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 collaborator: Please be aware that any enquiries about potential collaboration with a Cambridge researcher need to be directed to one of the Cambridge-Africa Programme staff  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.


Dr Paula MacGregor (Host-parasite interactions in African trypanosomes ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, Department of Biochemistry

Research Interests:

I am interested in the molecular and cell biology of the interaction between African trypanosomes and their external environment in the mammalian host. Current work in the lab aims to experimentally characterise molecular diversity of the cell surfaces amongst different African trypanosome species and how that affects host-parasite interactions.

Dr Luca Magri (Combustion, fluid dynamis, turbulence, flow instability, acoustics) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow, University of Cambridge

Research Interests:

Combustion, fluid dynamis, turbulence, flow instability, acoustics Numerical and computational methods

Prof Theresa Marteau (Behaviour & Health Research) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Dept of Public Health and Primary Care; Professor of Behaviour and Health (Honorary)

Research Interests:

The majority of premature deaths worldwide are from chronic non-communicable diseases (principally cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases), most of which occur in low and middle income countries. Reducing this burden requires changing behaviour in populations to reduce smoking, obesity, and alcohol consumption. I lead a programme of research aimed at developing the most effective ways of changing these behaviours in populations principally targeting automatic processes, focused on high income countries.

(1) Marteau TM et al. Changing human behaviour to prevent disease: the importance of targeting automatic processes. Science (in press).

(2) Marteau TM et al. Judging Nudging: can ?

(3) Winpenny E, Marteau TM, Nolte E Assessing UK youth exposure to alcohol marketing on social media websites. Social Science and Medicine (under review).

Prof Nick Mascie-Taylor (Nutrition, Disease, Growth And Poverty In Developing Countries) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Human Population Biology and Health; Deputy Head, Dept of Biological Anthropology

Research Interests:

Interactions between nutrition, disease, growth and poverty in developing countries. Current African links: Links with Sudanese scientists

Dr Dunecan Massey (Gastroenterology) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Assistant Director of Studies for Medicine, Gonville and Caius College; Cambridge, Consultant Gastroenterologist

Research Interests:

Gastroenterology and Multivisceral Transplantation

(1) Massey D., Parkes, M. (2007) Common pathways in Crohn's disease and other inflammatory diseases revealed by genomics. Gut. 2007 Nov;56(11):1489-92. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

(2) Zhang H1, Massey D, Tremelling M, Parkes M. (2008) Genetics of inflammatory bowel disease: clues to pathogenesis. Br Med Bull. 2008;87:17-30. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldn031. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Dr Piero Mastroeni (Systems Biology & Dynamics Of Bacterial Infections) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Reader in Infection and Immunity, Dept of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests:

Systems biology and in vivo dynamics of bacterial infections. Immunity to bacterial infections and vaccine development.

Current African links: Collaborating and in the process of applying for funding with the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Centre in Blantyre.

(1) Modeling within-host spatiotemporal dynamics of invasive bacterial disease. Grant AJ et al. PLoS Biol. 2008; 6: e74.

(2) A dynamic view of the spread and intracellular distribution of Salmonella enterica. Mastroeni P et al. Nature Rev. Microbiol. 2009; 7: 73-80.

(3) The effects of vaccination and immunity on bacterial infection dynamics in vivo. C. Coward, O. Restif, R. Dybowski, A. Grant, D. Maskell, Pietro Mastroeni. PLoS Pathog. 2014; 10(9):e1004359

Prof David Maxwell (African Christianity History) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History Professorial Fellow, Emmanuel College, Primary Affiliation is to the History Faculty

Research Interests:

Mission history in colonial and post-colonial settings; the religious encounter of Christianity with African traditional religion; indigenous African Christian movements; Pentecostalism, transnationalism and religious globalization; missionary and African contributions to the creation of so-called ‘colonial knowledge’; religion and the media, particularly religious print and photography.


Current African links:
University of Zimbabwe
University of Witwatersrand
University of Lubumbashi

Christians and Chiefs in Zimbabwe: A Social History of the Hwesa People c.1870s-1990s (International African Library/Edinburgh University Press, 1999)

African Gifts of the Spirit: Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement (Oxford, James Currey, 2006)

(ed. with Patrick Harries) The Spiritual in the Secular. Missionaries and Knowledge about Africa (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, 2012)

Dr Richard Meiser-Stedman (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ptsd)) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow, MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit

Research Interests:

Post-traumatic stress in children and adolescents Perseverative thinking (e.g. worry and rumination) in children and adolescents.

(1) Meiser-Stedman R et al. (2009). Maladaptive cognitive appraisals mediate the evolution of posttraumatic stress reactions: A 6-month follow up of child and adolescent assault and motor vehicle accident survivors. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 778-787.

