People Involved

Meet Our People

Meet the core personnel involved in setting up BioRTC from Yobe State University and TReND in Africa.

Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina

Mahmoud is a Research Fellow in Sussex Neuroscience, University of Sussex, UK working on understanding the basic mechanism of disease in neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Alzheimer's disease. He is also a visiting Associate Professor in Yobe State University, Nigeria and Outreach Coordinator for TReND in Africa

Dr Maina obtained his BSc in Human Anatomy from the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, MSc in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience and PhD in Neuroscience, both from the University of Sussex, UK. Dr Maina's research focuses on understanding the basic mechanism of disease in neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Alzheimer's disease. He uses cellular, molecular and biophysical techniques to understand the impact of cellular stress on disease progression and protein misfolding. His work uncovered a role for Tau protein in nucleolar transcription and stress response. Dr Maina is also passionate about promoting public understanding of science and inspiring and training young scientists, especially in Africa. He is the Outreach Coordinator for TReND in Africa (http://trendinafrica.org/) and founder of Science Communication Hub Nigeria (www.scicomnigeria.org) and African Science Literacy Network (www.AfricanSciLit.org). He has published articles about Neuroscience in Africa and organised workshops to train African neuroscientists. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award in 2017 and New England Biolabs Passion for Science Humanitarian Duty Award in 2019. In 2020, he was endorsed by the Royal Society as a Global Talent.
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Dr Takeshi Yoshimatsu

Takeshi is a Research Fellow in Sussex Neuroscience, University of Sussex, UK working on the function and development of the vertebrate visual systems in zebrafish and mice. He is also a member of TReND in Africa working to promote science in Africa.

After finishing PhD in Neuroscience at University of Tokyo (Japan), Takeshi Yoshimatsu received postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Rachel Wong’s lab and then at the University of Sussex in Tom Baden’s Lab from 2016 to present. During these periods, he has completed two postdoc fellowship, most recently a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship and prior to this an Uehara Foundation Fellowship. His research focuses on the function and development of the vertebrate visual systems in zebrafish and mice. Combining molecular biology, transcriptomics, computational modelling, in vivo 2-photon imaging and serial block-face scanning electron microscopy, he has uncovered molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal cell fate decisions, synaptic specificity, and the functional tuning of visual neurons. Alongside engaging in his research, he has organised seminar series in the Sussex Neuroscience department from 2018 to present. He has also communicated with various audiences outside of his research community by organising and participating public engagement (‘Open school day’ at University of Tokyo, Japan; ‘DIY 3D printing for teaching’ at University of Sussex, UK) and scientific workshop (‘Alternative model system for life science researches’ at the University of Lagos, Nigeria).
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Dr Sabi Raouf Issa

Raouf is a Research Fellow in Sussex Neuroscience, University of Sussex, UK working on cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling gene function in the nervous system during development and neurodegeneration. He is also member of TReND in Africa.

After obtaining PharmD degree in University of Lomé (Togo), Raouf joined Dr Serge Birman’s laboratory at ESPCI (École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles; Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution) and University of Pierre et Marie-Curie in Paris, from where he received his master’s and PhD degrees by investigating the cellular and molecular basis of ageing and neurodegeneration in Drosophila. Currently, Raouf is a research fellow in Professor Claudio Alonso’s laboratory, University of Sussex. He studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling gene function in the nervous system during development and neurodegeneration.
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Dr Renee Hartig

Currently based in Frankfurt, Renée is a Research Fellow at the University of Mainz and a member of TReND in Africa engaged in international collaborations focused on bridging neuroscience's integrative realms to advance scientific understanding.

Renee is a Research Fellow in the Focus Program Translational Neurosciences at the University of Mainz. Renée spends her time researching sensory information processing and adaptive learning in mammals through measurements of brain activity by magnetic resonance imaging and electrophysiology. This work is closely coordinated with an appreciation for the anatomical structures underlying functionally relevant brain regions. In 2019, Renée completed her MSc/PhD at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, and the University of Tübingen, Germany. Prior to Germany, Renée was based in New York where she completed a BSc (Biology/Neuroscience) at the State University of New York Stony Brook, where she also studied at the School of Journalism. Through TReND in Africa, Renee has been responsible for establishing the Collaborative Science Symposium program at the Universities of Zambia, Nairobi, and soon-to-be Nelson Mandela Institute in Arusha, Tanzania.
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Zaid Muhammad

Zaid is a Graduate Assistant at the Department of Human Physiology, Yobe State University, Nigeria and an alumnus of multiple summer schools organised by TReND in Africa

Zaid Muhammad obtained a BSc in Human Physiology from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (ABU) Nigeria, during which he worked on metal toxicity and its effects on rodents. He is currently pursuing an MSc in the same institution where his work focuses on the effect of a plant extract against amyloid beta aggregation and Tau phosphorylation in Drosophila melanogaster model of Alzheimer’s disease. Zaid is an alumnus of many TReND in Africa schools, including the IBRO-ARC TReND School on Invertebrate Neuroscience held in Ghana in 2019. Through this schools, he has acquired skills in basic molecular biology techniques and handling of Drosophila melanogaster. Zaid is a fellow of the African Science Literacy Network, a member of the Neuroscience Society of Nigeria (NSN), Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA), Physiological Society of Nigeria (PSN) and international movement disorder society (MDS).
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Dr Mohammed Musa Lawan

Mohammed is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Yobe State University, with experience in the practical application of analytical chemistry, method development and quality control techniques, use of state-of-the-art instrumentations, peptides de novo sequencing and dedicated programmes for protein identification. 

 

Mohammed obtained a B.Tech in Industrial Chemistry from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Nigeria, MSc in Analytical and Instrumental Analysis from the University of Malaya, Malaysia, and a PhD in Environmental Analytical Chemistry from the University of Aberdeen, UK. He has experience and skills in the practical application of analytical chemistry, method development and quality control techniques, state-of-the-art instrumentations, and peptides de novo sequencing using HPLC coupled to Orbitrap-MS and use of PEAK and MASCOT software for protein identification. Metal speciation in biological and environmental samples using hyphenated techniques is the major focus of his research. He has carried out a feeding experiment and looked at Selenium's biotransformation in collaboration with Fish Immunology research group at the University of Aberdeen to understand the uptake and distribution of Selenium in Rainbow trout and its incorporation into protein. For this, he developed a method for the determination of total selenium and selenium speciation in a biological sample using inductively plasma coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and hyphenated technique using HPLC coupled to ICP MS. Mohammed have received grants to support his work, including Principals inter disciplinary fund, University of Aberdeen in 2012; Principal's excellence fund, University of Aberdeen and European Union sponsored EUCHEM both in 2013.
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