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General News of Saturday, 4 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Meet Dr Marylyn Addo, the German-born Ghanaian developing a coronavirus vaccine


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Born to a Ghanaian father and a German mother in the German city of Troisdorf, Dr. Marylyn Addo has carved a niche for herself as one of just a few women at the forefront of finding a much sought-after vaccine for the deadly global pandemic, the Coronavirus.

Having being inspired by her father, who is a physician, Dr Addo first came to the limelight when she developed and tested vaccinations that protected people from the Ebola during the outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

Now 49, the head of the German Center for Infection Research’s Infectious Disease Unit at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is helping develop a vector-based vaccine against the viral disease.

She intends to combine a spike protein, a component of the Coronavirus structure which can penetrate human cells with the genetic information of another viral vector that can penetrate cells and can produce spike proteins.

Dr. Marylyn Addo explains that the immune system will recognise the proteins as foreign bodies, triggering an immune response and a spike in T cells which will eventually work against the coronavirus protein.

Her proposed vaccine makes use of the smallpox virus as a vehicle for the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccination will be developed by IDT Biologika.

Profile

Dr Addo earned her diploma at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, during which she researched Candida albicans transmission between HIV-positive people.

In 1999 she moved to Boston, where she specialised in infectious diseases at the Harvard Medical School.

Whilst at Harvard University, Dr. Addo was made an Assistant Professor at the Ragon Institute and served as Associate Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research.

She investigated the role of Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) specific T cells as immune system regulators in patients with HIV.

In 2013 Dr Addo returned to Germany, where she was made a Professor and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) Head of Infectious Disease at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Information from Wikipedia was used to write this story

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