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Ghanaian Scientist Awarded US$3M to Sequence Genome of Sickle Cell Children

Ghanaian Scientist Dr. Ofori-Acquah who was previously a recipient of NIH-NHLBI R01, worth over $400,000 for his grant titled “Therapeutic Targets in Acute Chest Syndrome” has been awarded a new grant worth US$3M to sequence the genome of sickle cell children. This grant was submitted through the University of Pittsburg where Dr. Ofori-Acquah holds associate professorship in human and genetic studies. Currently, He is the Director of the West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC) and Dean of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences (SBAHS) at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana.

Already a US$5.4M is currently used as part of the SickleGenAfrica Network Programme since 2018, and partici[pants will be sampled from this programme. The grant will also apply to the genotyping of two polymorphic DNA repeat sequences in the promoter of the heme oxygenase-1 gene in his previous NIH-NHLBI R01 project titled “Therapeutics Targets of Acute Chest Syndrome”

Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The disease is common throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, affecting up to 3% of births in some parts of the continent. However, In Ghana, 2% of all newborns are diagnosed with SCD.


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