Prof Gobena Ameni – WP3
Dr Gobena Ameni gained his undergraduate degree from Addis Ababa University (AAU) in September 1990 and graduated with a DVM from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Addis Ababa University in July 1996. He started his career as a researcher at the Institute of Pathobiology (now renamed as Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology), Addis Ababa University, in 1997.
He did his PhD at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (UK) obtaining his PhD in Microbiolgy in 2009. He also earned a diploma in Immunology from the same College in 2009. His research interest on bovine tuberculosis developed at the start of his career and have further developed through his doctoral studies. In addition to bovine tuberculosis, Dr Gobena has developed interest on human tuberculosis and equine histoplasmosis. He leads WP3 investigating BCG efficacy studies and comparing susceptibility between breeds.
Dr Abraham Aseffa – WP4
Abraham graduated in medicine from the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He specialised in Medical Microbiology at the University of Leipzig in Germany where he did his dissertation on the development of an attenuated live vaccine against Listeria monocytogenes. Dr Aseffa has been working at the Armauer Hansen research Institute (AHRI) since 2001, and is currently AHRI’s Scientific Director.
He has substantial experience in TB/HIV, leishmaniasis and infectious disease. Dr Aseffa is an active contributor to many professional associations and initiatives in Ethiopia and Africa. He has shown particular interest in capacity building efforts for health research and ethics. He is head of WP4 which is investigating the prevalence of bovine TB in high risk human populations.
Mr Berecha Bayissa – WP3
Berecha Bayissa received his MSc degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Addis Ababa University in Tropical Veterinary Epidemiology. He also graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 2004 from the same faculty.
Berecha is currently a Senior Research Officer at the National Veterinary Institute, Ethiopia, which is the only veterinary vaccine production institute in the country. He is coordinating viral vaccine production and undertaking studies focused on development and production of new products for the last four years. Prior to coming to the institute, he was assistant professor for one year at Ambo University, Ethiopia. Berecha also served Oromia Agricultural Research Institute more than five years as Animal Health Researcher in Borana Pastoral System. Throughout his research endeavors, he had significant contributions for one sero-prevalence study, two vaccine-trial related studies and two animal health problems in Borana Rangeland studies publications.
Dr Adam Bekele
An Agricultural Economist by profession, Adam graduated with a PhD in agricultural economics in 2010 from Haramaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia. He currently works for the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) under the Agricultural economics, extension and gender research directorate as senior researcher based at Melkasa agricultural research center. He has over 30 years of service with the EIAR in various capacities and is currently coordinating WP2 for the ETHICOBOTS project.
Dr Stefan Berg – Northern Coordinator
Stefan Berg is the Northern project coordinator and day-to-day manager for the ETHICOBOTS Programme working closely with Adane Mihret – Southern Coordinator. He also shares the leadership of WP1, investigating the epidemiology of bovine TB in the Ethiopian dairy sector. Stefan is employed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) located outside London.
Stefan is a biologist with around 15 years of experience in TB research. He obtained PhD in biochemistry at Umeå University, Sweden, and since his postdoc at Colorado State University he has remained in TB research, publishing on mycobacterial cell-wall biosynthesis and more recently molecular epidemiology of TB in Africa and beyond. Since 2007 he has been project coordinator in international collaborations on Bovine TB in Ethiopia, working with many Ethiopian scientists exploring mainly the epidemiology and population structures of Mycobacterium bovis and M. tuberculosis in cattle, humans and wildlife. He has gained large experience in mycobacteria culturing and molecular strain characterisation, including whole genome sequencing. More recent studies have also included BCG efficacy studies in cattle under natural transmission conditions in Ethiopia..
Mr Alan Clarke
Northern administrator of the ETHICOBOTS project, organising purchasing, managing finance, arranging events and liaising with stakeholders to solve problems and provide support and planning for the project.
