Yvonne Affram, Ph.D.
Yvonne Affram has a keen interest in Infectious Disease research especially Virology and Molecular Biology research. She is currently working as a postdoctoral research associate in the labs of Prof.s Julian Leibowitz and Paul Defigueiredo at the Texas A and M Center of Health Science on a highly collaborative project to produce neutralizing antibodies to an array of viral infections, beginning with the Influenza and SARS- CoV-2 viruses.
Her prior research was on Polio and HIV viruses at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR) at the University of Ghana. She went on to pursue an MPhil in Microbiology where she worked on the molecular basis of HIV-1 discordance at the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center, the University of Ghana Medical School and NMIMR, under Prof.s William Paxton, Julius A.A. Mingle and William Ampofo. She successfully completed her work and had the opportunity to present her research findings on several international and local platforms and was given an award for the best oral presentation at the 3rd INTEREST workshop for HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment from the Netherlands. She was later awarded a scholarship by the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) to pursue a PhD at the University of Heidelberg Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany where she worked on HIV Drug Resistance Mutations and the Intracellular Virus Reservoir in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Georg Kraeusslich and Prof. Dr. Paul Schnitzler and pursed her initial postdoctoral fellowship in the same lab. She later joined the laboratory of Prof. Fabio Romerio at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland as a Postdoctoral Fellow. In Prof. Romerio’s lab, her research work focused on determining the subcellular localization of the HIV-1 antisense protein (ASP) as well as ASP’s role in the virus life cycle. On this project, she acquired the skills to run confocal and STORM microscopes to generate relevant data on the subcellular localization of ASP. Her research findings were published in the journal of virology in 2019. She also worked in close collaboration with Prof. Olga S. Latinovic also at IHV on the HIV intracellular Reservoir after combined antiretroviral treatment in primary cells, where she used the knowledge and skill, she acquired from her PhD research work to design protocols for evaluating the HIV intracellular reservoir. The findings were published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses in 2020.
Her long-term goals are to become an established virologist and a principal investigator and inspire young scientists to develop their interest and realize their full potential in science.