Sylverken, Augustina Angelina


Surname, name(s):  Sylverken, Augustina Angelina                           Date of Birth: 25/06/1979

Nationality & permanent residency: GHANAIAN, GHANA

Gender: Female



Telephone: +233 244 214625

Mobile phone: +233 244 214625

Main research areas/Expertise (brief description of past and current research and field of specialisation)

My research interests include zoonotic diseases of viral origin especially Coronaviruses, Paramyxoviruses, Rhabdoviruses and Lyssaviruses; neglected tropical diseases and tropical diseases. I have been involved in large scale multidisciplinary studies to gain more insight into the origins and reservoirs of zoonotic viruses as a proxy to viral zoonosis and viruses of epidemic and pandemic potential. I employ state-of-the-art molecular based methods such as

sequencing identify circulating and novel viruses of zoonotic origins and establish transmission interfaces between wildlife, livestock and humans.

Work experience (employers, positions, and dates)

1.      Senior Lecturer, Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, KNUST, Kumasi, August 2020 to date (

2.      Lecturer, Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, KNUST, Kumasi, August 2016-July 2020

3.      Senior Research Fellow and Virology Group Leader, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), KNUST, Kumasi (2016-Date) (

4.      Post-doctoral Scientist, DFG Bat project in Infectiology, KCCR and the Institute for Virology, University of Bonn Medical Centre, Bonn, Germany, December 2011 to 2016

5.      Deputy Head of Laboratories/Acting head of Laboratories, KCCR, KNUST – Kumasi, October 2009 – December 2011.

Educational qualifications (degrees, universities, dates)

Ph.D – Clinical Microbiology; KNUST-Kumasi, Ghana; 09/2007 – 08/2011

MPhil – Clinical Microbiology; KNUST-Kumasi, Ghana; 08/2004 – 09/2006

BSc. Biological Sciences; KNUST-Kumasi, Ghana; 10/1999 – 07/2003

Experience from similar partnerships/projects-selected (funding organisation, total granted amount, project title, reference number, role in project) 

1.      German Research Foundation (DFG), €67,770.00, The potential of nonhuman primates as a reservoir for human Yaws, Role: Principal Investigator, April 2018 – 2023

2.      European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Pan-African Network for Rapid Research, Response, Relief and Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Epidemics (PANDORA-ID-NET), € 9,997,501.25 for 23 Partners (Value to KNUST/KCCR € 192,187), Role: Co –Investigator, July 2017 – 2023

3.      International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-Canada, 818.052 CAD, Reducing child mortality: The role of Mobile Electronic Health Information System (MOBCHILD), Role: Co-Investigator, 2018-2022

4.      German Research Foundation (DFG), € 182,228, Coronaviruses as a paradigm for the transmission interface between wildlife, livestock and humans, Role: Postdoc, July 2015 – 2017

5.      German Research Foundation (DFG), €104.024, : Virus biology, host ecology and human behaviour as determinants for coronaviral zoonoses, Role: Postdoc, June 2010 – 2013.

Managerial skills

I am currently Leading the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing team made up of 14 staff members. I was a Postdoc for six years where I supervised the laboratory works of three PhD Candidates (3 males). I provided guidance, constructive support and mentoring to them. There were research Assistants (8) and Postgraduate students (7). All the Postgraduates completed their studies within the stipulated time and have taken leading roles in Ghana (two Lecturers) and Germany (Research Scientist at Charite Institute, Berlin).

I coordinated the first  Tuberculosis drug resistance survey in Ghana which included managing all the 33 tuberculosis diagnostic sites across Ghana.


