Research Fellows

Name: Dr. Anita Ghansah

Email address:

Telephone: +233-302-501178/9

Fax: +233-302-502182

Department: Parasitology


Short Biography

.Dr. Ghansah is a Biochemist working in the field of molecular/genomic epidemiology. She obtained a PhD in genetic epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2009.

Dr. Ghansah’s PhD project was based on a severe malaria case-control study conducted in Navrongo (Upper East Region of Ghana). Her thesis began with a careful and systematic analysis of the epidemiological evidence for association with disease resistance, and proceeded to investigate the evidence for recent evolutionary selection. Various aspects of the analysis, and the analytical tools that she developed, have practical relevance to other malaria endemic regions and parasite genetics. In particular, she developed SNP-based methods of defining sickle haemoglobin haplotypes. These provide new insights beyond what is found with conventional methods based on restriction-fragment lengthpolymorphisms, which raise important questions about the validity of current theories about how sickle cell disease has evolved and spread across Africa.

During her PhD programme she spenttime at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (Oxford University) to complement her epidemiology training and through this, Dr. Ghansah gained a very sound academic foundation for a career in genetic/genomic epidemiology.


Administrative Role:

Research Fellow


Research Interests:

Specific areas of interest include:

  •  ·         Using Genetic/Genomic epidemiological tools to answer questions of Public Health relevance in malaria and other parasitic diseases.
  • ·         Understanding genetic variations in Plasmodium falciparum, as a causative agent of human malaria infection.
  • ·         How genetic diversity influences the epidemiology and pathogenicity of malaria and its implication on therapeutic and vaccination strategies as well as malaria control.
  • ·         Using population genetics strategies to identify genetic loci that contribute to drug resistance in P. falciparum
  • ·         Development of genomic tools to characterize P. falciparum diversity in the population.
  • ·         Human genetic factors that predispose Ghanaian children to severe malaria and chronic kidney diseases



1.Measuring changes in reservoir of malaria infection in northern Ghana using molecular diagnostic methods

2. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum strains in three different ecological zones of Ghana

3. Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Promoter Polymorphisms and Malaria in Children in Southern Ghana



  1. Ofosu-Okyere, M. Mackinnon M. P. K. Sowa, K. A. Koram, F. Nkrumah, Y.D. Osei, W. G. Hill, M. D. Wilson and D. E. Arnot (2001).Novel Plasmodium  (falciparum clones and rising clone multiplicities are associated with the increase in Malaria morbidity in Ghanaian children during the transition into high transmission season.  Parasitology, 121, 113-123. 


  1. M.D. Wilson, A. Ofosu-Okyere, A.U.Okoli, P.J. McCall and G. Snounou (1998). Direct comparison of microscopy and PCR for the detection of Plasmodium sporozoites in salivary glands of mosquitoes. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 92:5, 482-483.


  1. Duah NO, Wilson MD, Ghansah A, Abuaku B, Edoh D, Quashie NB, Koram KA. Mutations in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and multidrug resistance genes, and treatment outcomes in Ghanaian children with uncomplicated malaria. JTrop Pediatr. 2007 Feb;53(1):27-31.


  • 4.      Auburn S, Diakite M, Fry AE, Ghansah A, Campino S, Richardson A, Jallow M, Sisay-Joof F, Pinder M, Griffiths MJ, Peshu N, Williams TN, Marsh K, MolyneuxME,Taylor TE, Koram KA, Oduro AR, Rogers WO, Rockett KA, Haldar K, Kwiatkowski DP. Association of the GNAS locus with severe malaria. Hum Genet. 2008 Dec;124(5):499-506.


  • 5.      Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network.

A global network for investigating the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Nature. 2008 Dec 11;456(7223):732-7.

Collaborators: Achidi EA, Agbenyega T, Allen S, Amodu O, Bojang K, Conway D,Corran P, Deloukas P, Djimde A, Dolo A, Doumbo O, Drakeley C, Duffy P, Dunstan S,Evans J, Farrar J, Fernando D, Tran TH, Horstmann R, Ibrahim M, KarunaweeraN,Kokwaro G, Koram K, Kwiatkowski D, Lemnge M, Makani J, Marsh K, Michon P, Modiano D, Molyneux ME, MuellerI, Mutabingwa T, Parker M, Peshu N, Plowe C, Puijalon O, Ragoussis J, Reeder J, Reyburn H, Riley E, Rogers J, Sakuntabhai A, Singhasivanon P, Sirima S, Sirugo G, Tall A, Taylor T, Thera M, Troye-Blomberg M, Williams T, Wilson M, Amenga-Etego L, Apinjoh TO, Bougouma E, Dewasurendra R, Diakite M, Enimil A, Hussein A, Ishengoma D, Jallow M, Lin E, Ly A, Mangano VD, ManjuranoA,Manning L, Ndila CM, Nyirongo V, Oluoch T, Nguyen TN, Suriyaphol P, Toure O, Rockett KA, Vanderwal A, Clark T, Parker M, Wrigley R, Kwiatkowski D, Alcock D, Auburn S, Barnwell D, Bull S, Campino S, deVries J, Elzein A, Evans J, Fitzpatrick K, Ghansah A, Green A, Hart L, Hilton E, Hubbart C, Hughes C, Jeffreys AE, Kivinen K, MacInnis B, Manske M, Maslen G, McCreight M, Mendy A, Moyes C, Nyika A, Potter C, Risley P, Rowlands K, SanJoaquin M, Small K, Somaskantharajah E, Stevens M, Teo Y, Watson R, Agbenyega T, Carucci D, Cook K, Doyle A, Duombo O, Farrar J, Gottlieb M, Marsh K, Puijalon O, Taylor T, Kwiatkowski D.


