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Katherine Dayanna Laiton Donato
Home Country: Bogotá Colombia

Universidad de Antioquia, doctoral student in basic biomedical sciences – virology

Bachelor’s in microbiology, Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca and master in microbiology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia


José Usme Ciro

Project Title:

Characterization of emerging RNA viruses and with emerging potential present in sylvatic, rural and urban environments of Colombia.

Description of the Project: Identify and characterize emerging RNA viruses with emerging potential in sylvatic, rural and urban environments in Colombia. 1. To evaluate the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary mechanisms that shape the genetic variability of SARS-CoV-2 in Colombia. 2. Establish phylogenetic relationships and describe potential transmission scenarios of RNA viruses identified in urban, rural and sylvatic environment. 3. Evaluate through in vitro tests the emergence potential of RNA viruses identified in the ecosystem of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. 4. Establish methodological strategies for genomic surveillance of emerging viruses with impact on public health.
Amaanat Gill
Home Country: Winnipeg, Manitoba

MSc. 2nd Year, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

BSc (Honours) Life Sciences and BA (General) Global Development Studies at Queen’s University


Drs. Marissa Becker and Lyle McKinnon

Project Title:

Examining the changes in the uptake/use of HIV and other STBBI prevention and treatment services by female sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic..

Description of the Project: The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a multitude of public health restrictions globally. Prevention and intervention strategies for containing COVID-19 have included closure of non-essential services, lockdown measures, and physical distancing guidelines. Current existing literature suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a multitude of challenges for sex workers and the sex work industry in Kenya. A number of studies have highlighted the difficulties faced by female sex workers in accessing sexual and reproductive health services due to lockdown protocols and social distancing guidelines, which includes challenges in accessing HIV treatment and prevention resources. My project aims to determine if there have been any changes in the uptake/use of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Bloodborne Infections (STBBI) prevention and treatment resources among female sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya during COVID-19 by utilizing secondary data from the Sex Worker Outreach Clinics in Nairobi.
Glory Kalobo
Home Country: DR Congo

Master of Science in Tropical and Infectious Diseases year 2, University of Nairobi, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Bachelor of Medicine, University of Kisangani


Prof Julius O Oyugi

Project Title:

Clinical outcomes of treatment strategies used in the management of COVID-19 patients in Kenya: Potentially effective therapy options.

Description of the Project: When COVID-19 hit, various treatment protocols have been proposed but with no conclusive cure so far. Patient management at the moment relies on providing supportive care on one hand and a combination of various repurposed drugs on the other hand. Studies have assessed the clinical outcomes of treatment regimens however in Africa in general and in Kenya in particular no such study covering this pivotal aspect has been conducted. The aim of my study is to assess the different strategies used to tackle this novel infection, To document the clinical outcomes, adherence to the standard of care, and the influence of co-morbidities on the clinical outcomes of the treatment strategies used in the management of COVID-19 since the first case was reported in Kenya.
Yusuf Adam Khalil
Home Country: Nairobi, Kenya

University of Nairobi, Doctoral student year 1

MBBS 2006 (International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan)

MMED OBSGYN 2022 (University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya)


Prof Moses Madadi Obimbo

Project Title:

Quantification of maternal plasma and urinary placental exosomes in fetal growth restriction. A longitudinal Study.

Description of the Project: Placental exosomes provide potential biomarkers used for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Antenatal diagnosis allows for timely interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality. Fetal growth restriction (FGR) causes morbidity and mortality. We aim to identify the changes in placental exosome cargo in FGR and analyze the potential of these biomarkers to be used for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of FGR.
Lorena Salazar Ospina
Home Country: Medellin, Colombia

Universidad de Antioquia, Doctoral student in Microbiology 1st year

Universidad de Antioquia, MSc Microbiology and Bioanalysis, Emphasis in Molecular Epidemiology. 2020

Universidad de Antioquia, Professional in Microbiology and Bioanalysis. 2017


Dra. Natalia Jiménez Quiceno

Project Title:

Development of a non-antibiotic control strategy based on the use of lytic bacteriophages for the elimination of bacteria of clinical importance in human health and environmental.

Description of the Project: Antimicrobial resistance is a serious public health problem, with a great impact on increased mortality, hospital stay and health care costs. Also, the formation of biofilm by these bacteria makes antibiotic treatment and the action of disinfectants even more difficult. This problem is not restricted to the clinical setting, the use of antibiotics in different anthropogenic activities has increase resistant bacteria in the environment, mainly in water bodies where they are considered emerging contaminants; likewise, biofilms represent serious limitations for wastewater treatment and drinking water distribution systems. To mitigate the impact of bacterial resistance and biofilm formation, bacteriophages have been reconsidered as a safe strategy for the patient and friendly to the environment. This project to promote technological research around a priority health problem and it its focused in search lytic phages against resistant bacteria of clinical importance, such as E. coli resistant to cephalosporins (producer of Extended-spectrum Beta-lactamases - ESBL), carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC producer), carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, and methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In addition, bacteriophages will be used in laboratory-level to evaluate the efficacy of biofilm removal in medical device, surfaces, wastewater and drinking water distribution systems.
Degol Dessie Tsegai
Home Country: Keren, Eritrea

U of Manitoba, Masters of Public Health (MPH), Student 2nd year

MD - Orotta School of Medicine and Dentistry, in 2011

Advanced Diploma in HIV Management at the College of Medicine of South Africa (2017)

Dr Michelle Driedger
Project Title:
Facilitators and Barriers of Successful Tuberculosis Treatment Outcomes at Qacha’sNek District, Rural Lesotho: A Mixed Method Study
Description of the Project: ural Lesotho: A Mixed Method Study Project Description (4-5 sentences): Lesotho is one of the countries hardest hit by the double burden of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB), with the latest (2021) HIV prevalence estimated to be 20.9%, whereas TB incidence at 650/100,000. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of morbidity and mortality in Lesotho. The rate of initial TB treatment defaulters ( before treatment initiation) in Lesotho is high at 22% coupled with absence of an effective tracking system. Several factors determine TB treatment outcomes including patient factors, socio-demographic factors and system factors including health care system. There is significant disparity in TB treatment success rate between urban and rural Lesotho at 74% and 66% respectively. The purpose of the current study is to identify factors that facilitate or inhibit successful TB treatment outcomes for clients who received TB treatment during the period of January 2020 to December 2022 at Qacha’sNek district in rural Lesotho.

University of Manitoba
University of Nairobi
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences
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