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FATUMO'S LAB


The Team

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor Segun Fatumo

email (Uganda)| email (London)|

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Dr. Segun Fatumo is a computational geneticist, Associate Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Fellow of the Advance HE, and a Wellcome International Fellow. He leads The African Computational Genomics (TACG) Research group at the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM. His group’s expertise includes but not limited to GWAS, meta-analysis, Multi-variates GWAS, Genetic Risk Score, Fine Mapping, Mendelian randomisation studies and Drug Discovery. He was recently (July 2020) awarded the prestigious Wellcome International Intermediate Fellowship to lead an innovative research programme at the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM.

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Staff Scientists/PostDoc Fellows

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Dr. Richard S.Mpango (Scientific Project Manager)

Dr. Richard S.Mpango is a Psychiatric Epidemiologist & Clinical Psychologist who currently works as a ‘Scientific Project Manager (Scientist A)’ under the NCD Genomics at MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda ; Dr. Mpango previously worked as a Project Leader (PL) for several studies under the Mental Health Project at the MRC / UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit for over ten years.; during the past 5 years , Dr.Mpango’s work has focused upon reducing the treatment gap for mental disorders in low resource countries, in Uganda. Dr.Mpango’s work has focused upon generating policy relevant evidence on the burden and impact of mental disorders among persons living with HIV/AIDS (children, youth and adults) (1-5) ; culturally validating psychometric instruments (5, 6) , developing and evaluating mental health interventions for delivery by peer support workers (7-10) , and contributed towards improving care for the mentally sick people (12-13) . As a result of this work, Dr.Mpango has contributed towards disseminating the outputs to various stakeholders including the Ministry of Health of Uganda which among others includes his contribution to the ‘Uganda Child and Adolescent Mental Policy Guidelines’ (12) . The mental health research platform where Dr. Mpango previously worked as a ‘Project Leader’ at the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research contributed towards research capacity development through training of masters, PhD and postdoc students not only from Uganda but also from other African countries and the United Kingdom. Dr.Mpango’s current role as a ‘Scientific Project Manager (Scientist A)’ under the NCD Genomics builds directly upon the experience he gained when he worked as a Project Leader for a series of research studies at MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda namely; the MRC/DFID African Leadership award funded study, ‘Mental health among HIV infected CHildren and Adolescents in KAmpala and Masaka, Uganda (the CHAKA study)’ ; the Senior Wellcome Trust funded study, ‘Integrating the management of depression into routine HIV care in Uganda (the HIV+D trial)’ ; the ‘United Kingdom Research Innovation (UKRI) funded study entitled ‘Addressing the medium- to long-term EBOLA associated psychological Distress and psychosocial problems in Mubende District in central Uganda (Ebola+D Project)’.


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Dr. Abram Kamiza

Abram Kamiza completed his PhD and MSc in Genetic Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, Taipei Medical University in Taiwan in 2018 and 2015, respectively and a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science and Technology in 2010 at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine. His PhD thesis focused on identifying genetic and environmental factors associated with colorectal cancer in patients with Lynch syndrome in Taiwan. His research interest is to identify environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors associated with the development of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Abram has been working on the ERICA-SA project to identify genetic risk factors associated with cancer development in the black South African population using a genome-wide approach. He is also collaborating with other researchers to evolve the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in individuals of African ancestry.


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Dr. Opeyemi Soremekun

opeyemisoremekun@gmail.com

Opeyemi obtained his BSc. in Biochemistry from Madonna University, Nigeria, and his M.Sc. in Biochemistry (Cancer Research and Molecular Biology) from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He got his PhD in Computational Biology (Drug Design and Development) from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Opeyemi has experience in the use of Bioinformatics and statistical methods in the analysis of genomic data. Presently, his research involves the use of Mendelian randomisation approaches to assess the causal relationships between cardio metabolic traits/diseases and kidney functions in African populations. Some of his publications can be accessed here.


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Dr. Allan Kalungi

Dr. Allan Kalungi obtained his BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology in 2007 and 2014 respectively from Makerere University, Uganda and a PhD in Psychiatry in 2020 from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He pioneered neuropsychiatric genetics research in East Africa in 2014 when he produced the first neuropsychiatric genetics article from the region which reported the association between serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms and increased suicidal risk among adult Ugandans living with HIV. His PhD study investigated the role of telomere length and selected genetic variants in influencing the risk for internalizing mental disorders (depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder) among Ugandan HIV+ children and adolescents and he published a number of articles out of this study. In 2017, he was also an inaugural fellow in the Global Initiative for Neuropsychiatric Genetics Education in Research (GINGER; https://ginger.sph.harvard.edu/) program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute, a programme which aims to prepare a new generation of neuropsychiatric genetics researchers in Africa, and he successfully completed it in 2020.He is also interested in studying whether the comorbidity between major depressive disorder and schizophrenia is genetically distinct from depression and he hopes to use NeuroGAP data as well as data from the schizophrenia group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and the major depressive disorder group of the PGC respectively to investigate this.


