Dr Kwabena Duedu, University of Health and Allied Sciences, is collaborating with Dr Wilber Sabiiti, University of St. Andrews, to develop his bioinformatic and statistical skills. He will utilise these skills to analyse genes involved in SARS-CoV-2 to understand the disparity in COVID symptoms across Africa.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had an unprecedented worldwide impact, killing almost 7 million people as of June 2023. However, many cases of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa have been asymptomatic, with a lower proportion of patient death and other adverse outcomes, eluding the predicted and modelled trends of disease impact on the continent. The reasons for this heterogeneity across countries in Africa remain unknown.
Dr Kwabena Duedu, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana, will be using our Meade Collaboration Travel Grant in Epidemiology to utilise the resources at the University of St. Andrews to conduct epidemiological genomic analysis to provide insight into this variation in the response to COVID-19.
Building on his existing collaboration with Dr Wilber Sabiiti, University of St. Andrews, Dr Duedu plans to receive practical training on bioinformatics and statistics, using these skills to analyse genomic sequencing datasets and model the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. Dr Duedu plans to use this analysis to gain understanding of the molecular factors that drove the pandemic within his community in Ghana. Dr Duedu also aims to utilise these skills to advance his current research and open new research questions.
Dr Duedu’s visit to St. Andrews will provide opportunity to characterise the novel molecules genes involved in SARS-CoV-2, which may then be used as important biomarkers used in subsequent diagnostic tools. Dr Duedu aims to deepen his relationship with the University of St. Andrews, as he works with different groups within the university to carry out his research.