Global action plan for influenza vaccines

Dr William Kwabena Ampofo

Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Virology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.

Dr Ampofo's research interests include molecular and serological investigations of viruses, prevention of viral infections, anti-viral therapy and viral disease burden.

Career milestones include the laboratory discovery of the first Ghanaian case of HIV in 1986, first isolation of wild type poliovirus in Ghana, confirmation of first cases in 2007 of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus in Ghanaian poultry and establishment of the National Influenza Centre in Ghana 2007. Recently, he supervised the laboratory detection (December 2011) of the first ever cases of Lassa fever virus infection in humans and rodents in Ghana.

Dr Ampofo also has teaching responsibilities in the University of Ghana, overseeing both undergraduate and postgraduate research. His publications cover medicine, immunology, microbiology, biological sciences and molecular biology. He has a keen interest in the area of maternal and child health and has collaborated in studies on HIV, Hepatitis B and Influenza. He is a recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Fellowship as a Visiting Scientist at World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Influenza, National Institute for Medical Research, U.K.

In recognition of his significant contribution towards the establishment of surveillance for influenza in Ghana, Dr Ampofo was awarded a United States (US) Department of Defence – Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response program Medal of Achievement. He is a key member of Institutional (ie Biosafety) and national committees (such as HIV Drug Resistance, Laboratory Quality and Pandemic Influenza). Dr. Ampofo has participated in several pandemic influenza preparedness and response activities in Ghana. He has served internationally on temporary assignments with the World Health Organization (WHO), Commonwealth Secretariat Health Division, US Department of Defense, German International Development Agency and the US Agency for International Development.

In 2010, he was appointed a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group for Influenza vaccines and Immunization. Since October 2011, he is one of three African region representatives serving on the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Advisory Group. August 2012 also saw his appointment by the WHO Director-General to a new two year membership of the Global Action Plan Advisory Group for Influenza Vaccines. Dr Ampofo is also currently the American Society for Microbiology Ambassador for Ghana.

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