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Supporting African researchers through Cambridge Africa

Cambridge-Africa is a University programme that supports African researchers and promotes collaborations and equitable partnerships between Africa and Cambridge. During April and May last year, their ALBORADA Research Fund COVID-19 Emergency Awards funded projects to rapidly respond to COVID-19 in Africa.

As part of our Seniors’ Spotlight series,  we meet the Centre’s Academic Director Caroline Trotter, who will be ‘in conversation’ with Hughes Hall postgraduate and Cambridge-Africa Scholar, Ernest Aguinam.

Caroline will talk about how Cambridge-Africa has evolved, and the collaborative work currently being undertaken through this vital University programme. Ernest will share his personal story about how he came to be selected as one of the five outstanding annual applicants from sub-Saharan African countries to study for a PhD at Cambridge on a project that focusses on African priorities.

Together, they will highlight the important work being undertaken and their current research priorities.

To watch the recording of this event, click here

Dr Caroline Trotter
Caroline was appointed Academic Director for Cambridge-Africa in October 2018, succeeding Professor David Dunne (the founding Director in 2008). She is a Principal Research Associate in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge and an honorary epidemiologist at Public Health England. She is also a Governing Body Fellow of Hughes Hall.
Caroline’s research examines the potential and actual impact of immunisation using a range of methods from classic epidemiology to mathematical modelling and health economics. Her work has been used to inform national and (as a consultant to the World Health Organisation) international vaccine policy. Much of Caroline’s research is focussed on meningococcal disease and carriage in the UK and Africa, working with African partners, including the African Meningococcal Carriage Consortium (MenAfriCar). She has been involved in a range of projects in the African meningitis belt, both to quantify the impact of MenAfriVac (an affordable group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine), and to investigate both short (epidemic response) and long-term (preventive vaccination) options for the control of epidemic meningitis. She also has current projects on the impact of vaccination against group B streptococcus and rabies.

Ernest Aguinam
Ernest is a Hughes Hall postgraduate and Cambridge-Africa Scholar with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria and a research-based MPhil in Veterinary Science from the University of Cambridge. Ernest is currently working on a coronavirus vaccine development project at the Department of Veterinary Medicine. His role involves accessing immune responses generated by vaccine candidates. Ernest is also part of a large collaborative project between the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and researchers at the Department of Veterinary Medicine aimed at identifying immunological correlates of protection from Covid-19. Here, his interests lie in evaluating cellular immune responses in hospitalized Covid-19 patients and in healthcare workers exposed directly or indirectly to these patients. With the ongoing role out of the vaccines, he also hopes to assess how the underlying immunological status of individuals and previous exposure to the virus might affect the quality and duration of their immune responses to the vaccine.

Seniors’ Spotlight Series
Our ‘Seniors’ Spotlight Series’ provides accessible, short, conversational insights, in an informal ‘podcast’ type format, that has broad intellectual appeal across the College community. This dynamic and exciting series seeks to uncover what our senior members feel passionate about – intellectually, professionally, personally or philanthropically.

To register, click here or follow the link below