Dr. Solomon Ofori-Acquah
University of Ghana, Ghana
Professor Ofori-Acquah was appointed Dean of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences in the University of Ghana in January 2017, and as Associate Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, and Director of the Center for Translational and International Hematology in the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Professor Ofori-Acquah was born in the historical city of Cape Coast in Ghana. He attended Adisadel College where he obtained the West African Examinations Board’s Ordinary and Advanced General Certificates of Education respectively in 1982 and 1984. He migrated to England in 1985. Professor Ofori-Acquah graduated from the Bromley College of Technology in 1989 with a Higher National Certificate in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a Fellowship (Part 1) in Laboratory Hematology in 1990, from Birkbeck College, University of London with an MSc in Bio-molecular Organization in 1992, and from King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London in 2000 with a PhD in Molecular Genetics. He joined Farnborough Hospital in 1987 as a trainee medical laboratory scientist. He was Senior Biomedical Scientist at King’s College Hospital from 1995-2000. He was appointed Scholar of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center in 2001, and as Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience in 2002 at the University of South Alabama. He joined Emory University as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in 2007 until his relocation to the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Ofori-Acquah’s research interests are in the molecular pathogenesis, genetics and innovative therapy of acute complications of sickle cell disease with a focus on the lungs. He developed the first mouse model of the acute chest syndrome that helped to define extracellular heme as a prototypical erythroid danger associated molecular pattern molecule. He maintains two active research programmes in the US and in Ghana focused respectively on preclinical studies using transgenic mouse models, and genetic determinants of clinical phenotypes studying large patient cohorts in Ghana, with collaborative sites in Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and the US. Professor Ofori-Acquah has received numerous research, training and achievement awards and honors. The NIH has continuously funded his work since 2004 with multiple R01 and R25 grants, and U01 and U54 awards. He has authored over 60 research papers, reviews and book chapters, and mentored over thirty students at undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate levels as well as many early stage investigators. He was recipient of the Outstanding Postdoc Mentor award at Emory University in 2012. He is a Standing Member of NIH Study Section, and has served on the review committees for many other funding agencies including the Wellcome Trust, American Society of Hematology, American Heart Association, and the UK Lottery, as well as on the advisory boards of many government and non-government entities, including the National Technical Advisory Committee for Newborn Screening for Ghana in 2011-2013. Professor Ofori-Acquah is a founding Executive Member of the Ghana Biomedical Convention serving as the maiden Chair of the organization’s Scientific Committee in 2008, and assuming that position again in 2014. He was Vice-President and President of the Ghana Biomedical Convention in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2016 he received an Appreciation Award for his role in founding the Ghana Biomedical Convention.