Justen Manasa

From Pindula
Justen Manasa

Dr. Justen Manasa is a Molecular Virologist registered with the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientist Council of Zimbabwe (MLCSCZ) as a clinical scientist. He has more than ten years international experience in molecular diagnostics, viral evolution and bioinformatics. He is the current Head, Diagnostics at the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST).

Background

His interests are leveraging advances in genomic technologies to provide innovative healthcare solution in resource-limited settings. He has postdoctoral training from Stanford University in California, USA and University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa. His undergraduate and masters are from University of Zimbabwe and PhD from University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has previously worked as an Associate Director at AiBST and as a medical laboratory scientist for the public health laboratories in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is also currently a senior lecturer in medical microbiology and the chairperson of the division pathology at the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences.

Education

He has postdoctoral training from Stanford University in California, USA and University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa. His undergraduate (HBMLS, Medicine) (1999-2003) and masters (MPhil, Molecular Virology) (2006-2010) are from University of Zimbabwe and PhD from University of KwaZulu-Natal (Doctor of Philosophy, Virology).

Career

Dr Manasa is a senior Lecturer in Medical at the College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, a Consultant Molecular Biologist at the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, an Associate Director of SPARK in Zimbabwe and a Gilead Global health Fellow. He has more than fifteen years international experience in Molecular Diagnostics, Virology and Bioinformatics. His interests are leveraging advances in genomic technologies to provide innovative healthcare solution in resource-limited settings.[1]

He has received training fellowships from the Swiss-South African joint research program, the NIH’s Fogarty Centre and Gilead sciences. He is a member of the Zimbabwean Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientist Council. He is also a member of a number of other societies such as the International AIDS Society (IAS) and American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).[2]

As of June 1, 2020, Dr. Justen Manasa of SPARK Zimbabwe was appointed the University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub Manager. Dr. Manasa said, “In this role I am managing a recently constructed multidisciplinary tech development space composed of almost 5000sqm of lab space. In this space, I serve as a project manager, technology manager, mentor for young innovators from the University of Zimbabwe. I manage teams with various innovations that have potential commercial value and work with them towards commercialisation. Once they are ready my team helps them to form start ups or identifies other mechanisms for them to benefit from their innovations.”

“Though this is a very exciting new position, it’s a quite challenging as I have to develop systems from scratch. I find myself borrowing from the SPARK concept of actively promoting Academic Industry collaborations a lot. I hope this opportunity will enable me to make a much more significant contribution towards addressing some of the problems we are facing in Zimbabwe.”[3]

Experience

  • Innovation Manager - Research and Innovation (University of Zimbabwe, Dec 2019)
  • Lecturer - Medical Microbiology (University of Zimbabwe, Oct 2017 - Oct 2017)
  • Postdoc - Infectious Diseases (Stanford University School of Medicine, Jul 2015 - Sep 2017)
  • Research Associate - Genomics and Molecular Science (African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Jan 2017 - Jan 2017)
  • Postdoc - Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies (University of KwaZulu-Natal, Jan 2014 - Jun 2015)
  • Associate Director - Molecular Sciences (African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Sep 2008 - Nov 2009)
  • Biomedical Scientist - Molecular Diagnostics (African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, May 2005 - Aug 2008)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist - Pathology (HIV and Immunology) (Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Aug 2003 - Apr 2005)

Accomplishments

Some Publications

  • Implementing antiretroviral resistance testing in a primary health care HIV treatment programme in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: early experiences, achievements and challenges.
  • High-levels of acquired drug resistance in adult patients failing first-line antiretroviral therapy in a rural HIV treatment programme in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • Surveillance of Transmitted Antiretroviral Drug Resistance among HIV-1 Infected Women Attending Antenatal Clinics in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe.
  • An Affordable HIV-1 Drug Resistance Monitoring Method for Resource Limited Settings.

Videos



References

  1. [1], Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), Accessed: 2 July, 2020
  2. [2], PubFacts - Science Publication Data, Accessed: 2 July, 2020
  3. [3], Spark Global - Translational Scientists Without Borders, Published: 15 June, 2020, Accessed: 2 July, 2020