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Dr. Oyesola Ojewunmi

email

Oyesola is a Research Fellow in Genetic Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, UK. In this capacity, he applies innovative methods for conducting genome-wide association meta-analysis and fine-mapping, particularly focusing on cardiometabolic traits in individuals of African ancestry. He’s also passionate about sickle cell disease research, particularly in exploring genotype-phenotype correlations to unravel variants with biological significance. Oyesola earned a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, with a distinction and his thesis focused on biomarkers and genetic polymorphisms associated with stroke risk in children with sickle cell disease. Prior to joining LSHTM, Oyesola held a position as a Research Associate at King’s College London for three years, during which he spearheaded a groundbreaking genome-wide association study focusing on fetal haemoglobin in Nigerian patients with Sickle Cell Disease. Notably, his outstanding work earned him the Best Poster Presentation at the Haematology Away Day at King’s College London and the Best Oral Presentation at the London Genetics Network in 2022. His research journey has equipped him with diverse skills essential for advancing genetic studies. This spans from hands-on wet lab-based experiments to in-depth statistical-genetic analyses, covering genome-wide association testing, haplotype association analysis, fine- mapping, and meta-analysis. Actively contributing to the academic community through teaching, his engagement with undergraduate and postgraduate students involves providing training and supervision, showcasing his commitment to nurturing the next generation of researchers. His publications and list of awards can be found here: Orcid and linkedin .




PhD Students

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Christopher Kintu

christopherkintu@gmail.com

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda under the supervision of Prof Segun Fatumo. I hold a masters degree in Immunology and Clinical Microbiology and a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, both from Makerere University, Uganda.

My PhD thesis is focusing on developing the first Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) for prediction of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) within African populations. We will evaluate best approaches for using a diverse discovery dataset from trans-ethnic Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) meta-analysis and a target dataset individuals from continental Africa to develop and evaluate a novel PRS for prediction of CKD.


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Mayanja Richard

mayanjarichard39@gmail.com

I am Mayanja Richard, a PhD student in Bioinformatics from Makerere University, Uganda under the supervision of Prof Segun Fatumo.

My PhD work centres around an assessment the aetiological insights into Chronic kidney disease (CKD) including integration of genomic data to perform large-scale GWAS of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function that defines CKD in ~26K individuals from continental Africa, thus providing unique opportunities for the discovery of new disease susceptibility loci.


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Chisom Ezenwa

chisomezenwa2014@gmail.com

Chisom Ezenwa Soremekun is a Research Associate at the Center for Genomics Research and Innovation, National Biotechnology Development Agency (CGRI-NABDA), Abuja, Nigeria. She is also a PhD student at Makerere University, Uganda where she will be working on the GWAS of type-2 diabetes in Africa. Chisom holds a Bachelors and Master's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She has attended several Bioinformatics training which includes; Introduction to Bioinformatics Training (IBT) and Intermediate Bioinformatics Training (Int_BT) both organized by H3ABioNet. She has also served as Teaching Assistants for the IBT course. In 2020, Chisom was awarded the H3ABioNet Training Fellowship to acquire applied bioinformatics skills at the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB),University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Presently, she is working on the Multivariate Genome Wide Association Study analysis of the Liver Function Traits (LFTs) in the African population. Chisom enjoys traveling and reading.


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Sarah Silva

Sarah is currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine under the primary supervision of Prof Dr. Segun Fatumo. She holds a master's degree in Genomic Medicine from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (QMUL) and a bachelor's degree in Genetics from the University of Liverpool. Her current research pertains to studying the genetics of risk factors associated with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and how they differ between ethnicities. Through the development of unique polygenic risk scores and disentangling contextual influence on CHD penetrance for each ethnicity under investigation, the efficacy of stratified and precision medicine through means of the adoption and implementation of ethnicity data will be assessed.


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Abdoulaye Diawara

Abdoulaye Diawara is a PhD student at African Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB). His research is focused on using bioinformatics and genomics tools to find genetic variations contributing to susceptibility of certain human disease such as diabetes and malaria (drug resistance).




Masters Students

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Mariam Traoré

Mariam Traoré is currently a master student in Bioinformatics at the African Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics (ACE-B) at University of Sciences of Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB). She obtained a doctoral degree in Pharmacy from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Sciences of Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB) in 2019. After her graduation, she joined the Laboratory of Applied Molecular Biology (LBMA) at the same university as a junior researcher. She worked on a project focused on conducting surveillance of malaria drug resistance in Mali with funding from the US President Malaria Initiative program (PMI). From 2020 to 2021, she was actively involved in the COVID-19 response team, specifically molecular diagnosis of suspected cases, at the same laboratory. Her master project focuses on investigating the causal effect of malaria infection on metabolic diseases in African Ancestry Individuals using Mendelian Randomization.


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Irene Namara

Irene Namara, A graduate student pursuing a Master's degree in Bioinformatics at the African Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics at Makerere University in Uganda. Currently a research intern at The African Computational Genomics at MRC/UVRI&LSHTM. My research project is on the Sero-epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in the Entebbe Mother and Baby Study (EMaBS) birth cohort. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Laboratory Technology from Makerere University, Uganda. I have a professional goal of continuous career development towards becoming a resource in applying Bioinformatics knowledge to improve biomedical research. I am resourceful with common Bioinformatics skills and skilled at project support with a history of solution oriented problem solving. I am hardworking, self -driven and passionate about Bioinformatics and would like to become part of a team that works towards using Bioinformatics approaches to solve health related challenges.


