The International Federation of Cell Biology (IFCB) appoints Dr Patrick Kobina Arthur of WACCBIP as the First Vice President for Africa
The governing council for the International Federation of Cell Biology (IFCB) has appointed Dr. Patrick Kobina Arthur, the Head of Training and Research for the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), as its first Vice President for Africa. His appointment takes effect from September 2016 to September 2018.
The IFCB has its historical roots in the early 1930’s. It was officially established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1972 to coordinate and support Cell Biology activities across the world and to represent cell biology in the International Union of Biological Sciences. The IFCB is also represented in the International Cell Research Organization (ICRO) which collaborates with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO.
WACCBIP’s mandate is to serve as a core facility with state-of-the art biomedical laboratories to support infectious diseases research in the West African sub-region. The Center is developing a core facility to serve as a hub for collaboration among scientists in the sub-region with access to modern research equipment for analysis of samples and other services. The Centre was awarded $8,000,000.00 by the World Bank in November 2013 to provide Masters, PhD training, and targeted short-courses in Cell & Molecular Biology. In addition, WACCBIP is further supported by a Wellcome Trust Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science (DELTAS) Africa award of $7,823,628.00 to strengthen its research, expand its regional network beyond West Africa.
WACCBIP’s mission, which is to improve diagnosis, prevention and control of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa by providing advanced level training and research excellence on cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens is in line with IFCB main mission of promoting international cooperation, and to contribute to the advancement of cell biology in all its branches.
Dr. Patrick Kobina Arthur teaches at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) and has held a variety of positions in the Department. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Ghana in May 2001 and undertook his postgraduate studies at the University of Goettingen, where he earned his MSc in Molecular Biology in April 2003. He later obtained his PhD in Biochemistry at the same university in July 2008 and specialized in Drug discovery and Proteomics. Dr. Arthur has notable publications to his credit.
In addition to his vast experience, his appointment will be helpful in contributing to the promotion of the biological sciences, building research capacity in Africa. The Public Engagement team interacted with him on his new position and he had this to say.
Personal Engagement Team: Good evening Dr. Arthur, congratulations on your new position as IFCB vice president for Africa.
Dr. Arthur: Thank you very much.
Personal Engagement Team: Why did you accept the position as the vice president?
Dr. Arthur: It is an honor to represent Africa on the IFCB. I am also happy because it brings some prominence to WACCBIP and recognizes WACCBIP as the home of Cell biology on the African continent.
Personal Engagement Team: How will this position boost the image of WACCBIP?
Personal Engagement Team: This will help portray WACCBIP as the hub of Cell Biology, serve as a means to bring visibility and more collaboration in terms of training and research on the continent, and to also invite other Cell Biologists in Africa interested in our training.
Personal Engagement Team: What do you hope to achieve within your tenure of office as Vice president for IFCB, Africa?
Dr. Arthur: Firstly, we hope to increase the level of training opportunities for Cell Biology in Africa. At the moment, WACCBIP seems to be the only Center of Excellence on the continent that has the level of concentration of research and training in Cell Biology. In addition, we will strive to organize an Africa-wide conference in Cell Biology. Furthermore, we will encourage students to take full advantage of the opportunities that come along with studying Cell Biology. Lastly, we will collaborate with foreign institutions across the world to boost grant acquisition in Cell Biology for African scientists.
Personal Engagement Team: Thank you very much for making time for us.
Dr. Arthur: You are welcome.
Dr. Arthur’s appointment comes in recognition of his enormous contribution to WACCBIP as a Center of Excellence. We congratulate him and trust that his dynamic and visionary qualities will support the achievement of the mission of the IFCB.