Alumni Innovators: Bismarck Dinko

Dr Dinko completed his PhD with LSHTM in 2013. He now works as a Senior Lecturer for Parasite Biology and Immunity at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. Here, he describes how he uses innovation in his work…

How has your degree at LSHTM complemented your career?

My PhD in infectious and tropical diseases equipped me with the expertise required to be a research scientist, specialising in tropical diseases in developing countries. It afforded me the right opportunities, such as winning competitive grants and becoming a research group leader in my home country of Ghana, and the network to enable my career to flourish.

What does innovation mean to you?

To me, innovation is about using new ideas and tools to solve existing problems/challenges or to address emerging challenges, or better still to predict future problems. In fact, innovation is required to solve global health challenges, because our health problems are dynamic and continue to change, as humans are changing in behaviour and the world continues to change as well. Therefore, innovative tools, strategies and opportunities are needed to address these challenges.

How do you use innovation in your work?

I study malaria parasite biology and immunity, particularly the sexual stages. Therefore, with the ever changing nature of the malaria parasite, I use new techniques/technologies to decipher parasite genetic and immune changes as transmission changes; that might be useful in the search for the ultimate cure for malaria.

What is your advice to current students?

My advice to current students is to apply innovation in their thinking as they carry out their project work, to take advantage of the mentorship from their supervisors and to keep in touch with their junior and senior colleagues who form their immediate and future scientific network.

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