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 Robert Haining (Spatial Analysis & The Geography Of Health) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Human Geography, Dept of Geography

Research Interests:

Spatial data analysis; GIS; geography of crime; geography of health.

Possible project topics: Health service provision; geographical dimensions of access to health care as a factor in understanding usage.

(1) 'Bayesian modelling of environmental risk: example using a small area ecological study of coronary heart disease mortality in relation to modelled outdoor nitrogen oxide levels.' Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 2007, 21(5), 501-509. (with Law, Maheswaran, Pearson and Brindley).

(2) 'Combining police perceptions with police records of serious crime areas: a modelling approach.' Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society), 2007, 170(4), 1019-1034 (with J.Law).

(3) Outdoor NOx and stroke mortality

Dr Tawfique Hasan (Functional Nanomaterials, Graphene and Scalable Production) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
University Lecturer in Electronic Materials and Devices

Research Interests:

My research interest in Cambridge Graphene Centre lies in scalable production of functional nanomaterials and their inks for flexible and printable electronic, optoelectronic and energy devices. Current Africa links: CAPREx collaborator with Dr David Dodoo-Arhin on project 'Graphene-based Natural Dye Sensitised Solar Cells'.

Professor Jason Head (Reconstructing ecosystem responses to climate change) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Vertebrate Evolution and Ecology, Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology

Research Interests:

I study the fossil record to reconstruct vertebrate ecosystem responses to climate change in eastern Africa over the last 19 million years. This record can improve forecasts of faunal responses to future climate change and human-induced habitat loss. I work with eastern African colleagues in museum and field studies.

Parker, A. K., J. Müller, J-R Boisserie, and J. J. Head. 2023. The utility of body size as a functional trait to link the past and present in a diverse reptile clade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 120(71).

Lauer, D. A., A. M. Lawing, R. A. Short, F.K. Manthi, J. Müller, J.J. Head, and J. L. McGuire. 2023. Disruption of trait-environment relationships in African megafauna occurred in the middle Pleistocene. Nature Communications, 14:4016.

Head, J. J., and J. Müller. 2020. Squamate reptiles from Kanapoi: Faunal evidence for hominin paleoenvironments. Journal of Human Evolution ,140, 102451.

Dr Berthold Hedwig (Insect Acoustic Communication) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Reader in Neurobiology, Department of Zoology

Research Interests:

Insect acoustic communication with emphasis on neural control of sound pattern generation and auditory processing of acoustic signals. Our aim is to identifying the neurons and networks underlying this behaviour at the sender and receiver side and to work out the underlying neural principles. Both aspects aim at understanding the evolution of this behaviour in neural terms.

Possible project topics: I would be interested to cooperate on mosquitoe auditory orientation behaviour



Hedwig B. (2013) Towards an Understanding of the neural basis of acoustic communication in crickets. In: B Hedwig (ed) Insect Hearing and Acoustic Communication. Springer, pp:123-143

Hedwig, B (2006). Pulses, patterns and paths: neurobiology of acoustic behaviour in crickets. J Comp Physiol A 192: 677-689

Prof Jonathan Heeney (Evolution & Transmission Of Zoonotic RNA Viruses) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Head, Laboratory of Viral Zoonotics, Dept of Veterinary Medicine…

Research Interests:

The laboratory focuses on cross-species transmissions of viruses, and the co-evolution of viruses and their hosts including the evolution of immune mechanisms of disease protection in naturally infected but disease-resistant species. We apply cutting-edge molecular technologies to address important questions concerning zoonotic infections of importance to both veterinary and human health.

Possible project topics: RNA viral infections transmitted from non-human primates to humans. Origins of Hepatitis viruses and host-viral dynamics. Innate host immunity to RNA viruses.

(1) Heeney JL. Zoonotic viral diseases and the frontier of early diagnosis, control and prevention. J Intern Med 2006; 260: 399-408.

(2) Heeney JL and Plotkin SA. Immunological correlates of protection from HIV infection and disease. Nat Immunol. 2006 Dec; 7(12): 1281-4.

(3) Draper S and Heeney JL. Viruses as vaccines for Infectious Diseases and Cancer. Nature Micro Rev. 2010 Jan; 8(1): 62-73.

