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Dr. Justin PITA has over 13 years of experience of conducting research and development projects at highly regarded institutions that adhere to the highest standards including, The Scripps Research Institute (San Diego, California, USA), The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (St-Louis, Missouri, USA), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Georgia, USA/Field Station of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation (Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA), The University of Cocody-Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, (now called Université Felix Houphouet-Boigny) and The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pennsylvania, USA).

From Mai 2008, Justin Pita worked at The University of Cocody-Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UFR (Unité de Formation et de Recherche) Biosciences, while conducting his research at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Since September 2011, he is registered on the LAFMA (Aptitude List for Confirmed Associate Professors) of the C.A.M.E.S (Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Superieur: African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education). He also worked at The Pennsylvania State University as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology where he taught Plant Virology and as a Research Associate at the Huck Institute of The Life Sciences (Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics) where he conducted his research on viral disease evolution.He is Back to West Africa since November 2014. He is an Associate Professor at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny and the Principal Investigator of West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for root and tuber crops, a regional project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Dr. Nazaire Koffi II KOUASSI is a senior research (Research Director) in Molecular virology. He is currently working as the Technical Expert of the WAVE program. He was recently the Director of the biotechnology laboratory at the Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Côte d’Ivoire and the Director of the National Biosafety Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. degree in molecular virology from the University of Montpellier II (France). He joined the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology, The Script Research Institute (ILTAB/TSRI), La Jolla, CA, USA, as a postdoctoral fellow and worked on RYMV genetic engineering program during 3 years. He was appointed in 1999, as junior researcher at CNRA. His expertise includes identification, molecular characterization, incidence and surveillance of plants viruses as well as plant Biotechnology (GMO) and Biosafety measures related to modern biotechnology.

Dr. Allen Oppong is a Research Scientist at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute. He obtained his BSc. (Hons) degree in General Agriculture and MSc. degree in Plant Protection (Plant Virology option) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in 1998 and 2005 respectively.

He obtained his PhD degree in Plant Breeding from West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, Legon in 2013. His PhD thesis research was on the “development of topcross hybrids for improved yield and resistance to the Maize streak virus disease in Ghana”.

Currently, he is the country leader (Ghana) for the West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for root and tuber crops project which is sub-regional project aimed at among others manage the incidence of viral diseases of root and tuber crops. He is also the Principal Investigator for the development of aflatoxin resistant maize hybrids for improved nutrition and health in Ghana being sponsored by USAID through the National Academy of Science, Washington USA. Other responsibilities include serving as Plant Virologist for the breeding of RYMV resistant rice and                                                                                                                   certification of virus-free sweetpotato varieties in Ghana among others.

He has had several training both locally and abroad in reputable Institutions such as the IITA, CIMMYT, CIAT, IARI, etc; in the area plant pathogen detection, biotechnology and plant disease resistance breeding.  His previous works include characterization of yam viruses found in Ghana and estimation of their effects on the yield of the crop. He is a member of the Ghana Science Association and CSIR- Research Staff Association of Ghana.

Dr. Djodji K. ADJATA is an experienced plant virologist, applied biotechnologist and virus disease epidemiologist and a lecturer at the “Ecole Supérrieure d’ Agronomie “of the University of Lomé. Dr. Adjata works on various subjects including identification and molecular characterization of plant viruses, management of plant natural resistance to pests, management of the coexistence of genetically modified organism.

Pr. Corneille AHANHANZO is has worked in the fields of professional activities as a Teacher and researcher in Plant Biotechnology, Genetics, Biosecurity, Phytopathology and Plant Breeding. He has also carried out research and development work on the improvement of the phytosanitary quality of planting material in vegetatively propagated species such as cassava, yam, pineapple, banana, sweet potato and taro. Also, He has worked on the production of efficient seeds and genetically homogeneous by micropropagation of elite genotypes in mahogany, teak, surf tree and basilicas.

Professor AHANHANZO CORNEILLE is  Professor in Plant Biotechnology and Plant Genetic Improvement, Specialized Technical Committee, Natural Sciences Section, Agronomy is a Researcher Professor, Director of the Central Plant Biotechnology and Plant Improvement Laboratory, the National Coordinator of the West African Virus Epidemiology Project (WAVE), the UEMOA Biosafety Consultant, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the WAPP. He is also the Program Manager at the Benin Center for Scientific Research and Innovation (CBRSI).

Dr. Joseph ONYEKA has been working on root and tuber crops for over 15 years. He has participated in various surveys of root and tuber crops diseases in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Prior to joining NRCRI, he worked with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan under the pre-emptive management of cassava mosaic disease project. He also worked with the French Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. He is a critical player of NRCRI success story on externally funded project.