6. Andrew E. Fry, Anita Ghansah,Kerrin S. Small, Alejandro Palma, Sarah Auburn, MahamadouDiakite, Angela Green, Susana Campino, Yik Y. Teo, Taane G. Clark, Anna E. Jeffreys, Jonathan Wilson, MuminatouJallow, FatouSisay-Joof, Margaret Pinder, Michael J. Griffiths, Norbert Peshu, Thomas N. Williams, Charles R. Newton, Kevin Marsh, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Terrie E. Taylor, KwadwoA.Koram, Abraham R. Oduro, William O. Rogers, Kirk A.Rockett, Pardis C. Sabeti and Dominic P. Kwiatkowski. Positive selection of a CD36 nonsense variant in sub-Saharan Africa, but no association with severe malaria phenotypes, Human Molecular Genetics 2009 18(14):2683-2692  
  1. Boakye DA, Fokam E, Ghansah A, Amakye J, Wilson MD, Brown CA (2009). Cardiocladiusoliffi (Diptera: Chironomidae) as a potential biological control agent against Simuliumsquamosum (Diptera: Simuliidae). Parasit Vectors. 2009 Apr 24;2(1):20.


  1. MdTauqeerAlam, Dziedzom K. de Souza, SumitiVinayak, Sean M Griffing, Amanda C Poe, Nancy O Duah, Anita Ghansah, Kwame Asamoa, Laurence Slutsker, Michael D Wilson, John W Barnwell, VenkatachalamUdhayakumar, Kwadwo A Koram, Selective sweeps and genetic lineages of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistant alleles in Ghana. Journal of Infectious Diseases.2011203:220-227


  • 9.      Anita Ghansah, Kirk A. Rockett, Taane G. Clark, Michael D. Wilson, Kwadwo A. Koram, Abraham R. Oduro, Lucas Amenga-Etego, Thomas Anyorigiya, Abraham Hodgson, Paul Milligan, William O. Rogers, Dominic P. Kwiatkowski.Haplotype analyses of haemoglobin C and haemoglobin S and the dynamics of the evolutionary response to malaria in Kassena-Nankana District of Ghana.Plos ONEPONE-D-11-18225R1
  •  10.  Anita Ghansah, Michael D. Wilson, Kwadwo A. KoramAllelic distribution of Plasmodium falciparum to inform malaria control in Ghana”: Towards Effective Disease Control in Ghana: Research and Policy Implications. Volume 1, University of Ghana Reader Series. (Eds.) KwadwoAnsahKoram, Collins Stephen K. Ahorlu, Michael David Wilson, Dorothy Yeboah-Manu and KwabenaManteBosompem
  •  11.  Sarah Auburn. MahamadouDiakite. Andrew E. Fry. Anita Ghansah. SusanaCompino. Anna Richardson. MuminatouJallow. FatouSisay-Joof. Margaret Pinder. Micheal J. GriYths. Norbert Peshu. Thomas N. Williams. Kevin Marsh. Malcolm E. Molyneux. Terrie E. Taylor. Kwadwo A. Koram, Abraham R. Oduro, William O. Rogers, Kirk A. Rockett, KasturiHalder, Dominic P. Kwiatkowski. Understanding and retention of the informed consent process among parents in rural northern Ghana BMC Medical Ethics 2008, 9:12..
  •  12.  Charles Brown, BenedictaAwisi, Harry Asmah, BatholomewDzudzor, Anita Ghansah. Association between Haptoglobin Genotype Polymorphism and Type Two (2) Diabetes in Accra, Ghana. American Journal of Biomedical and Life Sciences. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2013, pp. 103-109. doi: 10.11648/j.ajbls.20130104.15
  •  13.  Lucas Amenga-Etego, Anita Ghansah, Abraham Oduro, KwadwoKoram and the MalariaGEN Consortium.Human Genetic Determinants of Severe Malaria in the Kassena-Nankana District of Northern Ghana.
  •  14.  Enabling the genomic revolution in Africa. H3Africa Consortium. Science. 2014 Jun 20;344(6190):1346-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1251546.
  •             15.  Reappraisal of known malaria resistance loci in a large multi-centre study. Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network*. Accepted by Nature Genetics
  •            16.  Anita Ghansah, Lucas Amenga-Etego, Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, Ben Andagalu, Tobias Apinjoh, MarielleBouyou-Akotet, Victoria Cornelius, LemuGolassa, VoahangyHanitriniainaAndrianaranjaka, Deus Ishengoma, Kimberly Johnson, Edwin Kamau, OumouMaïga-Ascofaré, DieudonneMumba, Paulina Tindana, Antoinette Tshefu-Kitoto, MilijaonaRandrianarivelojosia, Yavo William, Dominic P. Kwiatkowski, and Abdoulaye A. Djimde. Monitoring parasite diversity for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa. Science 2014 S: 345 (6202), 1297-1298.
  • 17.  Edwin Kamau, Susana Campino, Lucas Amenga-Etego, Eleanor Drury, Deus Ishengoma, Kimberly Johnson, DieudonneMumba, MihirKekre, Yavo William, Daniel Mead, Bouyou- AkotetMarielle , Tobias Apinjoh, LemuGolassa, MilijaonaRandrianarivelojosia, Ben Andagalu, OumouMaiga-Ascofare, Alfred Amambua-Ngwa , Paulina Tindana, Anita Ghansah, Bronwyn MacInnis, Dominic Kwiatkowskiand *AbdoulayeDjimde. K13-propeller polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from sub-Saharan Africa.J Infect Dis 2014 Nov 2. Epub 2014 Nov 2.

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), set up in 1979 as a semi autonomous institute of the University, is the leading biomedical research facility in Ghana.

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