Prof. Dorcas Osei-Safo
Prof Dorcas Osei-Safo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ghana. You hold a BSc degree (1991) and a PhD degree in Chemistry (1999) from the University of Ghana. After her BSc degree programme, she was admitted into a two-year MPhil Programme. However, halfway through this programme, she was adjudged to have done so well in your research project that the Department recommended that your MPhil programme be upgraded into a PhD programme in 1996. With only an additional two years to the original MPhil programme, she was able to complete the PhD programme within the stipulated period. After receiving her doctoral degree, she was immediately appointed lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and has risen rapidly through the ranks to your present position of Associate Professor and currently the Vice-Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Ghana.
She carried out post-doctoral research at the Spanish National Centre for Cancer Research, Madrid, Spain under the auspices of the Science by Women Fellowship Programme (Fundación Mujeres por África) in 2016. Since her appointment as a lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, she has been involved in the teaching, research, and training as well as supervision of both undergraduate and graduate students’ research. You have supervised five (5) PhD (two in progress), thirty-two (32) MPhil (three in progress), and sixty-seven (67) BSc (three in progress) student projects. She has also served as both an internal examiner and an external examiner for a number of Master’s and PhD students at the University of Ghana and the Spanish National Centre for Cancer Research, Madrid, Spain.
Prof. Osei-Safo’s research areas include drug discovery, with a focus on isolation, characterization, and evaluation of bioactive molecules mainly of plant origin, as potential lead compounds for the development of new medicines for a variety of diseases including cancer and neglected tropical diseases. her other major area of expertise is drug analyses and quality assurance of medicines. You were a leading member of a team supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the West African Health Organization (WAHO) that developed and validated simple and rapid quality assurance methods for the detection of falsified and substandard antimalarial and antibiotic medicines. This method was later employed in quantifying cryptolepine levels in various cultivars of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, arguably the most effective antimalarial plant and one of the most widely used, which is now threatened with extinction as a result of overexploitation. This was part of a still ongoing project originally supported by the Volkswagen Foundation of Germany and now supported by the BANGA-Africa Project II to evolve protocols and methods for the domestication of the plant, and optimization of its active antimalarial constituents including cryptolepine.
She has also held various positions during her professional carrier, including Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, Legon; August 2020-August 2021, and Deputy Director, Non-Communicable Diseases Support Centre for Africa, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana; May 2018 to date.
Professor Dorcas Osei-Safo, on the strength of her scholarship and substantial contribution to knowledge, was elected into the Fellowship of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 20 October 2022.