Merieux prize of the first congress of the African Association For Research and Control  of Antimicrobial Resistance

The opening ceremony ended with the MERIEUX Award of the Young Researchers 2017 of the Mérieux Institute worth 10,000 Euro to the winner Dr. Djénèba Bocar Fofana for his continued research in the field of medicine. virology. Dr. Fofana is part of the team of Dr. Almoustapha I. MAIGA at UCRC / SEREFO and Secretary General of AARAM.

This prize was awarded by the Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education.

Biography of Djénèba Bocar Fofana

I am an Assistant Professor of Bacterio-Virology at Faculty of Medicine – University of Sciences Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (FMPOS/ (USTTB) since December 2017.

 I have worked in France during my PhD (option in virology) work on HIV drug resistance. Before the PhD, I received a PharmD degree at the University of Bamako (at 2010), then two masters in health Science and microbiology in France. I completed my experience with a University diploma in infectious diseases “from prevention to therapeutics”. In addition.

I was trained at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, in Infectious and Tropical Diseases’ Clinical Trials and currently I monitor many studies protocols on VIH, hepatitis, fecal transplantation, etc for ANRS (French Agency for HIV Research and Hepatitis). I’m also involved in biological validations of viral infections (HIV, hepatitis and all herpes virus) as associate practitioner at the Saint Antoine Hospital of Paris.

As a Member of the Research team on “antiretroviral resistance-INSERMU1136” in charge of studying the epidemiology, virology and clinical therapeutic strategies for HIV infection, I work closely with respected scientists in France (Pr Anne-Geneviève Marcelin, Pr Vincent Calvez, Pr Christine Katlama and Pr Laurence Morand-Joubert).

My contribution has been mostly in the molecular characterization of drug resistance profiles of non-B HIV-1 (Prevalent subtypes from Africa). I have also been involved in the clinical development (clinical trials) of new antiviral agents. I have extensive experience in HIV research in Mali; particularly in resistances to antiretroviral therapy in Mali with Pr Souleymane Diallo, Dr Almoutapha Maïga and all team of SEREFO/UCRC. Population-based studies, especially in children, on viral load suppression and HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) rates could inform programs. The inadequate attention in monitoring lifelong ART in children can prevent to achieve the goal of viral suppression by 90% of UNAIDS.

In resource-limited countries where decision to treat or to switch treatment is mostly based on clinical assessment and access to virological monitoring is still limited. I am working on increasing access to biological assays and capacity building for patient follow-ups (Mali and Benin). This is why; I actually following a University diploma in “Quality assurance and management in the laboratory, in progress” of Sorbonne University, Paris.

Since my young age, I was peer educator at my 15 old on HIV, and I always like to working in this field. I’m married and mother of two girls. I

 am very happy to receive this award, and what lucky! This motivates me to continue our work on HIV drugs resistance in Mali. With colleagues, we will also carry out evaluation studies of practices in certain clinical services (hand hygiene audit, audit on the implementation of peripheral venous catheters …) to fight against the transmission of resistant bacteria in Malian hospitals.