Dr Andrew Conlan – WP6
Andrew Conlan is a University Lecturer in Epidemiology within the Disease Dynamics Unit (DDU) at the Department of Veterinary Medicine in Cambridge. He is an epidemiologist and mathematical modeller with a particular interest in the use of mathematical models to inform policy on the control of infectious diseases. He has worked on the control of bovine Tuberculosis in Great Britain since 2008, applying novel methods of Bayesian inference to estimate predictive herd level models. These models have been used to support policy decisions on the use of testing and to inform the design of field trials for the potential supplementary use of cattle vaccination.
Andrew obtained a MPhys degree in Mathematical Physics from the University of Edinburgh before moving to the Department of Zoology in Cambridge in 2002 to undertake a PhD with Bryan Grenfell on the dynamics of childhood infectious diseases. He has remained in Cambridge since then, furthering his research on disease dynamics in the Department of Applied Mathematics (DAMTP) before arriving at the Department of Veterinary Medicine.
Tilaye Teklewold Deneke – WP2,5
Tilaye Teklewold Deneke (1975) holds a BSc Degree in Agriculture (1998) form the Alemaya University of Agriculture specializing in Agricultural Extension, an MA Degree in Development Studies (2004) from Addis Ababa University and a PhD in Agriculture (2011) from Humbold University of Berlin specializing in the area of Resource Economics. Currently, he is working as Deputy Director General of the Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI). His academic and research interests focus on institutional resource economics, agricultural production and marketing economics as well as agricultural innovation systems.
Dr Solomon Gebredufe – WP1
After graduating he worked as a provincial and regional veterinary officer in southwestern Ethiopia, and later joined Bedele regional Veterinary Laboratory working primarily as junior veterinary researcher where he was later promoted to veterinary researcher. He has coordinated various National Projects such and acted as the National project coordinator for sheep and goat ectoparasites and skin diseases project. Later he received a PhD in Kenya. Currently beside his position he is working as Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Core process coordinator (Deputy Director of NAHDIC) of the National Animal Health Diagnostic and investigation Centre (NAHDIC) of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries of Ethiopia. Solomon Has published more than 45 research articles, manuals and a book on different aspects of livestock diseases. He is currently WP1 Coordinator of the ETHICOBOTS project.
Prof Paul Wenzel Geissler – WP2,5
With a comprehensive interdisciplinary background in social anthropology and zoology, Geissler is a professor of social anthropology at Oslo University and part time director of research in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University. Professor Geissler collaborates on WP2 and 5, conducting the social science research for the ETHICOBOTS project together with Professor Henrietta Moore and Dr Dawit Alemu.
Mr Tsegaye Hailu (AHRI) – Database Manager
Tseagye Hailu is currently working as an assistant database manager at Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This involves many disease portfolios including, Clinical Trial, Bio-equivalence Study, TB/HIV/AIDS, Leprosy, Malaria, Leishmania and working in close collaboration with of M.Sc. and PhD Students on their project work.
He has a B.Sc in Mathematics at Haramaya University and obtained an M.Sc in Information Science at Addis Ababa University Ethiopia. He has been working at AHRI for the last 7 years.
Prof Glyn Hewinson – Research Lead
Glyn Hewinson trained as a Microbiologist at Bristol University and then obtained his D. Phil from Oxford University for his work on determining the way bacteria become resistant to antibiotics in patients with cystic fibrosis. After his PhD studies he became a Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford.
He joined the civil service as a senior scientist at VLA (now APHA) in 1990 to work on bovine tuberculosis (TB). In 1996 he became the Head of the TB Research Group leading a major research programme on bovine TB including the development of cattle and badger vaccines, and diagnostic tests that differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals. He also introduced molecular typing techniques for Mycobacterium bovis to VLA which proved particularly important for Scotland in gaining their Officially TB-free EU status.
