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This keynote will examine the significance of African scientists' development of a COVID19 Vaccine in Nigeria in response to the pandemic.

It draws on ongoing research at ACE for Genomics of Infectious Diseases Redeemer´s University, Nigeria, co-led by Professors Happi and Folarin, with academic partners in Senegal, Ghana and Cameroon as well as US and UK partners.

This talk speaks to transitions in Africa's role in medical innovation as a response to shifting global events and dynamics, particularly around the COVID pandemic, and the complexities around Africa's agency and collaborations.

This event is part of the African Leadership Centre's - Africa Week 2023 - taking place 6-10 March 2023.

This event is hybrid. A link to join Zoom will be sent to registered attendees prior to the event.


Keynote: Professor Onikepe Folarin, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics at Redeemer's University.

Professor Onikepe Folarin is Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics and the current Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, and Deputy Director (Human Pathogen Research and Training) of the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemer’s University. She received training in Molecular Biology at the Malaria Research Laboratories, IAMRAT, University of Ibadan from 2000 - 2009. Her research focus includes molecular epidemiology of antimalarial drug resistant parasites by monitoring polymorphisms on the molecular markers of resistance. She was involved in the development and establishment of PCR diagnosis of Lassa virus in Nigeria. She contributed to the establishment of the Center of Excellence for the Diagnosis and Management of Lassa fever in Edo State Nigeria.

Over the past 15 years, she has been involved in the human genomics, pathogens genomics through NIAID and NIH funded projects. The genomics research all aim at developing new rapid and accurate diagnostics tools and therapeutics for the Lassa Virus as well as unravelling the basis of human genetic susceptibility to Lassa virus. She has trained undergraduate and graduate students on Molecular Biology techniques and applications.

Overall, her research and teaching experience, as well as knowledge of Molecular Biology and Genomics of Malaria, Lassa fever and other infectious diseases while working together with Professor Christian Happi have equipped her for genomic research in Malaria, Lassa fever, Ebola virus, SARS-CoV-2. She has published over 55 peer reviewed research articles.

Discussant: Professor Anne Pollock, Head of Department of Global Health & Social Medicine

Professor Anne Pollock is Professor and Head of Department of Global Health & Social Medicine. Prior to moving to London to join King's in 2018, Anne spent a decade based at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

She holds degrees in Science, Technology & Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD) and in Sociology from Brandeis University (BA).

Anne’s research explores feminist, anti-racist, and postcolonial engagements with science, technology, and medicine. She is the author of three books: Medicating Race: Heart disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference (Duke 2012), Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge, and Place in South African Drug Discovery (Chicago 2019), and Sickening: Anti-Black Racism and Health Disparities in the United States (Minnesota 2021).

Moderator: Dr Eka Ikpe, Director, ALC and Reader in Development Economics in Africa

Dr Eka Ikpe is Director and Reader (Development Economics in Africa) at the African Leadership Centre at King's. Her research offers a critical understanding of socio-economic transformation processes which advances concept-building that centres spaces in Africa and parts of the Global South across the fields of economic development and peace and security. Current themes of interest include, developmentalism, industrial development and structural transformation, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and the economic costs of conflict and creative economies. Her research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-Global Challenges Research Fund, the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the International Development Research Centre.

Eka is Co-Editor of Peace, Society and the State in Africa and African Perspectives of Leadership and Peacebuilding (Bloomsbury Press) and on the editorial boards of Africa Development, African Security Review and Journal of Leadership and Developing Societies. She is on the Research Advisory Committee of Women for Women International.


At this event

Eka Ikpe profile photo 160 160

Director, African Leadership Centre

Professor Anne Pollock

Head, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine

Event details

2.06 (S)
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG