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 Clemens Kaminski (Advanced Optical Techniques For Biomedical Imaging In Clinical Settings) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Head of Laser Analytics Group and Director of CamBRIDGESens, Dept of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Research Interests:

Development of advanced optical techniques for biomedical applications. We have two broad strands in this field. (1) We develop advanced optical imaging tools to study molecular mechanisms of disease directly in living cells. We are biophysicists collaborating with biologists and have projects in malaria research, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. (2) We develop ultra-sensitive breath analysis instrumentation for use in clinic, for example to monitor anaesthetics during surgery, or for the diagnosis of disease. Possible project topics: (1) Detection of anaesthetic agents in patients by cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy of exhaled breath. (2) Super resolution imaging of toxic protein aggregates in Parkinson

(1) Elder AD et al. "A quantitative protocol for dynamic measurements of protein interactions by FRET-sensitized fluorescence emission". Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Volume 6, S59-S81, 2009.

(2) Mauritz J et al. "The Homeostasis of Plasmodium falciparum Infected Red Blood Cells", PLoS Comput Biol 5(4): e1000339, 2009.

(3) Kaminski CF et al. "Supercontinuum radiation for applications in chemical sensing and microscopy" Applied Physics B 92:367-378 (2008).

Prof Jim Kaufman (Mhc Alleles Of The African Village Chicken: Disease Resistance & Vaccine Responses) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Comparative Immunogenetics, Dept of Pathology and Dept of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests:

Our lab is interested in the evolution of immunity, particularly the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), with our major experimental animal being the chicken. As part of this work, we examine chickens for resistance to infectious pathogens and response to vaccines, which has some practical interest given that chickens are a major source of protein for both the developed and the developing world. We are particularly interested in village chickens.

Possible project topics: We would be interested in typing village chickens from Africa for MHC alleles, using a next generation sequencing (NGS) method, with the eventual goal of determining which MHC haplotypes confer resistance to disease and response to vaccines in Africa.

(1) Wallny H-J et al. (2006) Peptide motifs of the single dominantly-expressed class I molecule can explain the striking MHC-determined response to Rous sarcoma virus in chickens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 1434-1439.

(2) Balkissoon D et al. (2007) Low frequency of the Mx allele for viral resistance predates recent intensive selection in domestic chickens. Immunogenetics 59: 687-691.

(3) Chappell, P., Meziane, E. K., Harrison, M., Magiera, Ł., Hermann, C., Mears, L., Wrobel, A. G., Durant, C., Nielsen, L. L., Buus, S., Ternette, N., Mwangi, W., Butter, C., Nair, V., Ahyee, T., Duggleby, R., Madrigal, A., Roversi, P., Lea, S. M. and Kaufman, J. (2015) Expression levels of MHC class I molecules are inversely correlated with promiscuity of peptide binding. eLIFE 4: e05345.

Dr Kevin Knowles (Engineering, Microstructures and Properties of Materials) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
University Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Research Interests:

The relationship between microstructure and the mechanical and electronic properties of inorganic engineering materials.

Current African Links: Ghana: Dr Abu Yaya (beginning November 2014)

A. Bhowmik, K.M. Knowles and H.J. Stone, ‘Microstructural evolution and interfacial crystallography in Cr-Cr2Ta, Intermetallics, 31, 34-47 (2012)

K.M. Knowles, B. Li, C.N.F. Ramsey and R.P. Thompson, ‘Microstructural characterisation of devitrite, Na2Ca3Si6O16’, Advanced Materials Research, 585, 51-55 (2012)

K.M. Knowles and C.N.F. Ramsey, ‘Type II twinning in devitrite, Na2Ca3Si6O16’, Philosophical Magazine Letters, 92, 38-48 (2012)

Dr Jennifer Koenig (Maths and Science Education) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Dean, Lucy Cavendish College, Lady Margaret Road, Cambridge CB3 0BU

Research Interests:

Science and maths education.

Koenig JA(2011) A survey of the mathematics landscape within bioscience
undergraduate and postgraduate UK higher education

Koenig JA and Pike N (2013) Perspectives from the UK and the US on integrating mathematics into the teaching and learning of the biological sciences in higher education

Dr Alexander Komashie (Healthcare Design ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Research Associate, Engineering Design Centre, Dept of Engineering

Research Interests:

Complex systems design; Discrete Event Systems Modelling and Simulation; Health Service Design; Quality Improvement in Healthcare.

Current African links: links with Ghana

Dr Andreas Kontoleon (Economics of Environmental Regulation and Policy) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Reader in Environmental Economics and Public Policy, Department of Land Economy

Research Interests:

The economics of environmental regulation and policy; Micro-econometrics, experimental and behavioural economics; The economics of biodiversity conservation and management; Development economics, health economics, analysis of social networks.

Current research links with Africa: 

  • Developing countries: using economic empirical methods to assess environmental, health, and social policies
  • Sierra Leone, Uganda: conservation of tropical ecosystems and poverty alleviation
  • Uganda: understanding how social networks and behavioural patterns can improve health policy
  • China: Assessing the socio-economic impacts rural land use reform

Potential research topics: Policy evaluation of environmental, health and social programmes use experimental economic methods.

(2014) Social network analysis predicts health behaviors and self-reported health in African villages (with Goylette F. Chami, Sebastian E. Ahnert, Maarten J. Voors), PLOS ONE, Volume 9, Issue 7, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103500

(2012) Behavior in Context-Free Experiments is not Predictive of Behavior in the Field: Evidence from Public Good Experiments in Rural Sierra Leone (with M. Voors, T Turley, E. Bulte and J. A. List), Economic Letters, Volume 114, Issue 3, Pages 308-311

(2011) Using Artefactual Field Experiments to Learn about the Incentives for Sustainable Forest Use in Developing Economies (with M. Voors, T Turley, E. Bulte and J. A. List), American Economic Review, P&P, vol, 101:3, pp

Dr Kathelijne Koops (Chimpanzee, Bonobo,Tool use, ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Affiliated Lecturer; Post-doctoral Researcher Biological Anthropology

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the use of technology by wild chimpanzees and bonobos. Since 2003, I have been studying the chimpanzees at the Seringbara study site in the Nimba Mountains in Guinea, West Africa. Recently, I have included both East African chimpanzees (Uganda) and bonobos (Democratic Republic of Congo) in an intra- and inter-species comparison of ape technology. I seek to illuminate the roles of the environment, sociality and cognition in shaping the use of technology by our closest living relatives, in order to understand the processes that drive the origins and evolution of human material culture. Increasing the awareness of our close evolutionary links with the African apes provides us with the tools to promote the conservation of our endangered cousins.

Current African links: 

  • Guinea: Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou
  • Uganda: Makerere University, Mbarara University

Furuichi, T.*, Sanz, C.*, Koops, K.*, Sakamaki, T., Ryu, H., Tokuyama, N. and Morgan, D. (2014) Why do wild bonobos not use tools like chimpanzees do? Behaviour (In press) DOI: 10.1163/1568539X-00003226. *Shared first authors

Koops, K., Schöning, C., McGrew, W.C. and Matsuzawa, T. (2014) Chimpanzees prey on army ants at Seringbara, Nimba Mountains, Guinea: Predation patterns and tool characteristics. American Journal of Primatology (In press) DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22347

Koops, K., McGrew, W.C. and Matsuzawa, T. (2013) Ecology of culture: Do environmental factors influence foraging tool use in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus)? Animal Behaviour 85: 175-185