Eniyou Cheryll Oriero awarded Doctor of Philosophy

Dr Eniyou Cheryll Oriero of the Disease Control and Elimination Theme has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences at the University of Antwerp, Belgium having successfully completed her MRC-funded PhD Training Fellowship that investigated “Field implementation and evaluation of novel isothermal, nucleic acid-based diagnostic tools for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Dr Eniyou Cheryll OrieroDr Eniyou began her career in plant research after obtaining a Master degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2005. She worked on molecular characterisation and genetic transformation of food crops at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Nigeria, before switching to medical research.

She joined MRC Unit The Gambia in 2007, where she worked on several malaria diagnostics, molecular epidemiology and proteomics projects. She soon received an MRC funded PhD Training Fellowship in 2011. Her research was on the development and implementation of novel molecular tools for malaria diagnosis in field settings, within the context of malaria elimination.

Dr Eniyou successfully defended her PhD thesis in 23 October 2015 at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. A major outcome of her PhD research was the development of a novel isothermal amplification assay targeting a unique organelle in plasmodium known as the apicoplast. She also has four first-author publications from her PhD project, published in international peer review journals and several presentations at major international conferences.

Remarks from Unit Director: I am extremely happy Eniyou obtained her PhD degree from Antwerp University; she is the first MRC Unit’s student I have supervised to have completed such training. Her work is extremely important for malaria elimination as she produced a new, field-adapted molecular test for the diagnosis of malaria infections. We are going to start its large-scale testing in a survey that will be implemented in January 2016 and Eniyou has kindly accepted to help us. If we confirm that the new test performs well, we could use it in large screening and treatment programmes to decrease the human reservoir of malaria infection and eventually achieve malaria elimination.

Dr Eniyou Cheryll Oriero was supervised by Professor Umberto D’Alessandro (MRC Unit The Gambia; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK), Dr Davis Nwakanma (MRC Unit The Gambia), Professor Jan Jacobs (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium), Professor Jean-Pierre Van geertruyden (International Health Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Antwerp, Belgium).