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Associate Editor
In 2008, I established the Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Programme (HVDRP), which I direct. The HVDRP provides a platform for training of research scientists in molecular virology. My primary research interest is the molecular virology of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), especially of uniquely African strains of the virus, which differ from those found in other regions of the world where the virus is hyperendemic. The focus of my research has been the study of sequence variation of African HBV strains, their functional characterization and their role in clinical manifestation of disease. HBV is estimated to infect two billion humans and it is second only to cigarette smoking as an agent causing human cancer. Globally over 240 million individuals are chronically infected with the virus and a large number of these will develop liver cancer. Approximately 16% of the carriers of the world reside in Africa. No infectious diseases research in Africa can neglect the AIDS pandemic scourging our continent, so, in addition to HBV-monoinfection, my team is currently researching HBV/HIV coinfection and developing bioinformatic tools to facilitate the study of these infections. I have successfully supervised and graduated 30 postgraduate students and her current team consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD and Masters students. I have published more than sixty articles in international journals and I am involved in collaborative studies with researchers in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Greece India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, United States of America, and Zimbabwe.