Molecular biologist Dr Oluwapelumi Adeyemi has a lot on his to-do list.
From his university laboratory in Western Nigeria, he wants to make significant inroads into the diseases that are blighting lives and causing unnecessary deaths.
But like many scientists working in the developing world, he is unable to exploit the latest bio-molecular techniques to diagnose and research disease.
His laboratory lacks the necessary hi-tech equipment and many of his colleagues do not have the practical skills needed to exploit the advances in molecular biology — particularly to investigate viruses and vaccines.
Funding from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund has allowed Dr Adeyemi to be appointed a research visitor at the University of Leeds. It means he will be able to spend short periods at Leeds to tap into the University’s expertise in virology while leading his own research at the University of Ilorin into the viruses that cause severe diarrhoea and sickness in children, often with fatal consequences.
He will also have support from Nicola Stonehouse, Professor of Molecular Virology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Leeds. Equipment has been shipped from Leeds to boost the research capabilities of his team.
Professor Nicola Stonehouse said: “Research at Leeds is at the cutting edge of molecular biology.
“GCRF funding allows us to have scientists from low-to-middle income countries to come and work alongside us on important research projects at the frontiers of science.
“Through that process, we can help them become more effective research scientists who can return home and apply the very latest scientific approaches to the big problems their nations face.”
Earlier in his career, Dr Adeyemi studied for a PhD at Leeds with Professor Stonehouse’s team. He was involved in the development of virus-like particles, a key component for safer and cheaper vaccine development.
Listen to Professor Stonehouse and Dr Adeyemi discuss the research collaboration made possible by GCRF.
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