Young Investigators

The UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences currently provides mentoring for young investigators from partner universities in Africa and the Caribbean region. The Center also fosters an environment where scientists interact with other investigators at the University at Buffalo and the academic medical centers of the State University of New York - Global Health Institute. This environment is created through visiting scholar programs, web-based approaches that facilitate real time research mentoring and collaboration, as well as virtual seminars, conferences and workshops.

Investigators:

Waheed Adedeji

Waheed Adedeji is from the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria, where he is both a physician and researcher. Waheed received training at the University at Buffalo as an International fellow and is currently at UB to complete a six month research training period as a recipient of the HIV Research Trust Scholarship. He is currently working on the evaluation of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics basis of the concomitant administration of nevirapine and dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy and artemether/lumefantrine among Nigerian adults co-infected with malaria/HIV. His other projects include CYP2D6 polymorphism among hypertensives and the healthy Yoruba Nigerian population, and patterns of drug use among adults in rural and urban Communities of Oyo State, Nigeria.

Cindy Bednasz

Cindy Bednasz, PharmD, is an HIV/HCV Clinical Pharmacology Postdoctoral Fellow at the University at Buffalo. Cindy’s fellowship training has provided her the privilege of being an investigator for the NIH-funded ACTG Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory performing group secondary analysis and population pharmacokinetic modeling on multiple antiretrovirals used in A5202, a large phase IIIb clinical trial conducted by the ACTG. Her future goals include utilizing the environment she is a part of to conduct pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic research. Cindy is looking to develop and execute research utilizing novel techniques and advanced data modeling and analysis tools to improve the safety and efficacy of the drug development process.

Tiffany Butterfield

Tiffany Butterfield is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of the West Indies – Mona, Kingston Jamaica. Her Ph.D. work is focused on assessing the role of immunometabolism in non-AIDS comorbidities in HIV infected persons. She is currently working on the role of glucose metabolism in T lymphocytes and monocytes from HIV infected women with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Her research goals also include identifying the impact of HIV infection and/or CMV co-infection on glucose metabolism in T lymphocytes and monocytes. She is also, currently the research assistant to the Head of Department in the Department of Microbiology at the University of the West Indies – Mona.

Dexter Chagwena

Dexter Chagwena, MSc, joined the UB-UZ NIH Fogarty International Center research mentorship program in 2012. He is a nutritionist who developed his research agenda to focus on bridging the gap between nutrition and HIV clinical pharmacology and has completed a project on evaluating influence of malnutrition on pharmacologic and clinical outcomes of HIV pediatric patients in Harare. During his pre-doctoral fellowship training he also worked nutritional sciences implementation research with patients from the PARI support group. Currently Dexter is working on advancing his research in nutrition HIV pharmacology with guidance from UB and UZ mentors.

Faithful Makita Chingombe

Faithful Makita Chingombe, MPhil, trained at the University at Buffalo as a fellow in the UB-UZ HIV Research Training Program. Faithful received training in areas of ARVs nanoparticle fabrication for her Masters in Philosophy and method development and validation for pharmacology assays as per Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance guidelines. She is currently leading the development of a pharmacology specialty laboratory in Zimbabwe to offer pharmacological support for protocols in the NIH ACTG network.

Admire Dube

Admire Dube, PhD, is a pharmaceutical scientist and Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape in Cape Town South Africa. He previously held a position as Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria South Africa where he worked on commercializing nanomedicines for malaria and tuberculosis treatment. His research group focuses on developing immune-modulatory nanomedicines for treatment of infectious diseases. He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Monash University, Australia and Post-doctoral training in nanomedicine from the University at Buffalo.

Fatai A. Fehintola

Fatai A. Fehintola, MBBS, MsC, FMCP, is a professor and researcher at the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria. His research focus is on chemotherapy of acute uncomplicated malaria in children and pregnant women, the two population groups most affected by this parasitic infection in endemic sub-Saharan Africa. Fatai has also researched into the determinants of successful chemotherapy in men. He has conducted many clinical trials on several notable antimalarial drugs used as monotherapy as well as when used in combination including the global gold standards – artemisinin-based combination therapy. These studies contributed to the body of knowledge on establishing the continued efficacy of ACTs in Nigeria. Fatai has also devoted substantial efforts to the study of a few pharmacodynamic drugs and has paid due attention to aspects of pharmaco-epidemiology and pharmacovigilance over the years.

