The team

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Dr Chisomo Msefula

Dr Msefula is a senior Lecturer and Molecular microbiologist with the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. He also serves as Dean of the faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professional. His main interests concern control of enteric pathogens in both children and adults through the study of antibiotic resistance and genetic diversity of the pathovariants.

Dr Msefula collaborates with groups at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, University of Liverpool and Norvatis vaccines Institute, Italy.

Dr Msefula through his PhD work characterised the sub-Saharan Africa representative S. Typhimurium strain D23580 that is widely used internationally. The genomic characterization of a distinct genotype of invasive S. Typhimurium in sub-Saharan Africa. Characterization of multidrug resistance on a transferable virulence plasmid in invasive S. Typhimurium

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Dr Arox Kamng’ona, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD

Background: Arox Kamng’ona did his O-level certificate education at Mtendere Secondary School in 1993. He was then selected to the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, to pursue a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Chemistry, which he completed in 1998. In 1999, he took up a position of assistant lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic, before joining the Malawi College of Medicine in 2002 as an assistant lecturer in Biochemistry. In 2005 he was awarded a scholarship by the Government of Norway (NORAD) to study for a BSc(Hons) degree (2005) and Master of Science Degree in Molecular Biology (2006-2007) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In 2009, he enrolled for a joint PhD program in Infection and Immunity with the University of Liverpool/University of Malawi, College of Medicine. He successfully defended his PhD in May 2014 and graduated in December 2014. Arox is married to Mtisunge Kamng’ona and they have three girls: Juanita, Tamanda and Nelly.

Current position: Dr Arox Kamng’ona is a senior lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi. He also has a Position as an honorary fellow in the School of Clinical Infection Microbiology and Immunology, University of Liverpool.

Research Interests: Dr Kamng’ona’s research focus is on microbial ecology. He is particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of human microbiota and effect on human health, using metagenomic approaches. This is in line with his PhD study in which he investigated the nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumonia and other microbiota in Malawian children and adults. He has extensively worked in analysing 16S rRNA sequence data using mothur, quantitive insight into microbial ecology (QIIME) and in the R environment. His work earned him placement at the European Molecular Biology Labs and European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in the UK where he further worked taxonomic and functional data analysis of shotgun metagenomic sequences, using the online EMBL-EBI metagenomic data analysis portal. As a researcher, Dr Kamng’ona works in collaboration with the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust (MLW); University of California, Davis (UCDavis); Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge; EMBL-EBI; the Institute of Infection and Global Health (IIGH) and the Centre for Genomic Research (CGR), University of Liverpool; St Georges Medical School, University of London; and The Michigan State University (MSU).


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Dr Elizabeth Kampira

Dr Elizabeth Kampira is a senior lecturer in the department of Medical Laboratory Sciences in the faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professionals, College of Meidicine, University of Malawi where she also serves as Deputy Head of Department. She has done extensive work in clinical laboratory sciences, Pharmacogenetics of HIV antiretroviral therapy and validating molecular tool to be used in TB diagnosis. She is a practicing medical laboratory scientist and researcher. She teaches and provides academic mentorship to graduate and undergraduate students especially in Clinical Chemistry, Toxicology and Molecular Diagnostic.

She has contributed in developing curricula of Biomedical Science and Medical Laboratory Science Mzuzu Universities and College of Medicine respectively and its training implementation at College of Medicine in Malawi.

Dr Kampira’s research interest include pharmacogenetic characteristics and pharmacovigilance of the African population with an understanding of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporter genes involved in susceptibility to diseases and variation in response to treatment. Her goal is to intergrate genetic and genomic findings there by promoting monitoring of the safety of drugs in our settings, detection, assessment, understanding into changes in clinical practice, from bench to the bedside and translate the results into better treatment of patients and prevention of adverse drug reactions among patients. I have considerable experience in collaborating in international, multi-center research projects.
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Dr Benjamin Kumwenda

Dr Benjamin Kumwenda is a Lecture in informatics at College of Medicine in the department of Biomedical Sciences. He lectures in Foundation program and Health Informatics in health management and masters in public health programmes. He is also the Head of Department of Biomedical Sciences.

He also serves as a theme lead for the Bioinformatics research theme in the college. He holds a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Pretoria funded by the Research Initiative in Science and Education (RISE). He was a postdoctoral fellow for the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust under the H3ABioNet project, a project under H3Africa. He also spent 9 months at the University of Liverpool, UK as a postdoctoral research fellow under the African Research Excellence Fund in Professor Jay Hinton’s laboratory.

He is the recipient of the Research Initiative in Science and Education (RISE) graduate establishment competitive grant to establish Bioinformatics research and training in the College of Medicine.

His research interests are in genomics, transcriptomics, NGS, protein modelling and algorithm development. He collaborates with groups University of Liverpool, Sanger Institute, University of Cape Town and Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome trust. Dr Benjamin Kumwenda has masters students from the MSc in informatics and MPH programmes in the University of Malawi.


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Dr Khuzwayo Jere

Dr Khuzwayo C. Jere is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Medical Laboratory Sciences in the faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Health Professionals at the College of Medicine (COM), University of Malawi, and also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool. He leads rotavirus surveillance studies at the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) and is a member of the Vaccine surveillance consortium that is assessing the effectiveness of newly introduced childhood rotavirus and pneumococci vaccines in Malawi. He pursued a BSc. Degree at the University of Malawi, then obtained BSc. (Med)(Hons) and MSc. (Med) degrees in Medical Virology at the Medical University of Southern Africa, Medunsa (now Sefakgo Mahatho Heath Science University), and a PhD in Biochemistry at North-West University in South Africa. Dr Jere has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine in which he is utilise recent advances in high throughput sequencing technologies to understand immune responses in children exposed to rotavirus.

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Dr Richard J. Munthali

Dr Richard Munthali is an affiliate in the bioinformatics group at the College of Medicine. He is currently working for MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU)- School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand as a Bioinformatician/Data Scientist.




Yankho Chapeta

Yankho Chapeta is the Msc Bioinformatics Administrator as well as a Staff Associate at the College of Medicine. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 2009, and currently doing her Master’s degree in Epidemiology at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine. Yankho’s research interest is the epidemiology of Malaria and mechanisms of transmission and prevention, specifically how entomological indices (mosquito density and sporozoite rate) vary between villages with high and low coverage of House Improvement when added to the standard Malarial control strategies.