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Kirabo Gloria

I hold a BSc degree in Biomedical Laboratory Technology from Makerere University in Uganda. Currently, I am pursuing a Master's degree in Bioinformatics at the African Centers of Excellence, also at Makerere University. My research focuses primarily on population genetics and Machine Learning. Specifically, I will be conducting a GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Study) on BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) levels in Ugandan populations.


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Lillian Linda

| Orcid | linkedin

I am a bioinformatics master’s student at Makerere University, where I also earned my bachelor’s degree in biomedical laboratory technology. My master's research focuses on identifying genetic variants associated with major depressive disorder in the Uganda Genome Resource using genome-wide association study analysis. My analysis work extends to fine mapping, replication, phenome-wide association study, and Mendelian randomization which has the potential to contribute valuable insights into the genetic basis of MDD in Uganda.



Associate Member


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Oudou Diabaté

diabateoudou@gmail.com

Mr. Oudou Diabaté, Master ofBioinformatics at the African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics (ACE-B), Mali 2020. After obtaining his teaching diploma , 2011; he taught for five years at the fundamental school of Segala (Kayes-Mali) specializing in Natural Sciences-Physical-Chemistry. Considering his ambitions for science, he attended the Faculty of Technical and Technological Sciences of Bamako, option CBG (Chemistry-Biology-Geology) where he obtained a bachelor degree in Biochemistry-Microbiology, 2018. With this degree, he did four-month internship at the Reference Health Center of the sixth commune of Bamako in the medical analysis laboratory. This last internship allowed him to see an even wider field of science.

During his master training in bioinformatics, he did an internship at the MRTC (Malaria Research and Training Center) with Laurent DEMBELE, Ing, Msc, PhD, working on manipulations for the testing of drug candidates against antimalarial resistance. His master thesis was “In silico analysis of Pfdhfr gene mutations and their effects on the protein function in Mali” supervised by Pr. Ousmane KOITA et Dr. Cheickna CISSE. This project was funded by the West African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics (WACE- B). Now, he’s working on a SEED GRANT project, founding by WACE-B. In this project, he is looking for new drug to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. This project is supervising by Pr. Mamadou WELE and Dr. Cheickna CISSE.



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Brenda Udosen

brendaumoh6@gmail.com

I obtained my BSc in the field of Genetics and Biotechnology from the university of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. At the completion of my degree, I did a one-year internship program at the National Biotechnology Development Agency, in the department of canter for genomic research innovation Abuja, Nigeria. After which I undertook MSc in Bioinformatics in Africa Centre of excellence in Bioinformatics, Bamako, Mali. My thesis research project was focused on identifying genetic variants associated with blood pressure traits using Genome wide association analyses approach in individuals from African descent.


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Shakirah Namuli

I am a passionate scientist with a background in biotechnology and environmental science. I pursued my undergraduate studies in biotechnology at Makerere University, and currently, I am gaining valuable experience as an intern with TACG. In this role, I am actively involved in exploring the genetic determinants of suicidal tendencies among the General Population Cohort. The opportunity to work on this project has me truly excited and I am eager to learn and make discoveries in the dynamic and fascinating field of psychiatric genomics. I am enthusiastic about the discoveries this research could possibly reveal about the relationship between genetics and suicidal behavior. I am actively involved in the training and developing an AI-driven mental health chatbot tailored for Ugandans with a team of AI enthusiasts and scientists. I enjoy cooking and writing poetry. I am a birdwatcher and dedicated nature lover. Elephant are my favorite.



Interns


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Florence Nakabiri

I am Florence Nakabiri, currently a Bioinformatics graduate student at the African Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, Makerere University. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences from Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. My master’s research focused on the “Genomic characterisation of common Malaria RDT target genes in Africa”. I am deeply interested in genetic epidemiology and Bioinformatics specifically Population genetics and with the current opportunity of a fellowship with The African Computational Genomics Research Group, I am excited to gain more skills in Mendelian Randomisation, Polygenic Risk Score Analysis and Genome Wide Association Studies while working on a research project about the Polygenic Mendelian Randomisation of kidney function in Africans. I am passionate about applying my attained Bioinformatics skills in solving health related problems through research.I love reading, travelling, and lake-side/nature viewing.



Alumni

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Mariam Nakabuye

mnakabuye@gmail.com

Current Position: Graduate Intern at University of Copenhagen




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Sounkou Mahamane, Toure

toure@computationalgenomics.org |sounkoutoure@gmail.com | stoure@tulane.edu

Current Position: Bioinformatician




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Hanan Musa

Current Position: Doctoral Candidate at University of Oslo






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Ritah Nabunje

Current Position: Doctoral Candidate at University of Leicester






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Bataringaya Kester

Current Position: Doctoral Candidate at University of Leicester