(2) Meiser-Stedman R et al. (2009). Development and validation of the Child Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory (CPTCI). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 432?

(3) Meiser-Stedman R et al. (2008). The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis in pre-school and elementary school-aged children exposed to motor vehicle accidents. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 1326-1337.

Dr Gos Micklem (Bioinformatics; Genomics; Synthetic Biology) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Director, Cambridge Computational Biology Institute, Dept of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics; Dept of Genetics

Research Interests:

Bioinformatics, genomics, synthetic biology.

(1) Celniker SE et al. (2009) Unlocking the secrets of the genome. Nature 459: 927-930.

(2) Lyne R et al. (2007) FlyMine: an integrated database for Drosophila and Anopheles genomics. Genome Biology 8: R129 PMID: 1761505.

(3) Choksi SP et al. (2006) Prospero Acts as a Binary Switch between Self-Renewal and Differentiation in Drosophila Neural Stem Cells. Developmental Cell 11: 775-789. PMID: 17141154.

Dr Stephen Middleton (Gut) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Clinical Lecturer, University of Cambridge, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Transplant Physician. Member Royal College Physicians, Member British Society of Gastroenterology

Research Interests:

Functional disorders of the Gut, Small bowel transplantation, Inflammatory bowel disease

Current African links: Promoting Science Education in Freetown, Sierra Leone

(1) Preoperative comorbidity correlates inversely with survival after intestinal and multivisceral transplantation in adults.
Sivaprakasam R, Hidenori T, Pither C, Nishida S, Butler AJ, Island ER, Moon J, Dawwas M, Gabe SM, Jamieson NV, Tzakis AG, Middleton SJ.
J Transplant. 2013

(2) Combination therapy with infliximab and azathioprine is superior to monotherapy with either agent in ulcerative colitis.
Panaccione R, Ghosh S, Middleton S, Márquez JR, Scott BB, Flint L, van Hoogstraten HJ, Chen AC, Zheng H, Danese S, Rutgeerts P.
Gastroenterology. 2014 Feb;146(2):392-400

(3) Use of the alpha glucosidase inhibitor acarbose in patients with 'Middleton syndrome': normal gastric anatomy but with accelerated gastric emptying causing postprandial reactive hypoglycemia and diarrhea.
Playford RJ, Pither C, Gao R, Middleton SJ.
Can J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jul;27(7):403-4

Dr Irene Miguel-Aliaga (Neurobiology & Metabolism In Drosophila Melanogaster) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellow, Dept of Zoology

Research Interests:

We are investigating the signals mediating the crosstalk between the nervous and digestive system in Drosophila melanogaster. By doing so, we hope to understand how our own body integrates nutritional and metabolic information to adjust internal functions and behaviour, as well as what goes wrong in metabolic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

(1) Cognigni P et al. (2011) Enteric neurons and systemic signals couple nutritional and reproductive state with intestinal homeostasis. Cell Metab 3(1): 92-104.

(2) Miguel-Aliaga I et al. (2008) Postmitotic specification of Drosophila insulinergic neurons from pioneer neurons. PLoS Biol 11;6(3):e58.

(3) Miguel-Aliaga I & Thor S (2004) Segment-specific prevention of pioneer neuron apoptosis by cell-autonomous, postmitotic Hox gene activity. Development 131(24): 6093-105.

Dr Nazia Mintz-Habib ( Agricultural commodities and security) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior Research Associate, Centre of Development Studies

Research Interests:

Nazia Mintz-Habib is interested in identifying pathways to improve the global value chain of agricultural commodities to ensure food security. She has studied the political economy of food security and global value chains for the past decade. To better understand food security, Nazia looks at the comparative development of agribusinesses and global commodity value chain expansions in developing economies. She studied cases in Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Tanzania and India. Lately, Nazia is keen to understand institutional system change in the agricultural sector as influenced by new commodities like biofuels and technologies like agrobiotechnology. She is currently authoring a book on biofuels and food security.


Current African Links:
Tanzania and South Africa

Mintz-Habib,N (2014) Biofuels, Food Security and Developing Economies, Routledge Publishers (In process)

Behnassi, M, Shahid, S and Mintz-Habib (eds). (2014). Science, Policy and Politics of Modern Agricultural System.Global Context to Local Dynamics of Sustainable Agriculture. Springer

Mintz-Habib, N.(2013) Malaysian Biofuels Experience: A socio-political analysis of the commercial environment, Energy Policy, 64(February) 2013

Dr Marta Mirazon Lahr (Human Evolution, Archaeology and Human Diversity) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Director of the Duckworth Laboratory, Reader in Human Evolutionary Biology, LCHES, Dept of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Research Interests:

My research interests are very broad, but my work has focused mainly on the evolution and diversity of modern humans, Homo sapiens. This research has involved a range of disciplines, including human palaeontology, evolutionary genetics, behavioural ecology, linguistics and prehistoric archaeology. I currently have field projects in Kenya (palaeoanthropology), Uganda (prehistory) and Libya (prehistory).


