SPARCo Hub

Prof. Makani is Associate Professor in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), the main clinical, academic and research centre in Tanzania. Tanzania has recognised sickle cell disease (SCD), as a major public health problem and it has been included as a priority condition in the national strategy for Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health.

With global partnerships, Muhimbili has developed a systematic framework for comprehensive research that is integrated into healthcare, advocacy and education. With prospective surveillance (2004 – 2016) of over 5,000 SCD patients; this is one of the largest single-center, SCD research programs in the world. Scientific themes include clinical and biomedical research (including genomics) and public health [including ethics, social/behavioral science, population health and health policy]. The aim is to use SCD as a model to establish scientific and healthcare solutions in Africa that are locally relevant and globally significant.

Julie trained in Medicine (Tanzania) and Internal Medicine (UK), and completed her PhD in clinical epidemiology of SCD. She is a consultant physician at the MUHAS University Hospital, MAMC. She was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow [Training (2003 – 2009) and Intermediate (2012 - 2017)] and Tutu Leadership Fellow (2009). She received the 2011 Royal Society Pfizer Award for her work in using anaemia in SCD as a model of translating genetic research into health benefit. She is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of United Kingdom and Tanzania Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Ofori-Acquah is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics at the Universityof Pittsburgh. He is Director of the Center for Translational and International Hematology at the University’s Vascular Medicine Institute. He is Director and Project Leader of a number of NIH and Wellcome Trust research and training programs. His research is focused on the role and mechanism of extracellular heme in the pathobiology of sickle cell disease (SCD).

He has developed a mouse model of acute chest syndrome that recapitulates the clinical, biological and pathological features of the condition in humans. His group is using this model to unravel the mechanism of lung injury in acute chest syndrome, and to test candidate drugs for their potential to prevent and treat this lung condition. He developed the concept of extracellular heme crisis in SCD, and defined free heme as a prototypical erythroid danger associated molecular pattern molecule that drives sterile inflammation in this disorder in the absence of infection. His research on chronic effects of heme is focused on the role and mechanism of the Nrf2 pathway in end-organ damage.

His global health activities include co-directing a longitudinal observational study of biomarkers of organ damage in a large SCD cohort in Kumasi, Ghana, and as Director of the graduate course in Molecular Mechanisms of Human Genetic Diseases in the University of Ghana’s Wellcome Trust funded DELTAS Africa program.

Dr. Sangeda is a lecturer and Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the MUHAS node. Raphael graduated with a B. Pharm from Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai, India in 1998. In 2005, he obtained his MSc in Medical Microbiology at Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology. In 2005 he joined Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, now KU Leuven, in Belgium where he graduated in M. Pharm (2006), MSc. Bioinformatics (2008) and PhD (2013) on the use of Bioinformatics approaches to predict HIV drug resistance.

His interest at MWP includes the use of Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) in investigating the ‘Genetic epidemiology of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus infections in individuals with Sickle Cell Disease.

Having started my career in biomedical research (developmental molecular genetics) I now support researchers to undertake research and translate research outputs into real world impacts. Support includes grant funding, communication, partnerships with industry, technology transfer, career development, grant management and capacity building.

I have experience from The Wellcome Trust and Cranfield University, UK. Currently I am working to support development of research management capacity in Tanzania.

Ms Manongi holds a Bachelor of International Relation (BIR) from the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. She also possesses a Masters in Public Administration from Mzumbe University, Tanzania. She has more than four years experience in Human Resources and administrative activities. She has worked for Dar Es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA), Ando Roofing products, CRDB Bank Tanzania and is currently working with the Sickle Cell Programme as an Administrative Officer and Assistant to the Principal Investigator, Professor Makani.

Mr Hokororo is an Accountant dealing with Financial Management and Grant Management. He has 23 years experience in a position directly dealing with recording and monitoring of transactions, and reporting financial performance of international NGO’s. His work always involved liaising with financial and banking institutions in ensuring efficient management of liquid resources. Prior to practicing accountancy he worked as an auditor for 7 years in an international audit firm, the then Coopers Lybrand.

Ms. Nkanyemka holds Master’s Degree in Women’s Law (MWL) from Southern and Eastern Regional Centre for Womens’ Law of University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe. In 2004, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration specialized in International Relations. She is a Programme Management Specialist with over 14 years’ experience on Projects and Programmes Management with Government and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).

Malula has worked on broad of projects and programme that covers different thematic areas: Health sub-studies, Gender focusing on Women and Children, Advocacy, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Risk and Crisis Management, Fundraising, Leadership, Recruitment and Team Management, Project Management, Youth Programs, Trainer on Job Placement Curriculum and Life Skills Trainer, International Development, Capacity Building and Facilitation, Financial Management, Strategic Planning, Product Strategy Development, PPP-Public Private Partnership, Stakeholders Management and Education Programs Management

She is experienced in the Project/ Programme Cycle Management (PCM): situational analysis, planning and budgeting, funding, implementation, evaluation and appraisal for development and sustainability. She practically managed large and small programme’s portfolios.

Malula managed partnership projects and programmes with different funders: Ireland Embassy (Youth Lead Project-Youths Empowerment Research Program), MasterCard (Passport To Success: System Change Project for Youths in Tanzania), DFID Tanzania (Next Generation Youth Research Program), UKAID (Capacity Building for the Ministry of Finance and Planning), British Gas/Shell, Tanzania(Employability Technical Skills-Education Program for Oil and Gas), East Africa Development Bank (Education Training and Fellowship Program for Medical Doctors in Tanzania) and Commonwealth UK (UK Higher Education and Capacity Building for Tanzanians)

She is currently working with Sickle Cell Programme in Tanzania as Programme Manager.