Prof Henriette Hendriks (Any language-related projects (in particular language acquisition and multilingualism) will be of interest) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Language Acquisition and Cognition Faculty of MMLL, TAL

Research Interests:

I am interested in better understanding the relationship between language and thought, and use empirical research in first and second language acquisition to gain such understanding. More recently I have also become interested in the potential cognitive and social benefits of multilingualism.

Hendriks, Hickmann and Pastorino-Campos, 2021

Ke et al., 2023

Dr Sara Hennessy (Education and Teacher Development ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development and Pedagogical Innovation, Faculty of Education…

Research Interests:

Improving the quality of education through teacher development: We have developed an extensive, multimedia professional learning resource as an open educational resource for use by teachers in low-resourced schools and teacher colleges in sub-Saharan Africa: OER4Schools ( supports active, collaborative learning among both teachers and students, and integration of digital technology where available. Each session includes unique video exemplars of interactive teaching practices in Zambian and South African classrooms.

Possible project topics: Projects should relate to research interests in Section 6. They might also address issues around implementation, scaleability or sustainability of technology or teacher development initiatives.

Current African links: Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda

B. Hassler, S. Hennessy, A. Cross, with E. Chileshe and B. Machiko.
School-based professional development in a developing context: Lessons learnt from a case study in Zambia.
Professional Development in Education (in press).

S. Hennessy, B. Hassler, and G. Mwewa.
Using digital technology and school-based professional development to leverage interactive classroom teaching in Zambia.
In MacBeath, J., Younger, M. & Sugrue, C. (eds.), Millennium Goals Revisited: A Common Wealth of Learning. London: Routledge, 2012.

B. Hassler, S. Hennessy & B. Lubasi.
Changing Classroom Practice using a School-Based Professional Development Approach to Introducing Digital Resources in Zambia.
Itupale Online Journal of African Studies, 2011, Vol. III.

Dr Eldrid Herrington (corporate climate governance) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Academic Community Manager, Centre for Climate Engagement, Hughes Hall

Research Interests:

academic research relevant to non-executive directors and lawyers on boards who wish to drive climate action: climate change and: corporate governance; corporate law; sustainable finance; green finance; ESG; just transition; nature and biodiversity; organisational leadership and change; systemic risks; regulations

Dr Julian Hibberd (Plant Science) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Reader, Department of Plant Sciences.

Research Interests:

Our work has two main aims, one is fundamental science with which we aim to understand the complex C4 photosynthetic system in terms of how it evolved and functions. The second is more applied, and here we aim to use knowledge from basic plant science to improve crop performance. In the latter context we focus on rice.



Aubry, S., Kelly, S., Kümpers, B.M.C., Smith-Unna R.D., Hibberd, J.M. (2014) Deep evolutionary comparison of gene expression identifies parallel recruitment of trans-factors in two independent origins of C4 photosynthesis. PLOS Genetics doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004365.

Williams, B.P, Johnston, I.G., Covshoff S., Hibberd, J.M. (2013) Phenotypic landscape inference reveals multiple evolutionary paths to C4 photosynthesis. eLife 2:e00961.

Brown, N.J., Newell, C.A., Stanley, S., Chen, J.E, Perrin, A.J., Kajala, K., Hibberd, J.M. (2011) Independent and parallel recruitment of pre-existing mechanisms underlying C4 photosynthesis. Science, 331: 1436-1439.

Prof Tony Holland (Health Services Inequalities In Mental Health & Learning Disability) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Psychiatry of Learning Disabilities, Dept of Psychiatry

Research Interests:

Mental health in people with learning disabilities (LD) (mental handicap); health inequalities, social inclusion and the human rights of relevance to people with LD; neurodevelopmental disorders associated with LD.

Possible project topics: (1) Service responses to the needs of children and adults with learning disabilities in diverse economic and cultural settings. (2) Health inequalities, mental health and physical health needs and access to services for people with LD.

Current African links: Have established links in Kenya and Ghana.

(1) Fistein EC et al. (2009) A comparison of mental health legislation from diverse Commonwealth jurisdictions. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 32, 147-155.

(2) Wheeler JR et al. (2009) Community services and people with intellectual disabilities who engage in anti-social or offending behaviour: referral rates, characteristics and care pathways. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 20, 717-740.

(3) Ball SL et al. (2008) Executive dysfunction and its association with personality and behaviour changes in the development of Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome and mild to moderate learning disabilities British Journal of Clinical Psychology 47(1), 1-29.

Prof Mark Holmes (Bovine Mastatis & Veterinary Immuno-Epidemiology) More Info

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

Research Interests:

Veterinary clinical research (I run the Clinical Research Outreach Program here which trains veterinary practitioners to undertake clinical research). I have supervised a large number of small clinical research studies. I have written textbooks on evidence-based veterinary medicine and veterinary clinical research. My specific research interests are in farm animal epidemiology and veterinary immunology.

Possible project topic: Bovine mastitis pathogen dynamics.

Dr Charlotte Houldcroft (Genomic variation in human herpesviruses and/or adenoviruses; immune responses to human DNA viruses) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Assistant professor, Department of Genetics…

Research Interests:

I study the evolution and diversity of double-stranded DNA viruses, human pathogens causing diseases as diverse as respiratory infections to cancer, and the immunological consequences of viral variation. Whole-genome sequencing allows us to track the spread of viruses in space and time; but it also allows us to see the emergence of novel recombinant strains and to study the ancient evolution of successful human pathogens.

Ancient herpes simplex 1 genomes reveal recent viral structure in Eurasia. Guellil, Science Advances, 2022 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abo4435

Genomic epidemiology of human adenovirus F40 and F41 in coastal Kenya: A retrospective hospital-based surveillance study (2013–2022). Lambisia, Virus Evolution, 2023, DOI: 10.1093/ve/vead023

Professor Mark Howarth (Protein Technologies for Therapeutics and Vaccine Design) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Research Interests:

We have established a protein engineering approach to accelerate vaccine development. We showed rapid efficient decoration of virus-like particles and we continue to develop novel approaches to enhance vaccine protection. We also develop technologies to enhance screening of bispecific drug combinations, cell therapy in cancer, and antibody-like binders for therapy in the GI tract.

Multiviral Quartet Nanocages Elicit Broad Anti-Coronavirus Responses for Proactive Vaccinology. Hills RA, Tan TK, Cohen AA, Keeffe JR, Keeble AH, Gnanapragasam PNP, Storm KN, Hill ML, Liu S, Gilbert-Jaramillo J, Afzal M, Napier A, James WS, Bjorkman PJ, Townsend AR, Howarth M. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 24:2023.02.24.529520. doi: 10.1101/2023.02.24.529520

NeissLock provides an inducible protein anhydride for covalent targeting of endogenous proteins. Scheu AHA, Lim SYT, Metzner FJ, Mohammed S, Howarth M. Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 29;12(1):717. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-20963-5

Gastrobodies are engineered antibody mimetics resilient to pepsin and hydrochloric acid. Wicke N, Bedford MR, Howarth M. Commun Biol. 2021 Aug 11;4(1):960. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02487-2

Dr Kate Hughes (Mastitis in rabbits kept for meat production; mastitis in cows/sheeps) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior lecturer in veterinary anatomic pathology, Department of Veterinary Medicine…

Research Interests:

I am a veterinary pathologist and my research focuses on mammary gland biology, particularly mastitis arising in cows, sheep, and rabbits kept for meat production. I am interested in unravelling the interactions between mammary epithelial cells and immune cells in mastitis, and particularly in the role of STAT signalling. I would be interested in fostering collaborations with colleagues working on mastitis, or on pathology arising in rabbits kept for meat production.

Stat3 modulates chloride channel accessory protein expression in normal and neoplastic mammary tissue. Hughes K*, Blanck M, Pensa S, Watson CJ. Cell Death & Disease. 2016; 7, e2398; doi:10.1038/cddis.2016.302

Estrogen receptor and Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 expression in equine mammary tumors. Hughes K*, Scase TJ, Foote, AK. Vet Path. 2015; 52 (4): 631-634.

Conditional deletion of Stat3 in mammary epithelium impairs the acute phase response and modulates immune cell numbers during post-lactational regression. Hughes K, Wickenden J, Allen J, Watson C. J Pathol. 2012; 227 (1): 106–117. doi: 10.1002/path.3961