My name is Hzounda Fokou Jean Baptiste. I have a joint PhD in Drug Science from the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal and University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. During the year preceding my journey in WCAIR, I was a part-time lecturer in private Universities in Yaoundé, teaching Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy. I was also a research coordinator at the Antimicrobial and Biocontrol Agent Unit of the University of Yaoundé I. This Lab is led by my research supervisor Pr. Fabrice Fekam Boyom.
I am now assistant-Lecturer in Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Douala.
My area of expertise is drug discovery from natural products. I am working on natural products from endophytes bacteria and fungi for their biological activities.
My Journey at the WCAIR started in biology with Sandra. I learned how to perform a robust assay and strategies to strengthen our in-house cell culture technics. My next stop was in chemistry with Lauren. I learned about modern chemical approaches that can be applied to the drug discovery of natural products. My last stop was in DMPK with Ola. After updating my theoretical knowledge in pharmacology, I learned how to analyze drug stability in the gut, the liver and plasma. In parallel with the above, I was involved in an interactive game designed at WCAIR that strengthened my leadership skills and drug discovery knowledge.
All of these skills had led me to write, with the help from Lauren, a multilateral project on antiparasitic drug discovery from endophytes primarily from Cameroonian grown medicinal plants. With the help of all my trainers, I learned how to identify, make contact and recruit a potential partner. This project includes WCAIR University of Dundee; AmBCAU University of Yaoundé I; and Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany. The preliminary stage of the project is supported by the WCAIR.
As a Principal investigator, I am implementing in both my former lab and my new one all that I gained from my stay in WCAIR. Adding to this, I am learning how to manage a multilateral project in drug discovery. For me, my stay in WCAIR is still going on…