I teach postgraduate (Masters and PhD.) courses including research methods, medical microbiology and virology. I also teach undergraduates (average class size of 200) Microbiology (Virology, bacteriology, mycology), molecular biology and emerging/ re-emerging infectious diseases as special topics.  I mentor and inspire these students. I have mentored close to 500 students who were assigned to me as Academic mentees.  I am one of the only three female lecturers out of a total of 27 lecturers at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, KNUST

Supervision experience (number of Master and PhD students, and Postdocs)

I have supervised 2 Postdocs (two males), five PhD students – (I female) and 24 Masters students -(15 females)

Positions/memberships in national/international organisations (selected)

  i.    Member and only Female, Ghana COVID-19 Research Coordination Committee (January 2020-Date)

 ii.    Member, Ghana National Technical Committee on COVID-19

iii.    Member and only Female, Presidential Committee on Vaccine manufacturing and Production in Ghana (KNUST) April 2021-Date)

iv.    Member, Ghana National Tuberculosis Advisory Board Member (2017-Date)

 v.    Member, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) (2018-date)

vi.    Founding Member, Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM), (2017-date)

vii.    Member, Association: University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) (2016 – Date)

viii.    Member, Association: Ghana Science Association (2016 to date)

Organisational skills (selected organising conferences, workshops, summer schools, intensive courses)

1.      Organized more than 15 hands-on workshops for selected healthcare workers in Ghana on sample taking, sample transportation of infectious samples and sample reception.

2.      Organized several laboratory-based hands-on workshop for Biomedical Scientists on Molecular diagnostics of SARS-CoV-2 in Ghana

3.      Organized a two-week hand-on workshop on Next Generation Sequencing for selected Biomedical Scientists

4.      Organized three workshops (total of 35 participants each) with support from the African Research and Excellence Fund (AREF) and has written a manual (Tools for Effective Research Communication).

5.      Member, Organizing Committee that organized two successful Girls camp events since 2018. I have and continue to mentor 20 of these girls. During these camps, I also organised mentoring sessions for the Tutors (dubbed time with the Professors)

6.      Host and Organizer – First West Africa Workshop on Phages, Date: 8-21 July 2019 Venue: Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, KNUST – Kumasi

7.      Course Director – Certificate Course in Tropical Medicine, Jointly organized by KCCR and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) – Hamburg, Germany, September 2013 to 2016

8.      I mentor girls on the MasterCard Foundation Scholars under the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) programme

9.      I serve as a Mentor and an Institutional Representative since July 2018 on the MiDA internship and mentoring

10.   I co-founded the Women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM) initiative. The aim of the WiSTEM initiative is to inspire and sustain the younger generation in pursuing STEM field careers.

11.   Recently found MIND (Mentoring In New Dimension) at KCCR.


List of publications

Total publications:


Five most relevant publications

  1. Sylverken, A. A., M. Owusu, B. Agbavor, A. Kwarteng, N. K. Ayisi-Boateng, P. Ofori, P. El-Duah, R. Yeboah, S. Aryeetey and J. Addo Asamoah (2022). “Using drones to transport suspected COVID-19 samples; experiences from the second largest testing centre in Ghana, West Africa.” Plos one 17(11): e0277057.
  2. El-Duah, P., A. A. Sylverken, M. Owusu, Y. A. Amoako, R. Yeboah, R. Gorman, E. Nyarko-Afriyie, J. Schneider, T. C. Jones and J. Bonney (2022). “Genetic characterization of varicella-zoster and HIV-1 viruses from the cerebrospinal fluid of a co-infected encephalitic patient, Ghana.” Virology Journal 19(1): 1-6.
  3. El-Duah, P., A. A. Sylverken, M. Owusu, Y. A. Amoako, R. Yeboah, R. Gorman, E. Nyarko-Afriyie, J. Schneider, T. C. Jones and J. Bonney (2022). “Genetic characterization of varicella-zoster and HIV-1 viruses from the cerebrospinal fluid of a co-infected encephalitic patient, Ghana.” Virology Journal 19(1): 1-6.
  4. Sylverken, A. A., P. El-Duah, M. Owusu, J. Schneider, R. Yeboah, N. K. Ayisi-Boateng, R. Gorman, E. Adu, A. Kwarteng and M. Frimpong (2021). “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in northern Ghana: insights from whole-genome sequencing.” Archives of virology 166(5): 1385-1393.
  5. Amoako, Y., P. El-Duah, A. Sylverken, M. Owusu, R. Yeboah, R. Gorman, T. Adade, J. Bonney, W. Tasiame and K. Nyarko-Jectey (2021). “Rabies is still a fatal but neglected disease: a case report.” Journal of Medical Case Reports 15(1): 1-6.