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ATRC Team

  Dr. Johnson Ouma is the Founding Director of the Africa Technical Research Centre (ATRC) of Vector Health International (VHI) where he oversees a large and diverse research and development portfolio for public health (vector control) and agriculture. As the founding Director, Johnson was and still is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction and operation of ATRC. A distinguished scientist and established leader with extensive research career experience spanning more than 20 years, Johnson obtained his PhD in Entomology and Genetics from Iowa State University (Iowa, USA). He also holds MPhil (parasitology) and BSc (zoology) degrees from Moi and Kenyatta Universities in Kenya, respectively. Before joining VHI in 2011 to head ATRC, Dr. Ouma worked as a senior scientist and held a number of senior level scientific and management positions with Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute (KETRI) and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). Over the years while working with KETRI and KARI, he served as head of division, theme leader, program leader and as chair and/or member of numerous institutional committees. His immediate last position before moving to ATRC was as Principal Research Scientist and Deputy Centre Director of KARI-Trypanosomiasis Research Centre for over 4 years. As a scientist, Dr. Ouma mobilized resources and served as principal investigator and team leader of several externally funded research projects and research consortia. He established strong and strategic regional and international partnerships that greatly contributed to successful implementation of his projects. He also served as supervisor/advisor/mentor for MSc (9) and PhD (4) students. From his research he authored/co-authored over 40 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals. His research at KETRI and KARI focused on the ecology and genetics of tsetse fly vectors and molecular epidemiology of sleeping sickness in order to generate scientific evidence to inform vector and disease control strategies and policy decisions. He worked closely with and advised national vector and disease control agencies, who were the main consumers of his research output. Johnson is a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Pan African Mosquito Control Association, and Vector Control Working - Roll Back Malaria Initiative, among other professional memberships.  He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including Research Excellence award (Iowa State University) and African Union ISCTRC gold medal award for distinguished contribution to research and control of tsetse flies and sleeping sickness. He is a Fellow of the Centre for International Cooperation and Development (University of Pavia, Italy) and has previously been awarded research fellowships by World Health Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, and Fogarty International Centre of the National Institutes of Health (USA).


Dr. Yousif E. Himeidan is a Senior Medical Entomologist and the head of the Vector Control Unit (VCU), Africa Technical Research Centre (ATRC) of Vector Health International (VHI). As the pioneer head of the unit, he was responsible for setting up and operationalizing the newly established vector research laboratory. Among his immediate responsibilities was to develop standard operating procedures that are consistent with standard guidelines in order to generate high quality data for product development. As the manager in charge, Dr. Yousif has presided over the expansion of the VCU, overseeing the establishment of new insectaries for mosquitoes and tsetse flies and equipping laboratories and breeding rooms with suitable tools and controlled environment. These efforts have led to cost efficient implementation of research and development activities within the unit. Dr. Yousif has provided leadership by supervising, guiding, and training members of his team including technical assistants. He also provides necessary technical support and valuable advice to the mother companies in terms of initiating and developing new products and conducting necessary research for proof of concept. Furthermore, he is in charge of generating technical data required in product development pipeline and submission to WHOPES in support of product approval. Dr. Yousif has an extensive research career experience covering more than 15 years in the field of malaria vector ecology and behavior as well as malaria epidemiology. He obtained his MSc and PhD in Vector Biology and Control and Malaria Epidemiology from University of Khartoum.  He also holds BSc in Crop Protection (Entomology) from Sudan University of Science and Technology. Before joining VHI-ATRC in 2012, Dr. Yousif worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kassala in Sudan where he served and rose through the ranks from a Teaching Assistant (1997) to Lecturer (2001) to Assistant Professor (2008). He taught courses in Entomology & Vector Biology and Control. He also served as an academic adviser to graduate and undergraduate students and was a guest Lecturer of Vector Biology and Control at the universities of Khartoum and Gezira.  Dr. Yousif has published extensively in peer reviewed journals and written book chapters. He has been a principle investigator and research team leader on research grants funded by EMRO/TDR/WHO. He also awarded a research fellowship from University of California, Irvine, though NIH funded project and worked as a research officer for three years at Climate and Human Health Unit, Center for Global Health, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya, where he carried out research on the ecology of malaria in highlands and impact of mass distribution of LLINs in western Kenya.  While in Sudan, Yousif worked very closely with the national malaria control program in Sudan, to whom he provided technical advice and who were the main beneficiaries of his research output, particularly on insecticide resistance.


Hubert COFFI works for the Africa Technical Research Center since 2012. His first task was to create and operationlize the Agronomy unit which he currently heads. Hubert has 10 years experience in agriculture, horticulture and pest control.Before joining ATRC Hubert worked in his native country of Cote d’Ivoire in the landscape and horticulture industry in a private company where he seved as the head of a department. He then went back to school in France and obtained his master’s degree while working with CIRAD, a leading National Research Institute in France focusing on tropical agriculture.Hubert holds a BSc in Agriculture from Cote d’Ivoire and two Master of Science degrees in Horticulture and Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness from two French universities


Wycliffe Karanja heads the Analytical unit. He holds an MSc degree in Analytical Chemistry from Kenyatta University and joined the Centre in July 2012. He has more than 20 years of experience having worked with Chemotryp a GTZ funded project that was involved in development of novel drugs for trypanosomiasis, Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute and Kenya agricultural Research Institute. His area of specialization is development/optimization and validation of analytical methods for determination of active ingredients in test formulations. He has developed and published an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method for determination of diminazene aceturate in body tissues and fluids. He has published in peer reviewed journals and given presentations in international conferences. He is a member of the Kenya Chemical Society.


 

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