Glyn is now the Lead Scientist for TB at APHA while being a Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London, a Jenner Investigator at Oxford University and member of the Jenner Institute Executive Committee, Section Editor of the scientific journal, Tuberculosis and an OIE expert on bovine tuberculosis. Some of his group’s scientific highlights include the completion of the genome sequence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine TB, in 2003 and more recently the successful licensing of the first injectable TB vaccine for badgers, BadgerBCG. He was a Co-Principle Investigator of a Wellcome Trust grant that established bovine TB research work in Ethiopia including establishing capabilities and capacity for performing TB vaccination studies under natural conditions in Ethiopia. As co-PI on the ETHICOBOTS project, Glyn is taking a leading role in evaluating control strategies for bovine TB in Ethiopia.
Mr Bedaso Mamo – ZELS AS Student
Bedaso Mamo is a ZELS-AS student under the supervision of Professor James Wood. He is currently studying the epidemiology of brucellosis in dairy cattle of the greater Addis Ababa dairy belt in Ethiopia.
Dr Getnet Mekonnen – WP1
Getnet did his undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (1995-2000). He also did his MSc degree in the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2004-2006).
Allocated to WP1, Getnet is a research assistant working on the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in the selected sites of Ethiopia.
Mr Wondale Mekonnen – WP4
My responsibility in ETHICOBOTS project is to process field samples for culturing and identification of mycobacteria. After receiving samples from the field, I prepare culture media for culturing of the samples in the TB lab. I then follow these culture slants over two months and the results are registered and sent to data personnel. All positive cultures are also identified by Ziehl-Neelsen staining and any Acid-Fast isolate will be harvested for long-term storage (frozen) or heat-inactivated for further molecular characterisation by PCR analysis. I am also involved in training of other project members in mycobacterial culturing and typing.
Dr Adane Mihret – Southern Coordinator
Adane Mihret received his DVM degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1995 from Addis Ababa University and obtained his MSc degree in Medical Microbiology in 2005 from the same University. He then joined the Armauer Hansen Research Institute as a Research Assistant and worked until 2013 in BMGF and EDCTP funded tuberculosis biomarker consortium projects. In these projects he was working as a co-investigator and project coordinator. In 2013 he received his PhD from Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
His PhD work mainly focused on identifying discriminatory transcriptional signatures of immune response genes and plasma cytokine level that could potentially distinguish the different clinical outcomes of M. tuberculosis infection. Currently he is working as a postdoctoral Scientist. Apart from supervising postgraduate students and leading a number of research projects at AHRI, he is also teaching Microbiology and advanced Immunology courses at Addis Ababa University, School of Medicine.
Prof Henrietta L. Moore – WP2,5
Professor Dame Henrietta L. Moore is a social scientist. She is the Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College, London (UCL), where she also holds the Chair in Culture, Philosophy and Design. Her work focuses on developing new approaches to prosperity that look beyond economic growth to wellbeing, environmental sustainability, institutional change and social justice.
She has ongoing interests in issues of globalisation, gender, social transformation and livelihood strategies. In her long term research in northern Kenya she works closely with local communities, co-designing research on social and environmental change with a team of community researchers. Among several ongoing research projects, she is currently co-investigator and lead social scientist for ETHICOBOTS, a multi-disciplinary project tackling the high burden of bovine TB in Ethiopia and its implications for human and animal health, livelihoods and development.
She is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Academician of the Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, and a Member of the Institute of Directors.
Dr Asegedech Sirak – WP3
Working as a pathologist working in The National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Center, Asegedech was the pathology laboratory head and quality manager in the center before beginning a PhD in February 2015. She took her DVM in Cuba, and her MVSc degree in Jordan at JUST. She is an assistant researcher for the ETHICOBOTS project working in WP3, studying breed resistance (comparing exotic, local and cross breeds) based on pathological lesions.
Dr Noel H Smith
Dr. Noel Smith is the Head of bovine TB Genotyping at APHA, Weybridge and his team is responsible for genotyping over 300 bacterial isolates of bovine tuberculosis a month.
Noel was trained as a microbiologist and molecular biologist but decided early on that “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”. He arranged to have post-doc training with some of the best bacterial population geneticists in the world, culminating in a long collaboration with John Maynard Smith at the University of Sussex on the importance of ‘sex’ in bacteria.
