Tackling viral diseases

As part of the University of Leeds' Global Challenge research, visiting researcher Dr Adeyemi works alongside Professor Nicola Stonehouse to tackle global problems.

Funding from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund has allowed molecular biologist Dr Oluwapelumi Adeyemito to be appointed a research visitor at the University of Leeds.

Dr Oluwapelumi Adeyemi, from his university laboratory in Western Nigeria, wants to make significant inroads into the diseases that are blighting lives and causing unnecessary deaths. But like many scientists working in the developing world, he is unable to exploit the latest bio-molecular techniques to diagnose and research diseases. His laboratory lacks the necessary hi-tech equipment and many of his colleagues do not have the practical skills needed to exploit the advances in molecular biology — particularly to investigate viruses and vaccines.

Now, he will be able to spend short periods at Leeds to tap into the University’s expertise in virology while leading his own research at the University of Ilorin into the viruses that cause severe diarrhoea and sickness in children, often with fatal consequences.

He will also have support from Nicola Stonehouse, Professor of Molecular Virology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Leeds. Equipment has been shipped from Leeds to boost the research capabilities of his team.

Professor Nicola Stonehouse said: “Research at Leeds is at the cutting edge of molecular biology.

"GCRF funding allows us to have scientists from low-to-middle income countries to come and work alongside us on important research projects at the frontiers of science.

“Through that process, we can help them become more effective research scientists who can return home and apply the very latest scientific approaches to the big problems their nations face.”

Earlier in his career, Dr Adeyemi studied for a PhD at Leeds with Professor Stonehouse’s team. He was involved in the development of virus-like particles, a key component for safer and cheaper vaccine development.

Tackling Global Challenges 

The University of Leeds has been hugely successful in securing funding from the Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The aim of the fund is to ensure UK science takes the lead in addressing the problems faced by developing countries. Through this research funding, the University is able to bring cross-cutting research to bear down on some of the world’s most intractable challenges, building projects aiming to tackle global problems.

Research and Innovations 

Our research delivers significant benefits to society and industry, our areas of impact are grouped into four areas of grand challenge biomedicine and health; ecology and conservation; sport and exercise sciences and sustainable agriculture. "The Faculty of Biological Sciences is a vibrant, collaborative research community, spanning all areas of biological sciences from landscapes to molecules. Explore our research and innovation pages to view the strength and depth of our research teams and contact us if you have an interest in working together," said Professor Brendan Davies, Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation.