I am Henry Akwaffo Onyame, a PhD student of the Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, Legon-Accra. My masters training focused on anti-schistosomal evaluation of isolated natural products from Dichapetalum crassifolium Chodat. My current research seeks to develop novel antimalaria drugs using medicinal chemistry strategies in developing/optimizing hits into potential antimalaria leads.
The Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery of the University of Dundee, to which the WCAIR is part, has over the years delivered anti-malaria clinical candidates. I was introduced to WCAIR by my immediate supervisor, Dr. Richard K. Amewu, who is collaborating with the Drug Discovery Unit of the University of Dundee on a malaria project. Whiles working on this project, I look forward to hewing my skills at designing and synthesizing compounds for structure-activity/property studies, handling/analyzing data more efficiently and communicating results clearly.
With the impressive, cutting-edge infrastructure coupled with experienced scientists mostly coming from pharma, the institution is an excellent place not only to gain deep knowledge in drug discovery, but more importantly, to have hands-on experience. The WCAIR model is unique, it integrates learnings across every phase of the drug discovery process. Each day at Dundee offered the opportunity to learn something new through carefully thought seminars, workshops and laboratory experiments. I am deeply grateful to my chemistry trainer, Andrew, who renewed my interest in organic reaction mechanisms, albeit asking difficult questions always!
My experience on the WCAIR training program would be for a lifetime, as I feel empowered towards contributing to drug discovery projects and quality science in my home institution. Besides, my stay at Dundee was very thrilling, meeting people from almost every continent and learning new cultures. I would remain forever grateful to WCAIR staff and the entire Drug Discovery Unit of the University of Dundee.