Current African links: We currently have active projects in Kenya and Uganda, and I supervise 2 African PhD students (Denis Misiko Mukhongo, Herman Muwonge).

Foley, R.A., Maillo-Fernandez, J.M. & Mirazón Lahr, M. (2013) The Middle Stone Age of the Central Sahara: Biogeographical opportunities and technological strategies in later human evolution. Quaternary International 300: 153-170.

Mirazon Lahr, M. (2013) Genetic and fossil evidence for modern human origins. In: P. Mitchell & P. Lane (Eds.). Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, pp 325-340. Oxford: OUP.

Migliano, A.B. et al. (2013) Evolution of the pygmy phenotype: Evidence of positive selection from genome-wide scans in African, Asian and Melanesian pygmies. Human Biology 85(1-3): 251-284.

Prof Ashley Moffett (African Mothers? Immune Systems & Regulation Of Placentation) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Reproductive Immunology, Dept of Pathology

Research Interests:

I work on how the mothers immune system in the uterus regulates placentation so that both demands of baby and health of mother are optimal. This balance goes wrong in major disorders of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, still-birth, recurrent miscarriage and poor fetal growth. These diseases are far more prevalent in Africa for reasons that are unknown. We are looking for the variation in the immune system genes in Africans to see if this is part of their susceptibility.

Possible project topics: Maternal health in Africa, particularly HIV and pre-eclampsia.

Current African links: I have a PhD student who is recruiting pre-eclampsia and control patients in Entebbe for KIR and HLA genotyping in Cambridge. I will be visiting the hospital and labs in Kampala in 2010.

Prof Nick Morrell (Schistosomiases & Mechanisms Of Pulmonary Areterial Hypertention) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Professor of Cardiopulmonary Medicine, Dept of Medicine

Research Interests:

My research group is studying the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), in particular the molecular and cell biology of familial PAH caused by mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein type 2 receptor (BMPR2). One of the main consequences of BMPR2 mutation is an exaggerated inflammatory response and release of inflammatory cytokines. We have developed a new mouse model of PAH caused by Schistosomiasis, and we are examining the role of BMPR2, progenitor cells and cytokines in this model.

Possible project topics: Mechanisms of PAH caused by Schistosomiasis. Field studies of the epidemiology of PAH associated with Schistosomiasis.

Current African links: Sudan.

Dr Veronique Mottier (politics of sexuality, gender and sexuality, discourse theory and analysis) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Fellow in Sociology, Jesus College, Cambridge & HSPS Faculty

Research Interests:





Dr Elizabeth Murchison (Transmissible Cancers, ) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Reader in Comparative Oncology and Genetics, Department of Veterinary Medicine

Research Interests:

Our lab works on the genetics and evolution of transmissible cancers. There are only two known naturally occurring clonally transmissible cancers and these are the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) and the canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT). These two cancers are transmitted between individuals by the transfer of living cancer cells. We use genetics, genomics and molecular biology to understand the origins, evolution and disease dynamics of the DFTD and CTVT clones.

Possible project topics: If you would be interested in getting involved with our worldwide Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour Project (CTVT Project) either through collecting samples of canine transmissible venereal tumour or by giving us information about any cases you have seen, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We would be delighted to hear about any of your observations of canine transmissible venereal tumour.

Current African links: Our collaborators help us with sample collection of canine transmissible venereal tumour samples all around the world, including a number of African countries (Cape Verde, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda).



Murchison EP, Wedge DC, Alexandrov LB, Fu, B, Martincorena I, Ning Z, Tubio JMC, Werner EI, Allen J, Barboza de Nardi A, Donelan EM, Marino G, Fassati A, Campbell PJ, Yang F, Burt A, Weiss RA, Stratton MR (2014) Transmissible dog cancer genome reveals the origin and history of an ancient cell lineage. Science. Jan 24;343(6169):437-40

