Smart Bioplastics programme welcomes our new PhD student, Edward Akwafo

September 1, 2023
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We are delighted to welcome Edward Akwafo from Ghana to our Smart Bioplastics Programme. He has started his PhD programme on the 1st of September 2023 and will be working on developing stable and scalable FBP gram positive production strains.

Making the most out of some rare sunny days, Edward already started exploring the breathtaking views and outdoors experiences New Zealand has to offer. Here, Edward (middle) is traversing the Tongariro Alpine crossing with Neroli (left) and Ryan (right), a good 20km hike.

Here is more on Edward's background and aspirations:

"I am Edward from the Capital of Ghana, Accra, West Africa. I will be pursuing my PhD at the School of Veterinary Science, where I will be working on gram positive microbe to produce bioparticles that have the potential of extending the shelve life of food when used in packaging materials.

Until now, I was a researcher at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, where I looked to identify sexual stage Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in various samples to establish key features involved in the switch from asexual merozoites to fully developed gametocytes.

Before this, I also worked on producing medium-chain diol in Pseudomonas putida KT2440. My focus to convert renewable biomass into industrially relevant chemicals. I found the main esterase that hydrolyses esters in P. putida and produced medium-chain alcohol in P. putida KT2440 while utilizing Carboxylic Acid Reductase from Mycobacterium marinum.

I aim to own an internationally acclaimed Biotechnology company in the future, and I believe this education at Massey University is the perfect platform to harness this potential."

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