaccine development

Grant AJ, Restif O, McKinley TJ, Sheppard M, Maskell DJ, and Mastroeni P. (2008) Modelling within-host spatiotemporal dynamics of invasive bacterial disease. PLoS Biol. 6, e74

Grant AJ, Morgan FJE, McKinley TJ, Foster GL, Maskell DJ, Mastroeni P. Attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium lacking the pathogenicity island-2 type 3 secretion system grow to high bacterial numbers inside phagocytes in mice. (2012) PLoS Pathog. 8(12): e1003070

Mastroeni P and Grant A. Dynamics of spread of Salmonella enterica in the systemic compartment. (2013) Microbes. Infect. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2013.10.003

Dr Harriet Groom (SNP screening) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Honorary Visiting Fellow, Department of Medicine

Research Interests:

I am interested in the genetic and molecular determinants behind cellular restriction of retroviruses

Prof Peter Guthrie (Sustainable Development In Infrastructure Engineering) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Engineering for Sustainable Development, Dept of Engineering

Research Interests:

The development of decision making processes towards sustainable development in infrastructure engineering; the application of sustainable development to developing country contexts, including application of non standard materials; the deployment of engineering skills in disasters.

Principal Investigator for the Cambridge elements Retrofit 2050 Project. The aim of the Retrofit 2050 Project has been to deliver a ‘step change’ in our understanding of processes of transition towards sustainability in the built environment of the UK’s cities. While cities can be identified as a key source of emissions, they are also increasingly recognised as hubs of innovation towards more sustainable living.


Possible projects: Research into the possible amendment of standards for more local relevance. Links with Engineers without Borders, Oxfam, REDR Engineers for Disaster Relief, Practical Action.

Current African links: Links with University of Kwa Zulu Natal.

(1) Building Roads by Hand Antoniou, J., Guthrie, PM, de Veen, JJ Longmans 1990.