Prof. Spencer Shorte Delivers Vice-Chancellor's Occasional Lecture

Prof. Spencer Shorte, Director and Executive Engineer of Imagopole, Institut Pasteur, has delivered a lecture on the topic, “Imaging Infection – Technology Innovation Driving Research toward the Benefit of Public Health”, held at the Centre for African Wetlands on the University of Ghana campus. He delivered the lecture under the Vice Chancellor’s Occasional Lecture Series.

Prof. Aryeetey
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

Prof. Shorte noted the importance for Universities to invest in good scientific research and development, adding that research must be enhanced with innovations that respond to the needs of people. He argued that scientists from various scientific disciplines ought to collaborate with their colleagues from others disciplines to ensure their research was multi-disciplinary, as well as involve industry in the process. He said industry should not merely be seen as funders but as partners and collaborators.
Prof. Shorte gave a historical background on how scientific imaging has developed overtime. He indicated that before the emergence of imaging, a large population of Europeans was wiped out due to the spread of infections such as the ‘bubonic plague’, called the ‘black death’ which created a period of fear, as most people had little knowledge about infections at that time. He listed some of the inventions that created a clearer understanding of infections, such as the telescope, microscope and the publication of ‘Micrographia’ by Robert Hooke. Prof. Shorte also spoke on the contributions of the “Institut Pasteur” to scientific research.
There was a question and answer session during which possible areas of scientific collaboration were identified as well as how the University can contribute to scientific innovations using available resources.
Earlier in introductory remarks, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey noted that the University organises periodic special public lectures to provide an opportunity not only for knowledge dissemination but also to allow faculty involved in research to benefit from cutting edge research such experts have acquired in their fields of study. He noted that the development of new technology has improved the understanding and diagnosis of diseases, and hence made an impact on public health. He said the achievements of Prof. Shorte are impressive and expressed the hope that young scientists present at the lecture will be inspired. The Vice-Chancellor acknowledged the role played by Dr. Patrick Kobina Arthur a Lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular in recommending Prof. Shorte for the lecture.
The lecture was attended by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Kweku Osam, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Prof. Kwadwo Koram, Director of Public Affairs, Mrs. Stella A. Amoa and a former Dean of the School of Public Health, Prof. Isabella Quakyi. Faculty from the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, including Dr. Gordon Awandare and Dr. Patrick Arthur and Prof. Julius Fobil from the School of Public Health were present at the lecture. The lecture was also attended by a number of students from the School of Public Health and Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology.
(Please click here for the abstract of the Lecture)

(Please click here for Prof. Spencer Shorte’s Profile)

The Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional lecture was instituted in May 2012. This platform has been mounted by many distinguished academicians and researchers, such as Professor Michael Good, a NHMRC Australia Fellow at Griffith University and past Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Paul L. G. Vlek, the Executive Director of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use and Professor Peter Piot, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Second Recipient of the Noguchi Prize, and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976 and the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS.

The University maximises the opportunity presented by the presence of these lecturers to the University for other academic work in order for them to share their experiences with members of the University community. Held under the University’s Special Public Lectures, the Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional lecture Series, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, is a platform to which members of the public are invited to.

Some students listening attentively to the lecture

Some faculty members in a pose with Prof. Shorte after the lecture.
(from left, Prof. Julius Fobil, Dr. Gordon Awandare, Prof. Shorte, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Prof. Isabella Quakyi, Prof. Kwadwo Koram and Dr. Patrick Kobina Arthur.