We are pleased to announce that John Muriuki and Kelvin Abuga were awarded a 3 year Wellcome International Training Fellowships and their awards started on the 1st April. John is a post-doc in Dr Sarah Atkinson's team and Kelvin is now a PhD student (with the fellowship).
John Muriuki has been awarded a Wellcome International training fellowship to investigate whether iron status is causally linked to severe infections and death in African children. John has identified novel genetic variants that influence iron status in a genome-wide association study of African children. During the fellowship, John will use the identified genetic variants to proxy iron status and determine their association with severe infections (such as severe malaria, bacteraemia, and tuberculosis) and in-hospital deaths in Mendelian randomisation analyses. This work will inform public health policy on the safety of correcting iron deficiency in resource-poor settings.
Kelvin Abuga has been awarded a Wellcome International Training fellowship for a PhD to investigate the mechanisms underlying the relationship between severe anaemia and bacterial infections. Kelvin will test the hypothesis that disrupted iron status and impaired immune responses mediate the relationship between severe anaemia and invasive bacterial infections in African children. Findings from this project will elucidate key iron and immune pathways that can be targeted to develop interventions for severe anaemia and prevention of bacteraemia.