Faculty & Staff
Dr. Foster Kyei
Dr. Foster Kyei is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Cape Coast (UCC). Trained in the United Kingdom, he holds a Ph.D and MSc. in Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology respectively. He is a Molecular Medicine specialist who applies physical, chemical, biological, bioinformatics and medical techniques to:
- describe molecular mechanisms of diseases
- identify fundamental molecular and genetic errors of diseases
- develop molecular interventions to correct diseases
He is engaged in teaching and research and his expertise spans across ways to diagnose and treat diseases by understanding the way genes, proteins, and other cellular molecules work. His work is not limited in scope; he also applies molecular techniques and tools in all areas of the life sciences. One of his major research themes focuses on investigations into colon cancer, specifically the:
- development of molecular markers for colon cancer diagnostics
- transcriptional network in colon cancer and
- molecular mechanisms in colon cancer tumorigenesis
His current research looks at CRISPR/Cas9 Technology for Human Genome Engineering and Disease Research. Foster has successfully supervised, mentored, and graduated a significant number of undergraduates, MPhil and Ph.D students. He has been involved in postgraduate Theses assessments locally in UCC and externally for the Kwame University of Science and Technology. He serves on local committees in the School of Biological Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, UCC. His research initiatives have attracted much attention; resulting in a research collaboration and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Cape Coast and the University of West Indies. Foster is also in research collaboration with Kwazulu-Natal University into finding potent indigenous plant compounds as alternatives to Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). Foster is also an adjunct lecturer for postgraduate courses at the Pan African University and the Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology.
Foster is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum development and writing and actively reviews curriculum/academic programs for the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission(GTEC). He is an astute reviewer for the “Molecular Medicine Reports” Journal. Foster is a member of prestigious professional bodies such as the Ghana Science Association, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Society for Cancer Research. He is the immediate past Departmental Registration and Examinations Officer (DREO) for the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, UCC.
Dr. Anthony Craig
Dr. Craig has been working in the field of gene therapy since 1996. He has worked primarily with adenoassociated virus (AAV) vectors. Currently, he is a lecturer in the Gene Therapy graduate program at the Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Research. He considers it an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to teach in Ghana.
Dr. Craig’s first project involved investigating the use of AAV to treat sickle cell disease at the Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Disease (Washington, D.C.) with Dr. Siego Ohi. From there, Dr. Craig went to the Clinical Gene Therapy Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Bethesda, MD). At the NHGRI, Dr. Craig worked with Dr. Jay Lozier and Dr. Richard Morgan to investigate using AAV to treat hemophilia A by placing the coding regions of the light and heavy chains from the factor VIII gene into separate AAV vectors. This was the same laboratory where the first successful gene therapy clinical trial was completed by treating ADA deficiency with a recombinant retroviral vector. It was at the NHGRI where Dr. Craig became familiar with multiple types of viral gene therapy vectors and their potential use for treating a broad range of diseases.
For his doctoral research, Dr. Craig worked with Dr. Roland Owens in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the NIH. At the NIDDK, Dr. Craig found positive results using AAV to transfer immunosuppressive genes to harvested
tissue prior to transplantation. He also experimented with the possibility of including the rep gene in AAV vectors.
Dr. Craig received his medical and doctoral degrees from the M.D./Ph.D. program at Howard University College of Medicine in the Department of Genetics and Human Genetics. His mentor was Dr. Verle Headings. He has done residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale School of Medicine and New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Currently, he is the Founder, President, and CEO of Genesis Biotechnologies with offices in the USA and Accra, Ghana. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Howard University.
Dr. Michael Yakass
Michael B. Yakass (PhD), is a consultant certified clinical embryologist with over a decade experience in running IVF labs. He received his BSc (Hons) in Medical Laboratory Technology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 2008. In 2012, he graduated with MSc in Chemical Pathology in KNUST. In 2020, he obtained his PhD from the University of Ghana with a joint extensive research work performed at the Katholieke University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. Dr Yakass became a certified clinical embryologist by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in 2015 which qualified him to practise as a certified embryologist mostly in Europe and across the world.
Between 2012 and 2022, Dr Yakass led the embryology team at the Lister Hospital and Fertility Centre in Accra where he was involved in many groundbreaking achievements in the fertility industry in country. Whiles at the lister, he was involved in the first laser-assisted embryo hatching technique in Ghana. He was involved in establishing and running the first embryo biopsy and pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) program in Ghana at the Lister Hospital and Fertility centre. He has trained and mentored a number of clinical embryologists at the Lister hospital.
