Institution Registered at: University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

PhD Title: Association of immunogenic characteristics and the expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 with the development of severe COVID-19 infection.

Study Description: This study will provide evidence for the reduced susceptibility of Ghanaians to severe manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection and will help in the design of therapeutic agents and vaccines to combat COVID-19.

Majority of the asymptomatic COVID-19 infections occur within the African continent, with countries such as Ghana experiencing very low levels of severely infected individuals. Severe symptoms have been attributed to SARS-CoV-2 triggering an excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines including IL-6, IL-1, TNF- α, commonly referred to as a ‘cytokine storm’ that results in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and subsequently death of the infected host. These findings suggest that host immunity and immunogenetics play a crucial role in determining whether a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 develops severe disease or an asymptomatic infection.

This project thus intends to measure and compare the proportions of immune cells and selected cytokine levels between asymptomatically infected persons and symptomatic COVID-19 patients; examine SARS-COV-2 receptor ACE2 gene polymorphisms in the Ghanaian population and the risk of developing COVID-19.

A hospital-based cross-sectional study will be conducted on asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients who report at the Kole-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra Regional Hospital and University of Ghana Medical Centre COVID-19 facilities.


  • Professor Linda Eva Amoah, Immunology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana (Lead supervisor)
  • Professor Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi, Immunology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana (Co-supervisor)

Profile: I am currently pursuing a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Ghana. My research focuses on immunogenetics and ACE2 receptor properties in the SARS-CoV-2 human host and their association with the development of severe COVID-19. I obtained an MPhil in Pharmacology and a BSc in Laboratory technology.

My passion is to contribute to human well-being, and this has informed my pursuit for more knowledge in scientific research through my studies.  I also want to use my research time during my studies to make important discoveries that will help combat the spread of infectious diseases. In the future, I hope to be part of the team, who through crucial research will help ensure human health and well-being.

Research Gate:


LinkedIn: Gloria P. Manu | LinkedIn

Twitter: @GloriaPManu2