Hilliard Kutscher

Hilliard Kutscher, PhD, is a post-doctoral trainee and faculty member at the University at Buffalo. His projects include developing nanoparticles for the treatment of infectious diseases including HIV, tuberculosis and influenza, as well as diagnostic agents for cancer. He has also developed a dynamic method that continuously changes the concentration of therapeutics in cell culture media to more accurately represent in vivo cell exposures. This is a major advancement from standard ‘static’ cell culture approaches.

Qing Ma

Qing Ma, PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and a Research Scientist in the Translational Pharmacology Research Core at the University at Buffalo. His areas of research are the pharmacogenomics of antiretrovirals in patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; mechanisms of drug-drug interactions in patients with HIV infection; and incorporating pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenomics in studying the effects of antiretrovirals on the central nervous system.

Runyararo Mashingaidze-Mano

Runyararo Mashingaidze-Mano is a qualified medical practitioner currently in the final year for Masters of Medicine Paediatrics at the University of Zimbabwe. Her research area is HIV medicine focusing on renal tubular function in children on tenofovir disproxil fumerate based regimens for treatment of HIV infection. She Qualified with MBChB 2003 at the University of Zimbabwe, worked as government medical officer in HIV Clinic in Namibia from 2006 to 2013 and attained a Diploma in HIV Management with SA in 2009. She has also recieved an Advanced Health Management Programme with SA in 2011 and commenced her Masters of Medicine Paediatrics with UZ in 2014 due to finish November 2017 with a special interest in Infectious Diseases.

Celia MJ Matyanga

Celia Matyanga, MPharm, is currently a DPhil candidate at the University of Zimbabwe. She is working on her research proposal titled The Effect of African Potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea) on the Pharmacokinetics of Tenofovir and Lamivudine. The aim of the research is to investigate the effect of African potato on the pharmacokinetics of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and lamivudine in HIV positive patients. Other goals include determining the absorption profile of the constituents of African potato in humans after oral dosing and to determine the liver function tests, urea/ electrolytes/ creatinine and urinalysis in HIV patients before and after African potato.

Doreen Mhandire

Doreen Mhandire is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Doreen is working on HIV infected pregnant women and determining the risk and rate of in-utero and post-natal vertical transmission of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection to their infants. She would also like to investigate the contribution of ART exposure, host genetics and gut microbiome to CMV acquisition and transmission. Doreen's main areas of research lie in Pharamacogenomics of antiretroviral therapy with special interest in non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) in HIV infected individuals, including pregnant women. Her research goals also include investigating the contribution of exposure to antiretroviral drugs to the emergence of opportunistic infections in HIV infected individuals on treatment.

 

Obaro Michael

Obaro Michael is a post-graduate training in Pharmacology and a fellow training in clinical pharmacology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His training is giving him both clinical and laboratory experience and exposing him to the myriad challenges and potentials associated with conducting pharmacokinetic/pharmacogenomic research in sub-Saharan Africa. His research interests include pharmacokinetic analysis and correlations with treatment outcomes and adverse drug reactions. Obaro is currently working on developing methods of therapeutic drug monitoring suitable for low and middle income countries, with applications in clinical toxicology.

Tsitsi Monera-Penduka

Tsitsi G. Monera-Penduka, BPharm Hons, MPhil, MSc, PhD Candidate, is a Clinical Researcher and Lecturer in the University of Zimbabwe School of Pharmacy. Tsitsi has worked in HIV research since 2006 and has received several research awards including 3 prestigious NIH Fogarty Fellowships. She has published 10 research papers in international peer-reviewed journals and is currently working towards the establishment of an Herbal Trials Unit that will focus on clinical investigations of traditional herbs used by Zimbabweans.