Over a decade ago he became the Head of bovine TB Genotyping at APHA, Weybridge and he curates one of the largest bacterial reference collections in the world.
Mr Hawult Taye – WP4
Hawult Taye is a young researcher at Armauer Hansen Research Institute (Ethiopia). He has been working as study physician and research assistant in different epidemiological studies and clinical trials. He graduated with a B.sc degree in health science from Haromay University in 2006 and MPH (Master of public health) from University of Gondar (Ethiopia) in 2011.
Hawult currently works on the ETHIOCOBOTS (Ethiopian Control of Bovine Tuberculosis) project as research assistant of WP4 (Targeted on Epidemiology of M.bovis in human) and has been developing his PhD proposal entitled “Epidemiology of tuberculosis and role of M. bovis in settings with high dairy development in Ethiopia.
Mr Bamlak Tessema
Mr Bamlak Tessema earned his B.A degree in sociology and social anthropology in 2012 from Addis Ababa University. He joined the Armauer Hansen Research Institute as a clinical research nurse and TB clinician on BMG GC6-74 project, later being promoted to clinical research coordinator. He currently works as a clinical research coordinator on an EDCTP funded project to improve childhood vaccinations and defences against seasonal and pandemic influenza.
Bamlak is also a leading international referee in Ethiopia. He began refereeing during 2003 GC and became a FIFA international in 2009 GC, refereeing his first international match, Djibouti vs Namibia in 2010.
In 2015 he was match official for the Africa cup of nations in Equatorial Guinea, officiating the Cameroon vs Guinea, match. He was a match official for the Under 17’s FIFA World Cup in Chile.
Dr Rea Tschopp – WP6
Rea Tschopp graduated as a veterinarian from the Veterinary Faculty of Bern (Switzerland) in 1998 whilst also completing 3 years of human medicine modules.
While practicing in Switzerland as a veterinary surgeon she completed her veterinary doctorate degree in 2001 on Mycoplasma infection in fattening calves.
She completed an Msc on “wildlife disease and management” at the Royal Veterinary College and the Institute of Zoology in London in 2002. The following years were spent working as a professional wildlife veterinarian in Dubai (UAE), Nepal, Belize and South Africa.
Rea completed her PhD in Epidemiology on “Bovine tuberculosis at the livestock-human-wildlife interface in Ethiopia” in 2008 from the Swiss Tropical and Public health Institute, University of Basel. The research was funded by the Wellcome trust. She has been working in Ethiopia since 2005 on zoonotic diseases such as bovine TB/TB, rabies and brucellosis, and is leading the “Zoonosis and One health” research at the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) as an epidemiologist co-researcher for both AHRI and Swiss TPH.
Rea has also a strong interest in pastoral health including mother and child health, animal production system and conservation medicine. Rea is a guest lecturer on wildlife medicine, epidemiology and One-Health at various Ethiopian universities and is a wildlife veterinarian consultant. She is the WP6 leader on the ETHICOBOTS project.
Dr Martin Vordermeier – WP3 advisor
His current research interests are aimed at the investigation of immune responses against mycobacterial infections to support the development of vaccines and diagnostic reagents against bovine tuberculosis in cattle.
Martin is also interested in bovine TB in cattle in Africa, in particular the differences in the susceptibility to bovine tuberculosis between endogenous and exotic breeds in East Africa.
Professor James Wood – Research Lead
James Wood is Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Cambridge. He is a veterinary epidemiologist and joined the Department in Cambridge in 2005, initially as Director of the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium, prior to appointment as Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science in 2009. He studies the dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, including viral infections of fruit bats in West Africa, focused in Ghana, mammalian influenza, rabies and bovine tuberculosis. Funders include BBSRC, EU FP7 (Antigone Consortium), ESPA, Defra, the RAPIDD program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, Fogarty International Centre, National Institute of Health and the Alborada Trust.
He has an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1991) and a PhD from the Open University (1997) which he completed when Head of Epidemiology at the Animal Health Trust. He is an RVC graduate (1988), having also completed a BSc in Physiology at UCL (1985).