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Legon, Ghana

Site Institution: Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana
U.S. Institution: Yale University
Research Areas: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Opportunistic Infections, HIV, TB

Site Description:
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), established in 1979 as a semi-autonomous institute of the University of Ghana, is the country’s leading biomedical research facility. The Institute is located on the University of Ghana campus at Legon, approximately 5km from Accra International Airport. The Institute is committed to high-quality and cutting-edge research on national health priorities and training of biomedical scientists and health researchers.

Dr. Elijah Paintsil, Associate Professor at Yale, Dr. Michael Wilson, Professor of Parasitology at NMIMR and Dr. Margaret Yaa Lartey, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ghana Medical School, have been collaborating for more than 10 years through the Ghana-Yale Partnership for Global Health (GYPGH). GYPGH was established in 2006 to strengthen academic infrastructures and creating viable career opportunities for early-career scientists and researchers. The objectives of the partnership include: 1) supporting collaborative research between faculty at the University of Ghana and Yale; and 2) training young scientists at both institutions for a productive career in globally important infectious diseases research. Dr. Wilson is the co-director of the GYPGH and he has mentored several trainees (undergrad and MD, MPH, PhD candidates) from Yale who have spent time at NMIMR in Ghana.

The Institute’s research portfolio is wide and varied, and it includes malaria, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis, filariasis (lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis), diarrheal diseases, Buruli ulcer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, poliomyelitis, sexually transmitted infections, micronutrients, infant and maternal mortality, viral hemorrhagic fevers, EPI Diseases, hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell disease etc.), plant medicine, drug discovery and environmental pollution.

Other features of this site include:
  • The Parasitology Department within NMIMR: PCR and DNA sequencing, parasitological analyses of urine, stool and blood (including clinical chemistry), laboratory cultures of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain and Leishmania species, fully equipped entomology laboratory and insectaries.
  • Through collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, NMIMR maintains 10 active field research stations throughout the country. The technical staff have extensive experience conducting field studies on malaria, leishmania and helminth infections.
  • The Institute also houses the administrative buildings for the West African Centre for International Parasite Control (WACIPAC), the Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre for Africa (LFSCA), and a Health Support Centre for HIV/AIDS counselling and training.
  • Active collaborative research and training experiences through a variety of international partners, including GYPGH, University of Michigan, University of Denmark among others.
  • GYPGH has sponsored 25 students, faculty and staff from Ghana to spend up to two months at Yale, where they participate in the annual Summer Research Institute and receive intensive mentorship at various Yale labs.

Current research projects include:
  • Clinical outcomes and adverse effects of Dolutegravir based treatment regimens for persons living with HIV.
  • Disclosure of HIV status to children and adolescents (Sankofa 2 study).
  • Correlation between intracellular levels of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and suppression of HIV 1 and Hepatitis B infections.