Brenda was awarded a competitive MRC Capacity Development PhD studentship to carry out her doctorate studies at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM and the University of Leicester following her undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at Wellesley College, Massachusetts on a prestigious Davis United World Scholarship and an MSc in Medical Microbiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
As part of her PhD studies, she designed, conducted and established a birth cohort at a rural site in Sibanor, The Gambia and this experience early in her research career has continued to positively shape her approach to research. Her doctorate research showed that replacement of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) serotypes by non-vaccine serotypes occurs more rapidly than thought (< 2 weeks) following vaccination. She observed that microbiome assemblies and ecology were stable across vaccinated and unvaccinated infants, which has important implications for species replacement disease. She also showed that Gambian children are rapidly colonized by pneumococcus after birth and that pneumococcus tends to be co-carried with other respiratory pathogens. This work published in 2011 has been cited at least 66 times. In 2014, she was awarded the first competitive MRCG-LSHTM West Africa Global Health Research Fellowship in which she investigated the associations between microbial ecology, inflammations and iron deficiency.
Brenda is currently the Deputy Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for New Vaccines Surveillance and leads technical missions during bacterial meningitis outbreaks. Brenda currently has 20 peer-reviewed publications and four manuscripts that have been submitted. This includes two senior author papers and one first author paper. She also co-authored a chapter in the book Genomics Applications for the Developing World published by Springer in 2012. Her publications reflect her core research interests and wide range of international collaborations. She presented her research at several meetings including the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the International Human Microbiome Consortium Conference, International Symposium on Pneumococcus and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD) among many others.
Dr Brenda Kwambana-Adams is the Co-Chair (with Professor Shabir Madhi, Wits, South Africa) in the Plenary Lung session at the 11th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-11) held from April 15 – 19, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.