Dr Yakass is also a trained virologist with extensive research experience in virology which places him as one of very few people with the dual combination of clinical embryology and virology experience. During his PhD, he worked on many viruses of clinical importance such as arboviruses. He was involved in the development of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate built on the yellow fever vaccine platform during his PhD years in KU Leuven.
In 2017, he was selected as one of five young ambassadors (the ESHRE5), for the ESHRE conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where he played key roles in promoting the latest cutting edge scientific findings in the field of reproductive health during the society’s annual conference.
Dr Yakass is the scientific lead at Nurture Fertility Consult and actively involved in establishing new fertility clinics, training clinical embryologists and consulting for many established fertility clinics in Ghana and across Africa. He is a lecturer at the Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology in Accra, Ghana where he handles courses such as Mammalian reproduction, andrology and early embryogenesis. His research interests focus on improving in vitro human embryo development and how microbes breach physiological barriers such as the placenta to establish infections. In 2022, Dr Yakass was selected for the Global Virus Network (GVN) Rising Stars post-doctoral fellowship program to initiate his research mainly focusing at the crossroads of human reproduction and infectious diseases. Dr Yakass has authored and co-authored several published peer-reviewed research articles and a book chapter on treating virus infected patients in IVF.
Dr. Kristina Talbert-Slagle
Dr. Talbert-Slagle is an Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, a Core Faculty member at the Equity Research and Innovation Center, and an Associate Director at the Yale Institute for Global Health. She is a global health scholar and educator, focused on addressing global health and educational disparities through high-quality, interactive teaching and locally-appropriate and responsive scholarship and field programs. With doctoral training in genetics and virology and postdoctoral training in complex systems and global health management, Dr. Talbert-Slagle approaches her work, teaching, and mentorship through an interdisciplinary perspective.
Dr. Talbert-Slagle is part of a long-standing, trusting partnership with colleagues from the University of Liberia and Liberian Ministry of Health to establish permanent academic programs and systems to fulfill Liberia’s goals for strengthening its health workforce. She is the principal investigator for Applying Research for a Healthy Liberia, a five-year, $15 million collaborative project with the University of Liberia and Vanderbilt University, funded by USAID, which will establish a Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation, as well as permanent academic and financial management systems at the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences. She is also the faculty director for Health Management and Preclinical Education workforce capacity-building programs in Liberia, collaborating closely with colleagues at Yale and in Liberia, and the Yale lead for an undergraduate medical education curriculum review at Liberia’s only medical school, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.
At Yale, she has developed and taught a variety of courses including a gateway global health course for undergraduate students, as well as seminars focused on global health research and practice, HIV/AIDS, and the role of water in infectious disease spread. In 2016, Dr. Talbert-Slagle was honored with the Yale Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching. Dr. Talbert-Slagle received her B.S. and B.A. degrees from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. from Yale University.
Ben Adu Gyan, PhD
Ben Adu Gyan PhD, is Associate Professor in Immunology and Microbiology. He received his BSc (Hons) degree in Zoology from the University of Ghana in 1985. In 1994 he graduated with MSc degree in Parasitology from the Karolinska Institute and PhD in Immunology from Stockholm University, Sweden in 2002. Dr. Gyan was appointed Research fellow in 1996. His research career initially started with malaria immunology and later extending to the more general fields of immunology and preclinical research. The key focus of his research over the years is the search for markers or molecules and their mechanisms in the pathogenesis of malaria and other diseases. His background in parasite immunology has provided him with the opportunity to conduct research into a number of endemic tropical diseases as well as non-communicable diseases in Ghana in the advancement of public health. His research has contributed to understanding of the role of endothelial progenitor cells in pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. In the past couple of years Dr. Gyan has extended his interest into studies in preeclampsia, arterial stiffness in diabetes and hypertension due to increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Africa. He has also conducted studies to understand the role of malaria in Burkitts lymphoma which is endemic in malaria transmission areas.
His role in malaria vaccine research include investigator role in the Phase Ib trial of the EBA-175 RII-NG vaccine in Ghana. He is also an investigator/expert and a member of Malaria Vaccine Working Group, a consortium guiding the study development plan for the immunology ancillary studies of the RTSS, S malaria vaccine. He is involved in networking and capacity building in malaria pathogenesis in Africa. The outcome of these initiatives include the establishment of the Malaria Pathogenesis Consortium in 2006. As Coordinator for Internship programs until recently, Dr. Gyan played key roles in training of students and young scientist. He played a key role in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded postdoctoral training program at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. The programme was the first of its kind in Africa in the training of biomedical research leaders to advance their careers in biomedical research. He is also spearheading the establishment of a Global Health Training Program in at NMIMR. He has 100 peer-reviewed publications to his credit.
