Prof. Collen Masimirembwa

Prof. Collen Masimirembwa

Consortium Chairman

African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST), Zimbabwe

Prof. Collen Masimirembwa is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST) in Zimbabwe. He is also a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand working at the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB). Before establishing AiBST, Collen worked for AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company in Sweden for 10 years as a Principal Scientist. Collen obtained his DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe and PhD in Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Uppsala University, Sweden.

Collen is a leading researcher in pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics for drug discovery and development. He is a highly published and cited researcher with over 100 papers and a Google Scholar H-index of 42. His work focuses on the genomic diversity of pharmacogenes in African populations and its implications for the safe and efficacious treatment of infectious and non-communicable diseases in people of African ancestry. He has developed the first registered clinical pharmacogenetic testing panel and dosing algorithm in Africa, GenoPharm, that is inclusive of genetic variations unique to Africans. In addition to collaborations among academic institutions, he strongly believes in collaborations with the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in order to translate research findings to life saving solutions. In this regard he is the Chair of SPARK Africa, a translational science initiative that helps university researchers translate their findings to healthcare solutions. He promotes this research across Africa through collaborative research and has also initiated a successful MSc in Genomics and Precision Medicine program. Training of postgraduate students is an important part of his work as demonstrated by having graduated more than 10 PhD and more than 20 MSc students under his supervision and mentorship. To promote international collaboration in precision medicine, Collen is the Chair of the Developing World (South America, Africa & Middle East and South East Asia) Committee in the Pharmacogenomics Global Research Network (PGRN) and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Eu-Africa PerMed initiative. He is also a member of the European and Developing Countries Clinical trial Partnership (EDCTP) Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (SAC). His work has won several awards including the Human Genome Organisations (HUGO) Award for Africa (2019) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Calestous Juma Science Leadership Award (2021) to expand clinical pharmacogenetic testing in Africa. Collen is a fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS) and of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). (412 words).

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