WACCBIP Student Spotlight – Dorotheah Obiri
This week’s Student Spotlight shines on Dorotheah Obiri (Mrs). She is championing the cause for improved maternal health in Ghana with her research. A final year PhD student with the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Dorotheah prides herself as a woman preparing and connecting with other young female scientists in research.
Tell us about your upbringing and what makes you who you are?
I was brought up in Northern Nigeria (Niger State), where I had my pre-school and primary education. I then had my high school education in the Eastern Region of Ghana. I love reading, training/coaching, travelling and anything adventurous (Probably because I was brought up with boys).
What were your future aspirations as a child? Did those dreams change as you grew up?
Growing up, my love for reading and writing always astonished my English tutors. I was an exceptional student in class and that meant I was tipped to read a science programme and here I am at WACCBIP! I have not regretted going into research even though I wanted to be a Medical Doctor. Furthermore, my work also involves taking care of patients indirectly based on my research output.
What is your research area and why are you passionate about it?
I have been with the Immunology Laboratory of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) since 2011, under the supervision of Professor Ben Gyan. My research is focused on understanding the biology and immunology of host pathogen interactions and associated complications; specifically, in the area of malaria. I think there is still more to be unraveled in terms of malaria parasite pathogenesis and its interaction with the human host. Currently I am looking at placental infection as a possible risk factor for hypertensive disorders in pregnancy particularly preeclampsia.
What do you like about WACCBIP?
WACCBIP is a family and I am always intrigued by the dynamism here which makes me proud to be part of. Most of the resources to enable me excel are always available. The training received from both local and international faculty is top-notch and is reflective in the WACCBIP research output. I really enjoy the weekly seminars and the yearly research conference, where we have the opportunity to interact with our colleagues, faculty and visiting scientists to establish collaborative research.
What impact do you think your research will have in the world in the next decade?
My research will help in the critical case management of hypertensive disorders and other circulatory disorders in malaria endemic regions, as well as identifying immune targets for blood vessel integrity.
Any future plans you want to share?
I love probing and imparting knowledge thus I see myself teaching and conducting more research leading to improved maternal health in the near future.
Any advice for prospective WACCBIP students?
WACCBIP is the best place to be trained as a scientist but it demands hard work to accomplish everything.
On her educational background, Dorotheah had her Bachelor’s Degree at the Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Coast (UCC) and undertook her post-graduate studies in Zoology at University of Ghana, Legon.
Written by Kyerewaa A. Boateng