An Associate Professor from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Lea Klingengberg Barfod, has shared her research project with faculty and students of the School of Allied Sciences of UCC.
In an exclusive interview, Prof. Barfod said her research project on “The Use of Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) in Malaria Vaccine Development” was about using monoclonal antibodies, from either humans or mice, as a way of developing second-generation malaria vaccine. She noted that antibodies have been used to understand immunity towards malaria better and new innovation mechanisms the parasite uses.
According to Prof. Barfod, the existing licensed vaccine only targets one protein used during invasion of the parasite in the liver, however, the new vaccine, she aims at developing would target different parts of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. She indicated that the vaccine when developed would be of great benefit to Sub-Saharan Africa where malaria was widespread. Prof. Barfod said she was interested in partnering UCC School of Allied Health Sciences on the current and future project.
The Dean of the School of Allied Health, Prof. Joojo Eghan, who chaired the lecture delivered by Prof. Barfod, was grateful for sharing her research work with faculty and students of the School. He said the School was ready to partner her in the project since malaria was a life threatening mosquito-borne blood disease affecting most people in Africa.
The Head, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Desmond Omane-Acheampong, said he was excited about the intelligent questions the students asked at the lecture adding “this is an indication that we are ready partner Prof. Barfod in her research project and it also shows that the School of Allied Sciences has quality lecturers.” He expressed gratitude to Prof. Barfod for the insightful lecture. He also commended Dr. Paulina Ampomah, a lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for facilitating Prof. Barfod’s visit.
Present at the lecture was a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UCC, Prof. Kobina Yankson.