A distinguished African female scholar, Dr Cynthia Amaning Danquah of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, has scooped one of the highly distinguished 2020 African Oxford Research Development Award (AfOx ReDA) from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Danquah, who is a senior lecturer in the department of pharmacology, received £50,000 to focus on natural product drug discovery to tackle antibiotic resistance and develop new antibacterial agents to fight resistance in tuberculosis. She will collaborate with Professor Christopher Schofield from the University of Oxford.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest challenges to infectious diseases, including TB. The world body’s records show that Southern Africa has high incidences of drug-resistant TB and this has become a major health problem that is placing tremendous burden on the region’s health care systems. It says the treatment duration, extensive side effects and limited drug availability in TB therapies hinder successful treatment.
This is not the first time Danquah was involved in an antibiotic research initiative. In 2019 she was awarded an AfOx Travel Grant and together with the research team in Oxford, shared their findings on antibiotic resistance and synthetic medicinal chemistry.
Danquah is a decorated academic who boasts a number of qualifications under her belt. In 2001 and 2008 respectively, she obtained her BPharm (Hons) and MPhil (Pharmacology) degrees from KNUST. Furthemore, she awarded a PhD from the School of Pharmacy at the University College London, UK, in 2016.
She is also a visiting scholar and research associate to Birkbeck, University of London, University of Nottingham, King’s College London and the University of Oxford. She is also a reviewer for international academic journals, including Nature Scientific Reports; Elsevier’s Phytochemistry Letters, Tuberculosis and Scientific African.
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) said the awards will cement the existing AfOx-funded collaborations between researchers in African Institutions and the University of Oxford. The partnerships aim to address some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to generate benefits for the broader society beyond creating knowledge in their area of specialisation.
In addition, the academy said, the awards are intended to help foster larger collaborative projects that will strengthen Africa-Oxford partnerships as well as make the collaborating partners competitive for future major awards. They are expected to support the formation of equitable partnerships with Oxford and other colleagues.
Danquah’s research interest cut across a number of areas including natural product drug discovery, antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, natural product pharmacology and toxicology. Danquah is also a proud recipient of the KNUST Research Fund (KREF) Interdisciplinary award and KREF Seed grant.
She is also affiliated to a number of reputable science bodies and these include the following:
- African Academy of Sciences (AAS)
- American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Country ambassador,
- British Pharmacological Society (BPS) member and
- Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH)
Danquah has also participated in several high profile international conferences and workshops across the globe including at such places as London, Glasgow, Birmingham, in the UK; Washington DC, San Diego California and Ohio Northern in USA; Copenhagen, Denmark; Chatenay-Malabry, France; Düsseldorf, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland in Europe; Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa.