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PAST DIRECTORS

Name: Dr. Isaac Darko Otchere

Academic Qualification : Ph.D., M.Phil., B.Sc. (Biochemistry, University of Ghana)

Professional Qualification: Bacteriologist

Email address: iotchere@noguchi.ug.edu.gh

Telephone (Office): +233-302-501178 Ext 2461

Fax number: +233-302-502182

School/Institute: Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research

Department: Bacteriology


Biography

Isaac Darko Otchere (PhD) is a biomedical research scientist who began his professional research work at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in 2011 as Research Assistant (Contract Staff) after his Master degree. He acquired his Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana with a PhD in 2017. Prior to his PhD degree, He received practical training in Bioinformatics and Pathogen Genomics from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), University of Basel, Switzerland and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge University, United Kingdom respectively. His PhD thesis was titled “Comparative Genomics Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Strains from Ghana”. He discovered from this work that the Tuberculosis causing bacteria called M. africanum which is restricted to West Africa is made up of genomically two distinct lineages whose diversity have potential implications on existing and future TB control tools. He also discovered potential TB bacilli lineage-specific epistatic interaction of drug resistance conferring and compensatory mutations among the dominant circulating TB bacilli in Ghana. In addition to his PhD training, he also received training on sample preparation and the use of the Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) for rapid identification of bacteria and filamentous fungi at the NMIMR. As a PhD candidate, Isaac had the opportunity to assist the teaching and supervision of both undergraduate and post-graduate students of the University of Ghana to contribute to the capacity building of new generation scientists. Subjects assisted include Pathogen Genomics and Molecular Epidemiology at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology as well as Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the Department of Microbiology, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana. He was encouraged by the response received from these supporting activities and hence motivated to remain in academia. His future aspirations are to use the invaluable applications of bioinformatics and biostatistics 1) to explore mycobacterial pathogenesis and disease control and to transfer the skills acquired while working on tuberculosis to other bacterial diseases


Research interests

Isaac Darko Otchere (PhD) is interested in the use of high throughput technologies to study the basis of bacterial evolution, pathogenesis and emergence of drug resistance. He is fascinated with bioinformatics discovery of biomarkers for monitoring treatment, development of vaccines, diagnostics as well as targets for drug development. He is also interested in the screening of plant extracts and synthetic compounds for anti-microbial activity towards drug discovery.

Projects

  1. The Leverhulme-Royal Society, Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of Mycobacterium africanum 2009-2012. As Research Assistant
  2. Wellcome Trust, Understanding the genetic diversity between Mycobacterium africanum and tuberculosis, 2012-2017, As Research Assistant
  3. DYM Projects & National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP), Difficult to treat TB monitoring: Coordinator


Book Chapter

  1. Yeboah-manu D, Asante-Poku A, Otchere ID, Bonsu F, et al. (2013) Tuberculosis (TB): Local solution for a Global Public Health problem. Towards effective disease control in Ghana: Research and policy implications 5(2): Chp. 10, pg.111-158. Sub-Saharan publishers.


Published Research Work in Refereed Journals


Stephen Osei-Wusu S, Omari AM, Asante-Poku A, Otchere ID, Asare P, Forson A, Out J, Antonio M, Yeboah-Manu D. (2018) Second-line anti-tuberculosis drug resistance testing in Ghana identifies the first extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis case. Infection and Drug Resistance. 11: 239-346

Otchere ID, Asante-Poku A, Osei-Wusu S, Aboagye SY, Yeboah-Manu D. (2017). Isolation and Characterization of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria from Patients with Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Ghana. International Journal of Mycobacteriology. 6:70-75. doi: 10.4103/2212-5531.201895

Zumla A, Otchere ID, Mensah GI, Asante-Poku A, Gehre F, Maeurer M, Bates M, Mwaba P, Ntoumi F and Yeboah-Manu D. (2017). Learning from epidemiological, clinical, and immunological studies on Mycobacterium africanum for improving current understanding of host–pathogen interactions, and for the development and evaluation of diagnostics, host-directed therapies, and vaccines for tuberculosis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 56: 126-129. .doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2016.12.003


Aboagye SY, Asare P, Otchere ID, Koka E, Mensah GE, Yirenya-Tawiah D, Yeboah-Manu D. Environmental and Behavioral Drivers of Buruli Ulcer Disease in Selected Communities Along the Densu River Basin of Ghana: A Case-Control Study. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2017 May;96(5):1076-1083. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0749.

Yeboah-Manu D, Asare P, Asante-Poku A, Otchere ID, Osei-Wusu S, Danso E, Forson A, Koram KA, Gagneux S. (2016). Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Strains in Ghana. PloS One. 11(8): e0161892. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161892

Asante-Poku A, Otchere ID, Osei-Wusu S, Sarpong E, Baddoo A, Forson A, Laryea C, Borrell S, Bonsu F, Hattendorf J, Ahorlu C, Koram KA, Gagneux S, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium africanum in Ghana. BMC Infectious Diseases. 9;16:385. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1725-6

Aboagye SY, Ampah KA, Ross A, Asare P, Otchere ID, Fyfe J, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Seasonal Pattern of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the Causative Agent of Buruli Ulcer, in the Environment in Ghana. Microbial Ecology.74(2):350-361. doi: 10.1007/s00248-017-0946-6

Kpeli G, Otchere ID, Lamelas A, Buultjens AL, Bulach D, Baines SL, Seemann T, Giulieri S, Nakobu Z, Aboagye SY, Owusu-Mireku E, Pluschke G, Stinear TP, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Possible healthcare-associated transmission as a cause of secondary infection and population structure of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from two wound treatment centres in Ghana. New Microbes New Infections. 12(13):92-101. doi: 10.1016/j.nmni.2016.07.001.

Sakyi SA, Aboagye SY, Otchere ID, Yeboah-Manu D. RNA Aptamer that Specifically Binds to Mycolactone and Serves as a Diagnostic Tool for Diagnosis of Buruli Ulcer. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases.10(10): e0004950. Doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004950.

Otchere ID, Asante-Poku A, Osei-Wusu S, Baddoo A, Sarpong E, Ganiyu AH, Aboagye SY, Forson A, Bonsu F, Yahayah AI, Koram K, Gagneux S, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Detection and characterization of drug-resistant conferring genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains: A prospective study in two distant regions of Ghana. Tuberculosis (Edinburg). 99:147-54. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2016.05.014.


Sakyi SA, Aboagye SY, Otchere ID, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Clinical and Laboratory Diagnosis of Buruli Ulcer Disease: A Systematic Review, Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 2016, Article ID 5310718, 10 pages, doi:10.1155/2016/5310718

Aboagye SY, Danso E, Ampah KA, Nakobu Z, Asare P, Otchere ID, Röltgen K, Yirenya-Tawiah D, Yeboah-Manu D. (2016). Isolation of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria from the Environment of Ghanian Communities Where Buruli Ulcer Is Endemic. Applied Environmental Microbiology. 82(14):4320-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01002-16.

Nguta JM, Appiah-Opong R, Nyarko AK, Yeboah-Manu D, Addo PG, Otchere I, Kissi-Twum A. (2016) In vitro antimycobacterial activity and toxicity of eight medicinal plants against pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacterial strains. International Journal of Mycobacteriology. (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmyco.2016.05.004

Nguta JM, Appiah-Opong R, Nyarko AK, Yeboah-Manu D, Addo PG, Otchere ID, Kissi-Twum A. (2016). In vitro antimycobacterial and cytotoxic data on medicinal plants used to treat tuberculosis. Data Brief. 7:1124-30. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2016.03.088.

Nguta JM, Appiah-Opong R, Nyarko AK, Yeboah-Manu D, Addo PG, Otchere I, Kissi-Twum A. (2016). Antimycobacterial and cytotoxic activity of selected medicinal plant extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 22;182:10-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.02.010

Asante-Poku A, Otchere ID, Danso E, Mensah DD, Bonsu F, Gagneux S, Yeboah-Manu D. (2015) Evaluation of GenoType MTBDRplus for the rapid detection of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ghana. Internatinoal Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases. 19(8):954-9. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.14.0864.

Asante-Poku A, Yeboah-Manu D, Otchere ID, Aboagye SY, Stucki D, Hattendorf J, Borrell S, Feldmann J, Danso E, Gagneux S. (2015). Mycobacterium africanum is associated with patient ethnicity in Ghana. PloS.

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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