Dr. Gyan has been associated with the establishment of Thrivus Institute since its conception. He brings on board several years of experience in postgraduate teaching and mentoring as well as research in biomedical sciences. He sees Thrivus Institute nurturing the next generation of young African scientists who strive to make advances in various fields of translational research and hub in building critical capacity of health professionals in reproductive health and gene therapy.
Dr. David Nana Adjei
Dr. Adjei is a trained biostatistician and a quantitative geneticist. He is currently a Senior Lecturer with the College of Health Sciences in the University of Ghana where he teaches Biostatistics and Research Methods. He has strong quantitative and data management skills spanning 15 years. He develops, maintains, secures, and analyzes big biomedical research data generated for the purpose of basic, applied, translational, genomic and implementation research. He provides statistical support for several consortia. He also serves as the study coordinator for SickleGenAfrica, provides statistical support for H3Africa Kidney Research Network and Research on Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) projects. He is the current Co-Chair of the Study Coordinators Working Group of H3Africa consortium. He is also the Chair of the Ethics and Protocol Review Committee of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences of the University. Additionally, he is the Chief Examiner of the Allied Health Professions Council. His key areas of research are modelling of chronic kidney disease in low resource settings among migrants with keen interest in the link between other chronic diseases (sickle cell disease, diabetes, and hypertension) and chronic kidney disease. My experience and expertise in practicing and teaching data management, analysis and renal epidemiology makes me a valuable member of this team. He serves as a CoPI of several NIH and Fogarty grants.
Dr. Adjei holds a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from KNUST, an MPhil degree in Health Informatics. He also Holds a PhD in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Additionally, he holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from Erasmus University. He specialized in Statistical Genetics from the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA.
Prof. Desmond Omane Acheampong
Prof. Desmond Omane Acheampong is an Associate Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. He holds BSc in Biological Sciences, MSc in Clinical Microbiology and PhD in Microbiological and Biochemical Pharmacy from University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and China Pharmaceutical University, respectively.
Prof. Acheampong has successfully mentored/supervised a number of PhD and MPhil candidates in the areas of clinical microbiology, immunology and drug discovery. Most of these Mentees are now working as Lecturers and Research Fellows at reputable Universities and Medical Research Centres. Desmond has to his credit a patent for an immunotherapeutic agent he developed for cancer therapy. He has authored two books in microbiology and immunology, and published over 60 scientific articles in the area of microbiology, immunology and drug discovery in reputable journals with high impact factor. His research interest has mainly been on Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Immunology (Immunotherapy/Immunohaematology), Antibody/Protein Engineering for diagnosis/therapy of Cancers and Infectious Diseases, and Drug discovery studies (Natural Products) targeted at Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.
Prof. Acheampong has research collaboration with reputable international institutions such as Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, National Mie University, Japan, MS Intercollegiate Faculty of Toxicology Texas A&M University, College Station Texas, USA, and BASF SE, Germany. He has also secured a number of research grants/supports to support his research activities and graduate students training. Desmond is the Lead-Partner (Ecosystem Partner) for British Council sponsored Innovation for African University programme. Partners of the programme are St. Andrews University, UK and University of Health and Allied Health Sciences (UHAS), Ghana. As an academic, Prof. Acheampong has served and continue to serve as External Examiner for PhD and MPhil theses from sister universities, and Assessor for promotion of academic senior members of sister universities home and abroad. Additionally, he reviews grant proposals submitted to reputable institutions such as Medical Research Council (MRC), UK. Also, he serves as an Editorial Board Member/Associate Editor for a number of reputable journals.
Desmond is currently the Dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health and Allied Sciences, UCC, and has had the opportunity to serve as acting Dean for three months (1st August-31st October, 2020), and Vice-Dean from August, 2019 to July, 2021 prior to becoming the Dean in August, 2021. Desmond has previously served as Head, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, UCC, from August, 2017 to July, 2019. As Head of Department, Desmond led the Department to develop two new post-graduate programmes (PhD/MPhil in Immunology and Immunotherapy, and PhD/MPhil in Epidemiology) and completed the accreditation process for the programme PhD/MPhil Drug Discovery and Development.