Murchison EP, Schulz-Trieglaff OB, Ning Z, Alexandrov LB, Bauer MJ, Fu B, Hims M, Ding Z, Ivakhno S, Stewart C, Ng BL, Wong W, Aken B, Alsop A, Becq J, Bignell GR, Cheetham RK, Cheng W, Connor TR, Cox AJ, Feng Z, Gu Y, Grocock RJ, Harris SR, Khrebtukova I, Kingsbury Z, Kowarsky M, Kreiss A, Luo S, Marshall J, McBride DJ, Murray L, Pearse AM, Raine K, Rasolonjatovo I, Shaw R, Tedder P, Tregidgo C, White S, Woods GM, Gormley N, Humphray S, Schroth G, Smith G, Hall K, Searle S, Carter N, Papenfuss AT, Futreal PA, Campbell P, Yang F, Bentley DR, Evers DJ and Stratton MR (2012) Genome sequencing and analysis of the Tasmanian devil and its transmissible cancer. Cell. Feb 17;148(4):780-91

Murchison EP (2009) Clonally transmissible cancers in dogs and Tasmanian devils. Oncogene 27: S19 – S30

Dr Andrew Murray (Mitochondrial Function & Its Effect On Physiological Performance) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Lecutrer, Dept of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Research Interests:

Our work is concerned with mitochondrial function; how this is altered in metabolic diseases (e.g. heart failure and diabetes), during development and ageing, and with changes in diet, exercise and oxygen; and the effects of these changes on physiological performance. We aim to elucidate the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction and the impact this has on function at the level of the tissue, organ and whole body.

Current links in the developing countries: Collaborative links with groups in Brazil; CAPREx collaborator for Dr Augustine Ocloo on project 'Mitochondria as pharmacological targets for pharmacological and toxicological evaluation of medicinal plant extracts'.

(1) AJ Murray. Metabolic adaptation of skeletal muscle to high altitude hypoxia: how new technologies could solve the controversies. Genome Med. 1: 117, 2009.

(2) AJ Murray, NS Knight, LE Cochlin, S McAleese, RM Deacon, JN Rawlins, K Clarke. Deterioration of physical performance and cognitive function in rats with short-term high-fat feeding. FASEB J. 23: 4353-60, 2009.

(3) AJ Murray, MA Cole, CA Lygate, CA Carr, DJ Stuckey, SE Little, S Neubauer, K Clarke. Increased mitochondrial uncoupling proteins, respiratory uncoupling and decreased efficiency in the chronically infarcted rat heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 44: 694-700, 2008.

Dr Ankur Mutreja (Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, Surveillance, Diagnostics) More Info

Position & Affiliation:
Senior University Lecturer, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge

Research Interests:

In my career so far I have been working on infectious diseases studying their routes of transmission and spread at local, national and international level. I am interested in using whole genome data for better tracking of pathogens and better interventions in the form of vaccines and diagnostics. Having worked in both pharma industry and academia, I focus mainly on the translational use of academic research.

Mutreja A1, Kim DW, Thomson NR, Connor TR, Lee JH, Kariuki S, Croucher NJ, Choi SY, Harris SR, Lebens M, Niyogi SK, Kim EJ, Ramamurthy T, Chun J, Wood JL, Clemens JD, Czerkinsky C, Nair GB, Holmgren J, Parkhill J, Dougan G.
Evidence for several waves of global transmission in the seventh cholera pandemic.
Nature. 2011 Aug 24;477(7365):462-5. doi: 10.1038/nature10392.
PMID 21866102

Domman D, Quilici ML, Dorman MJ, Njamkepo E, Mutreja A, Mather AE, Delgado G, Morales-Espinosa R, Grimont PAD, Lizárraga-Partida ML, Bouchier C, Aanensen DM, Kuri-Morales P, Tarr CL, Dougan G, Parkhill J, Campos J1, Cravioto A1, Weill FX, Thomson NR. Integrated view of Vibrio cholerae in the Americas.
Science. 2017 Nov 10;358(6364):789-793. doi: 10.1126/science.aao2136.
PMID 29123068

Weill FX, Domman D, Njamkepo E, Tarr C, Rauzier J, Fawal N, Keddy KH, Salje H, Moore S, Mukhopadhyay AK, Bercion R, Luquero FJ, Ngandjio A, Dosso M Monakhova E, Garin , Bouchier C, Pazzani C, Mutreja A, Grunow R, Sidikou F, Bonte L, Breurec S, Damian M, Njanpop-Lafourcade BM, Sapriel G Page AL, Hamze M, Henkens M, Chowdhury G, Mengel M, Koeck JL, Fournier JM, Dougan G, Grimont PAD, Parkhill J, Holt KE, Piarroux R, Ramamurthy T, Quilici ML, Thomson NR.
Genomic history of the seventh pandemic of cholera in Africa. Science. 2017 Nov 10;358(6364):785-789. doi: 10.1126/science.aad5901. PMID 29123067