Natural Products Lab
HEAD: SMITH B. BABIAKA, PhD
Dr. Smith B. Babiaka is trained in the University of Buea (Cameroon), where he was awarded a PhD in Chemistry in March 2019. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry (since May 2021). He has received several awards and fellowships, including the ARISE-intra ACP PhD sandwich mobility scholarship to study at the University of Nairobi, Kenya (2017), the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES) junior researcher grant (2018). He has also served as a consultant at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Cotonou, Benin (2020). He has about 30 peer-reviewed journal publications including a book chapter. Since June 2022, he is a Georg Forster Alexander Postdoctoral Researcher sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a Georg Forster-Bayer Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Microbial Bioactive Compounds, University of Tübingen (Germany) in the Hughe’s Research Group. His current research is focused on the search of new natural products with promising antimicrobial and antiviral activity from soil and marine natural invertebrates.
His team is responsible for the extraction, isolation, purification and structure elucidation ongoing in the natural products lab as well as the further investigation of analogues of natural products and pseudo-natural products in collaboration the computational chemistry and organic synthesis teams to propose analogues of natural products to be synthesised and tested, etc.
Other Team Members:
1. Clovis S. Metuge (M.Sc. Student)
2. Oyere T. Ebob (Ph.D. Student)
3. Chantal Emade Nkwelle (Ph.D. Student)
4. Fritz Mukow Nsanyi (Ph.D. Student)
Chemical Synthesis Lab
HEAD: MALOBA M. M. LOBE, PhD
Dr. Maloba M. M. Lobe is trained in the University of Buea. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2021 under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Simon M. N. Efange. Her Ph.D. thesis work was outstanding and led to two original peer-reviewed journal articles and two patent applications. After a temporal period as a research scientist at the Cameroon Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI) in Yaoundé, she was recruited as an Assistant Lecturer of Chemistry in the same Department of Chemistry, where she was trained. She has several awards, including the Adolphe Monkedje Fellowship and the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES) PAWS Postdoctoral Research Grant awarded to young female scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa who have distinguished themselves during their Ph.D. studies. This award is partly sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).
Her group is in charge of the synthesis of analogues suggested by natural products and computational chemistry teams, beginning from the scaffolds derived from nature.
Other Team Members:
1. Vanessa Asoh Shu (M.Sc. Student)
2. Solange A. Tanyi (Ph.D. Student)
3. Albert Ehinak Enama (Ph.D. Student)
Molecular Simulations Lab
HEAD: CONRAD V. SIMOBEN
Dr. Conrad V. Simoben is trained in the University of Buea and at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany). After a B.Sc. in Chemistry (with a minor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry) from the University of Buea, he carried out his M.Sc. thesis project on the computational investigation of the potential of anticancer compounds from Africa flora under the guidance and mentorship of Fidele Ntie-Kang (obtained in 2015). He immediately obtained a full scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) to pursue a Ph.D. in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg under the supervision of Prof. Wolfgang Sippl. He defended a cumulative Ph.D. thesis in 2021 with suma cum laude (the highest distinction possible) after investigating natural products from African medicinal plants and other synthetic compounds that can inhibit histone deacetylases. During his Ph.D. studies, he received an academic distinction from his university for his outstanding results. Since then, he has been applying computational methodologies to identify lead compounds for diverse therapeutic purposes, including antiviral targets within the ongoing projects at UB-CeDD. He has currently published more than 25 journal articles and book chapters. He belongs to several networks, including the DAAD Alumni network and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
His team is in charge of the in silico (virtual) screening platforms at UB-CeDD and participate in suggesting natural products and their computationally designed analogues, beginning from the scaffolds derived from nature or synthesised scaffolds.
Other Team Members:
1. Cyprian Meh Dih (M.Sc. Student)
2. Cyril T. Namba-Nzanguim (M.Sc. Student)
3. Simeon Akame (Data Curator)
4. Jude Y. Betow (Ph.D. Student)