Takudzwa Mtisi Chagumaira

Takudzwa Chagumaira, MSc, is an incoming HRTP fellow and DPhil candidate from the University of Zimbabwe. Her DPhil work is focused on research to evaluate the effect of pharmacogenetics on the long term efficacy and safety of Tenofovir in adolescents in Zimbabwe. She is a laboratory scientist whose career has spanned for a decade now during which time, she attained her Masters degree. Takudzwa's work has transitioned from fulltime clinical laboratory practice to research and implementation science, culminating in her current role as Project Coordinator for several projects within the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Medicine/Research Support Centre.

Tinashe Mudzviti

Tinashe Mudzviti, BPharm, MPhil, is an associate directior in the International Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Initiative in Zimbabwe and a junior faculty member at the University of Zimbabwe. His research interest is about how the treatment of pregnant women with tenofovir will affect fetal and neonatal development. Tinashe would like to develop strategies that are novel in resource limited settings and would strengthen the research capacity in Zimbabwe. He hopes that this research will set precedence for evaluating different antiretroviral drug exposures for neonates in-utero within the Zimbabwean setting, while also demonstrating the magnitude of adverse drug events in neonates due to long term tenofovir exposure in-utero.

Tyler Mullen

Tyler Mullen, PharmD, is a recent graduate from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Tyler was awarded the first Global Health and Implementation Research Fellowship in Kingston, Jamaica through a partnership between The University at Buffalo Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus. He is working toward expanding clinical and translational research workforce development programs at UWI, specifically in the areas of diabetes, antimicrobial stewardship, and viral liver disease. This initiative at UWI will help researchers conduct studies in areas of limited resources and expand perspectives as members of the global community.

Sarah Nanzigu

Sarah Nanzigu, MBChB, DTMH, PhD, is from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Makere University in Uganda. Her current research interest is on Clinical Pharmacology in regards to developing an African Center of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Keriann Nelson

Kerriann Nelson is from the University of the West Indies in the Microbiology Department. She has been working with the Global Virus Network and joined their training course. Her main research interest is Virology.

Jacinta Nwogu

Jacinta N. Nwogu is a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department, University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an International Fellow at the Translational Pharmacology Research Core in the NYS Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences University at Buffalo. She is also a Research Assistant in the Centre for Drug Discovery Development and Production, Faculty of Pharmacy University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her research interests are pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics. Her research work is currently on Efavirenz pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics as well as the relationship between efavirenz pharmacokinetics/pharmacogenetics with neurocognitive functioning in HIV patients in Nigeria.

Sarahmona Przybyla

Sarahmona M. Przybyla, PhD, MPH, is a public health interventionist with training in HIV/STI prevention, substance use, and mixed methods research. She completed a NIH predoctoral fellowship in HIV/STD prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a postdoctoral fellowship in alcohol etiology and treatment at the Research Institute on Addictions before joining the faculty at UB. Sarahmona's research interests include primary and secondary prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; impact of substance use on sexual risk behavior and medication adherence; nonmedical prescription drug use; patient-provider communication; and community-based participatory research.

Simone Sandiford

Simone Sandiford, PhD, is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Her research interest is focused on understanding the biology of mosquitoes that spread diseases in Jamaica.  Her areas of interest include identification of pathogens in various mosquito populations throughout the island; investigating whether vector competence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is influenced by co-infection with multiple circulating pathogens such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses and other emerging viral threats; and discovery of indigenous compounds that disrupt pathogen transmission in the mosquito.

Charles Venuto

Charles Venuto, PharmD, is a clinical pharmacologist with experience in pharmacokinetic and population pharmacokinetic modeling. His main research interests focus on characterizing the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of approved and investigational drugs and identifying influential sources of variability in drug behavior. Charles has collaborated with the New York State Center of Excellence Translational Pharmacology Research Core, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and CHDI (formerly the Cure Huntington's Disease Initiative) in various clinical pharmacology modeling and simulation projects. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, at the University of Rochester Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics.

Cameil Wilson-Clarke

Cameil Wilson-Clarke, PharmD, is a Lecturer and the Clinical Director of the entry level Doctor of Pharmacy Programme, at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Cameil is also a member of the SUNY- University of the West Indies Faculty Task Force for Health Research Development. Currently she is involved in clinical trials in sickle cell disease. Her areas of focus are cardiology, diabetes research and education, oncology, infectious diseases and patient safety.