Prof. Acheampong has served or continues to serve as chairman or member on a number of boards and committees locally (UCC), nationally and internationally. Notable among them are member, Governing Council, Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology, Lashibi, Accra; member, Official Blog of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) ‘‘The Sentinel”; member, Academic Board, UCC; member, Graduate Studies Board, UCC; member, Academic Planning and Management Committee, UCC; member, College Health and Allied Sciences Board; UCC; member, Appointment and Promotion Committee, College of Health and Allied Sciences, UCC; Chairman, School of Allied Health Sciences Board, UCC; member, ad-hoc committee for the development of university’s research agenda for 2023-2027, UCC among others. He is a member of the following Professional institutions/bodies/scientific groups; Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), The Antibody Society (AS), International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID), Immunological Society of Ghana and University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG)
Isaac Kofi Adu
Isaac Kofi Adu is the Chief Clinical embryologist at the ‘THE CHOSEN HOSPITAL AND FERTILITY CENTRE LTD’ Accra and KMC Fertility Unit Ltd Kumasi. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology from University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana. He went to Ahmedabad, India for Embryology Training at RAJJUU BANKER FOUNDATION. He Worked at Trust care Specialist Hospital and Fertility Centre in Kumasi for a decade. Later, he pursued master of Philosophy degree (MPhil) in Reproductive Physiology from KNUST School of Medical Sciences.
He is a member of the following associations: Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Ghana Association of Clinical Embryologists (GACE), Fertility Society of Ghana, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, Fertility Society of India, Fertility Society of Africa and South Africa.
He is currently working as director of the following companies: (Emvryo-Mitra Medical Services Ltd ACCRA, THE CHOSEN HOSPITAL AND FERTILITY CENTRE LTD, Accra, KMC Fertility Unit LTD, Kumasi. He is a a PhD student in Human embryology at Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology, SRC President and student representative on the Thrivus Governing Concil
Mr. Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah
Mr. Anthony Ohemeng-Boamah a national of Ghana has over 25 years of professional experience in the field of international development and has comprehensive knowledge and expertise in a wide range of development issues. He is currently the UN Resident Coordinator for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Anthony also previously served as UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Congo (2014-2019) and in the Republic of Guinea (2010-2014).
Prior to his appointment as UN Resident Coordinator, Anthony also served in various positions in the UN Development Programme where he started as a Junior Economist in 1992, and progressed to Assistant Resident Representative in Angola, Special Assistant to the Regional Director for Africa in UNDP HQ, Deputy Resident Representative in Cote d’Ivoire and Country Director in Rwanda.
In all these positions he had overall responsibility for the coordination and operationalization of UNDP’s programmatic activities within the UN Delivering as One initiative and provided strong leadership in the design and implementation of the Country Office (CO) programmes and operational activities. Anthony has expertise in and has contributed to countries in various stages of development including those emerging from crisis, political transitions from military to civilian rule, LDCs as well as middle income countries.
Prior to joining the UN System in 1992 he worked in an investment bank in the United States, in the mutual funds sector, and with a focus on growing client wealth.
Mr. Ohemeng-Boamah holds both a master’s degree in International Economics and Finance, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. He has also studied at ESSEC Business School in Cergy-Pontoise, France. He is a Registered Financial Consultant and belongs to the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants.
Mr. Ohemeng-Boamah is fluent English, French and Portuguese in addition to his maternal language Asante/Twi and other Ghanaian languages,
Ms. Genevieve Wiredu
Ms. Genevieve Owiredu is the Registrar of Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology, Lashibi, Accra, since April 2021.
Prior to her appointment, she was the Deputy Registrar (Faculty of Law) at the Mount Crest University College. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies, BMS (Hons) at the University of Cape Coast and she graduated with Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Human Resource Management from GIMPA. She has Diploma in Management Studies (DBS) from Takoradi Polytechnic, now Takoradi Technical University, Certificate in Administration and Management from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and Institute of Data Processing Management (IMIS) UK respectively.
She worked with RREDA(Vodafone) Ltd Takoradi from 2013 to 2016 as the General Manager, Administration. She joined the University of Cape Coast, College of Distance Education (CODE) in October, 2016 to 2020 as a part time lecturer. She also worked with Western Castings Limited for number of years as administrative officer and later as ag Human Resource Manager. She also worked with Animens Industry as the Executive secretary to the Managing Director and also a teacher of New Snaps College, Takoradi. In sum she has several years of experience in management and administrations. Happy to be part of the Thrivus team.