WACCBIP Student Spotlight – Reuben Ayivor-Djanie
Meet Reuben Ayivor-Djanie, a final year PhD student with the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP). According to Reuben, success is simply influencing the world positively with his research. Being at WACCBIP has been one of his successful stories as it gives him the springboard to find a cure for both Malaria and Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
He shared his story with us.
Tell us about your upbringing and what makes you who you are?
I spent my formative years in Teshie in the Greater Accra Region and Krobo-Odumase in the Eastern Region of Ghana. I used to play soccer, and I was good at it. Over the years my interests outside work, school and religious activities have evolved from chasing a soccer ball to enjoying the harmonic tunes from my guitar.
What were your future aspirations as a child? Did those dreams change as you grew up or you are achieving it?
Coupled with the fact that I was very good in science at school, my interest to be a medical doctor was born out from the Hospital environment I grew up in during my Junior High School days. My interest shifted when I discovered I was good at teaching. Therefore, I have aimed at getting the highest scientific training to enable me impact the next generation through teaching and WACCBIP has been supportive in that. So far, I think I am on track.
Can you share some interesting findings of your research?
I am carrying out my research with the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory (IDRL) and Prof. Gordon Awandare is my supervisor. I have been in this laboratory for two years now. My research is very interesting as I am finding an interphase between Malaria and Burkitt’s Lymphoma. In general, I am interested in finding out how immune responses to infectious pathogens can lead to genomic instability in lymphocytes.
What do you like about WACCBIP?
Besides the fellowship WACCBIP has given me to carry out my research, I have been privileged to showcase my ideas globally. The occasional talks from renowned scientists and the annual scientific conferences give me that exposure I need for my scientific development. For instance, during the recent WACCBIP Research Conference, I met Prof. Ann Moormann who also works on Burkitt’s Lymphoma at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA USA. I have been following her research since my MPhil days and it was a heartwarming experience interacting with her. The prospects for future collaborations with her are exciting, thanks to WACCBIP.
What impact do you think your research will have in the world in the next decade?
My research is at its early stage, however, in the end, I want to know how infectious pathogens like P. falciparum affect the antibody production process at the molecular level. Hopefully that would help the scientific world find remedies to both Malaria and Burkitt’s Lymphoma.
Reuben recently had the privilege of educating the Ghanaian public on his Malaria and Burkitt’s Lymphoma research on National Television and had interesting responses.
On his educational background, he had his Bachelor’s Degree at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology and undertook his post-graduate studies in Biochemistry all at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Banku and okro stew is the best delicacy in the entire world for Reuben. As for music, he does not have a favorite since he has a wide taste.