FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR
Dr Bridget Bannerman PhD AMRSC, University of Cambridge, University of Sierra Leone, Jean Piaget University, Guinea Bissau
Bridget is the founder of Science Resources Africa, an initiative embarking on capacity building and enhancing the availability of scientific resources to the African Community. Through this association, Bridget collaborates with organisations with similar visions including (TReND) The Training and Research for Natural Science Development in Africa, as well as various scientists in the University of Cambridge to promote science education in African communities.
As a member of the Cambridge Association of Women in Science and Engineering and the Sierra Leone Association of Women in Science and Engineering, Bridget is currently working with both teams to develop gender-sensitive activities for teaching science and mathematics. This initiative is further supported by a collaboration with the Faculty of Education in Cambridge and the madanyu enterprise (http://www.madanyu.org) to promote the use of Open Educational Resources using mobile technology.
Bridget has previously set up a metabolic pathway database for Trypanosoma brucei, causative agent of African sleeping sickness disease, which currently affects about 60 million people and where current treatments are ineffective. This database is now being used by the team of scientists working on the management of this disease. In collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry in Cambridge, Bridget continues to develop on research projects from her doctoral thesis, evaluating the evolutionary origin of parasitism in eukaryotes and assessing the evolution of the spliceosome and other nuclear transcript processing machinery across eukaryotes.
Prof (Sir) Tom Blundell, Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge
Tom Blundell maintains an active laboratory as Director of Research and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, where he was previously Sir William Dunn Professor and Head of Department between 1996 and 2009, and Chair of School of Biological Sciences between 2003 and 2009. He has previously held teaching and research positions in the Universities of London, Sussex and Oxford.
Tom researches on molecular, structural and computational biology of growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction and DNA repair, important in cancer, tuberculosis and familial diseases. He has developed many widely used software packages for protein modelling and design. He has published 580 research papers, including 35 in Nature and Science.
Tom has developed new approaches to structure-guided and fragment-based drug discovery. In 1999 he co-founded Astex Therapeutics, an oncology company that has ten drugs in clinical trials. In the University of Cambridge he has developed structure-guided fragment-based approaches to drug discovery for difficult multiprotein proteins and Mycobacterium tuberculosis targets funded by the Gates Foundation.
Tom has been involved in supporting science research initiatives in South Africa and science education in Sierra Leone. He is a frequent visitor to Zimbabwe, where his wife Dr Bancinyane Sibanda and he have family.
Tom was a member of PM Margaret Thatcher’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology (1988-1990), founding CEO of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, 1991-1996 (Chair 2009-2015), Chairman, Royal Commission on Environment (1998-2005), Deputy Chair of Institute of Cancer Research 2008-2015 and President of UK Science Council, 2011- 2016.
Professor S. J. Middleton MA MD FRCP FAHE, Clinical School, Cambridge University Hospitals
Dr Stephen Middleton is a consultant Gastroenterologist at Addenbrooke’s hospital, University of Cambridge Teaching Hospital. He was appointed to this position in 1995 and is the senior Gastroenterologist in a unit of 8 consultants.
His regular practice includes NHS outpatient clinics, where he consults patients with conditions such as IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s and indigestion. He has over 20 years experience in conducting colonoscopy, therapeutic endoscopy and inpatient Gastroenterology. He is the clinical lead of the Gastroenterology physiology unit which he founded in 1997 and now provides a regional service for oesophageal manometry and ambulatory pH studies to investigate swallowing problems and indigestion.
Dr Middleton is the clinical lead of the Cambridge service for irritable bowel syndrome. The service uses dietary treatment as the primary mode of treatment. The last 1000 patients have recently been audited and the dietary treatment was found to be successful in over 70% of patients.
He has established two teams of consultants who meet regularly to discuss patients with indigestion and swallowing problems (The upper GI multidisciplinary team) and patients with constipation and evacuatory disorders (lower GI multidisciplinary team). Both teams have now expanded and developed, have been running for over a decade and offer a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic expertise and provide a region wide service as well as having a national referral base.
Dr Middleton has also been involved in supporting science education in Sierra Leone and health research initiatives at the Science Resources Africa programme.
Dr Othman Cole
Dr Othman Cole is a Senior Faculty in Management Practice (Finance) and the Deputy Director of the Executive MBA Programme at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also a Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. Dr Cole holds a PhD and an MPhil in Finance, both from Cambridge Judge Business School; an MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking; and an MEng in Computer Systems Engineering.
Prior to his current role, Dr Cole was a Research Associate and then Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School. He was also an Assistant Professor of Finance at ESCP Europe Business School, where he is now an Affiliate Professor. Othman’s areas of teaching are in the areas of corporate finance, project finance, mergers & acquisitions, and his areas of research are in the areas of capital structure of companies, behavioural biases, National Oil Companies (NOCs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs), carbon emissions and economic growth.
Othman has published a number of peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, and has presented papers at a number of international conferences. Othman’s previous experiences were in investment banking during his roles at Barclays Capital and DNA Project Finance. He has also consulted for a number of companies in risk management, real estate, and energy.
Public Relations Officer: David Orr, University of Cambridge
David Orr is an international development consultant in London, having recently completed his MPhil at the University of Cambridge in International Relations and Politics. His academic interests concern natural resource governance in eastern and southern Africa, particularly as it relates to political devolution, and he has conducted extensive fieldwork in both South Africa and Kenya, where he grew up. David is passionate about providing youth with accessible entry points to politics, and ran numerous Model United Nations and Model Parliament conferences in Canada. He is also the co-founder of the State of Things, a multimedia interactive platform to spur youth interest and engagement in politics.
Financial and Project Officer: Elisabeth Kerr, SOAS
Elisabeth is responsible both for the overall finances of SRA and project planning, drawing on previous experience in project strategy from her role as Goals Workstream Lead for Education Partnerships Africa, a grassroots organisation that invests in educational resources and infrastructure through collaborative partnerships with East African secondary schools. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Linguistics and is currently interning as a computational linguist for Africa’s Voices Foundation, developing natural language processing (NLP) resources for underresourced African languages predominantly through application of machine learning techniques in Python. In September she will commence an MA in Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she will specialise in African languages and linguistics.
Mrs Penny Coggil, Scientist, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (retired) / Cambridge Association of Women in Science and Engineering
Stavroula Koutroumpi, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Dr Jelena Aleksic
Dr Jelena Aleksic is a Geneticist turned Entrepreneur, working to make clinical genetic testing more accessible. She completed her PhD at Cambridge University in Genomics and Computational Biology, followed by a postdoc position researching the Epigenetics of a rare genetic disorder, Dubowitz Syndrome. Having learned about the challenges in diagnosing rare diseases, she co-founded GeneAdviser, an online marketplace for clinical genetic tests, to make it easier for doctors to find and order tests for their patients. She is also a director of TReND in Africa, a charity supporting scientific research in Africa.
Tom is a senior lecturer in Neuroscience at the University of Sussex (www.badenlab.org). His research focuses on the visual system of vertebrates, with special focus on retinal circuits in teleost fish. He is also one of the directors of TReND in Africa (www.TReNDinAfrica.org) and runs the site www.Open-Labware.net.