Dr. Angela Eni is an Associate Professor of Virology at Covenant University Nigeria. Prior to joining Covenant University in 2009, Angela spent over 10 years at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan and was the interim Head of the Virology and Molecular Diagnostics Unit of IITA between 2005 and July 2007. She holds a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of the Witwatersrand South Africa. Her research focuses on understanding the epidemiology of important virus diseases of root and tuber crops and on developing sensitive diagnostics useful for mitigating the devastating effects of these viruses. Angela was named one of the 2015 Laureates of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). She is currently the Team Leader of the Covenant University (CU) Hub of the West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for root and tuber crops. Working with farmers in the South Western and North Central States of Nigeria, CU-WAVE is contributing to the regional effort to improve cassava production and productivity in West Africa, thus ensuring regional food security. 

Dr. Ibrahim Umar Mohammed is a molecular plant virologist with 17 years of research experience in plant-virus-insect interactions, especially those involving Geminiviruses, potyviruses and their whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci, infecting cassava, vegetables and other staple food crops in the tropics. He began his research career in Nigeria in 1996 and had obtained his first Degree in Agriculture from Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He then moved to the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich in 2006 to undertook his MSc on plant protection, where he investigated the effect of inter-cropping system on the control of pest and diseases, which are causing devastating losses, famine and food shortages to subsistent farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Following completion of his MSc in 2007, Dr Ibrahim joined the university of Greenwich as a PhD student (in molecular plant virology). After completion of his PhD, Dr Ibrahim returned home to Nigeria in 2012 and joined Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero (KSUSTA) as a senior scientist/lecturer.

Dr Ibrahim has supervised many undergraduate final year projects, serve as visiting senior lecturer and served as internal examiner to some postgraduate students’ theses in both UDUs and BUK. He has attended many national and international conferences, presented papers at various seminars and training workshops and has published 16 peer-reviewed articles in reputable national and                                                                                                               international Journals.

Dr Ibrahim employs multi-disciplinary research, from field epidemiology to molecular biology and tissue culture to functional genomics, to better understand plant-virus-vector relationships and mechanisms of disease resistance to enable developing improved disease control strategies. He was awarded the Raymond/Roger Hull prize for best presentation at the International Plant Virus Symposium of the Association of Applied Biology 2012. He has also developed robust low-cost diagnostic tests and virus indexing for CBSVs and cassava mosaic viruses, which are adapted in several laboratories in UK and Africa.

Dr. Fidèle Tiendrébéogo is a plant virologist working with INERA since 2010. He currently works on diagnostics and characterization of Begomoviruses and sweet potato viruses in Burkina Faso where viral diseases represent the main constraint for cassava and sweet potato production. Dr. Tiendrébéogo contributed for the molecular characterization of African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) and East African cassava mosaic virus, Uganda variant (EACMV-UG) in Burkina Faso.

Professor MONDE Godefroid is PhD in the plant virology from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, 2010. He got also a Msc in Tropical Crop protection in Agriculture Faculty of Gembloux, Belgium (2005).

He is nowadays Professor of Plant pathology in Agriculture University of Yangambi (IFA-Yangambi), DRCongo for six years. After managing for 4 years the position of Head of Crop Science Department in Agriculture University of Yangambi, Prof. MONDE Godefroid led today the position of Vice-Rector in charge of Research & Academy in the same University. His research domain interest is Ecology, Diversity and Epidemiology of Roots and tubers crops virus diseases.

He head plant pathology Lab up 2011 to now. Dr. MONDE involve in West African Virus Epidemiology funded by BMGF. WAVE Project in IFA Yangambi is under his cordination as Zone team Leader.

Zeyimo BAKELANA is a research assistant working with the National Cassava Program of INERA in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR. Congo). INERA is the National Agriculture Research Institute and is a public institution.Tony holds a Master degree in agriculture (plant protection). He has studied relationships between the whitefly vector Bemissia tabaci population abundance and the cassava mosaic disease incidence in different agro-ecological zones of DR. Congo. He has identified viruses involved in the spread of cassava mosaic disease in DR. Congo, especially ACMD (African Cassava Mosaic Virus), EACMV (East African Cassava Mosaic Virus) and EACMV-Ug (East African Cassava Mosaic Virus – Uganda).He attempted to find the causative agent of root necrosis (Cassava Brown Streak Disease – like symptoms) in western DR. Congo but all molecular tests failed. Zeyimo is actually doing a PhD at Kinshasa University on ‘’Breeding cassava for resistance to root necrosis in western DRC, using molecularmarkers’’. With the aim to develop resistant and tolerant varieties to CBSD-like disease.

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