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Meet the LSHTM TB Centre’s new Students Liaison Officer from MRCG | Dr Sheila Agyeiwaa Owusu

Dr Sheila Agyeiwaa Owusu

What do you do at MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine?

I am a pediatrician and a PhD student in the Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at LSHTM, based at the MRC Unit The Gambia. I am a member of the inaugural cohort of the TALENT PhD fellowship scheme which is specifically for the training of female West African scientists. The TALENT fellowship is an initiative of the EDCTP-funded West African Networks of Excellence for TB, AIDs and Malaria (WANETAM).

 

Tell us a bit about your career

I am a pediatrician and lecturer in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Tamale Teaching Hospital and the University for Development Studies (UDS) both in Ghana. I have about 10 years of professional working experience as a medical doctor. Prior to joining the UDS full-time, I was a part-time senior research assistant, tutor, and skills moderator for the preclinical medical students at the same institution.

I had my medical educational training at the University for Development Studies, Tamale in Ghana. After, I completed my housemanship and worked as a medical officer for three years at Tamale Teaching Hospital before completing my membership in Pediatrics with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in Kumasi. I also completed an MPH at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

I am currently the vice president of the Special Interest Group for Adolescent Health of the World Medical Women Association.

  

What does your research focus on?

My main areas of research include pediatric infectious disease, adolescent health, and Pediatric Chronic Disease Comorbidity. I am currently doing my PhD where I am investigating the utility and added value of non-sputum-based approaches for improving the diagnosis of childhood TB within national health systems in West Africa.

 

Please explain what the LSHTM TB Centre does

The LSHTM TB Centre was established in 2012. It is incredibly active working with over 120 researchers with diverse disciplinary perspectives, making it one of the largest groups of TB academics in Europe. It facilitates global collaboration through innovative research and provides opportunities for researchers including students.

 

What is your role as the Students Liaison Officer at the LSHTM TB Centre?

Following a competitive selection process I was selected as the LSHTM TB Centre Students Liaison Officer (SLO) for overseas based students, including distance learning students. The LSHTM TB Centre Students Liaison Officers are the representatives of the TB Centre among one of our key constituents i.e. MSc and PhD students who are undertaking their training at the school either by intensive full-time or by distance learning. As one of the SLOs, I will be the voice of the student’s community within the Centre ensuring that students’ voices are heard in the Centre’s management and steering committee. I will also help to shape many of the Centre’s activities through which we engage students. In particular, I will participate in the organisation and delivery of the annual students retreat which is a dedicated event for students (MSc [including distance learning students] & PhD) to present their project/research plans to peers and TB Centre faculties. TB Centre SLOs help forge community spirit and build links throughout LSHTM’s wider institutional collaborations and the global community, thereby creating a platform for students to develop their interpersonal, communication and teamworking skills.

 

Why did you join the LSHTM TB Centre?

I have a passion for pediatric infectious disease and my current research work involves children with Tuberculosis.

 

What is your aim as a Students Liaison Officer?

I have three aims as a Students Liaison Officer. Firstly, I would like to help coordinate and promote the activities of the TB Center by encouraging active participation by students and members of the Centre. Secondly, to facilitate communication between the Center and its members, especially the student body. And lastly, to support the Center’s aim of helping to reduce the burden of TB through innovative research.

 

What would surprise people to know about you?

I am an excellent cook.

 

What advice would you have for fellow PhD students?

To explore the various opportunities available at the school and to network.

Short courses

LSHTM's short and specifically designed courses provide the opportunity for intensive study in specialised topics.

These courses enable participants to refresh their skills and keep up to date with the latest research and knowledge in public and global health.