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Kwabena Duedu

Extra-curricular activities and professional development courses enriched Kwabena Duedu's time as a PhD student. The microbiologist is now working as a research scientist and academic in Ghana.


Kwabena Obeng Duedu


PhD Cell and Molecular Biology (Cell Biology)

Year of Graduation 2016

Your time at the University  

Kwabena Duedu

Edinburgh represented the single stone I used to kill many birds. Firstly, I was looking for an international education experience that was one of the world’s best. Secondly, I was looking for a place that I could connect with culturally and socially. With no language barrier and my desire to see for myself the community that sent missionaries in what has now resulted in the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Edinburgh was my choice destination. The project I found at the time of application was the most challenging one and I began my journey to learn something new.

I can call Edinburgh my home away from home. I was touched by that large banner at Edinburgh Airport that said, “Welcome to Edinburgh, This is Home”. My landlady was a lovely person and received me well. I met flatmates who were also international students and soon became my best buddies. The Edinburgh welcome was just fantastic.

I had lots of exposures whilst at Edinburgh, like summer schools in Norwich and international conferences that took me to the United States. I volunteered for the Scottish Science and Technology Roadshow (Sci-Fun) at open days and visits to other schools etc. and this was one of my best experiences.

My involvement in Demonstration for undergraduate and masters courses enriched my teaching experience. Through these activities I was exposed to a field that serves as one of my primary research areas in my current position.

I also joined the EUSci (Edinburgh University Science magazine) Podcast team, did a couple of podcasts and wrote and edited some articles. It was a great experience.

The Institute for Academic Development (IAD) gave me further training that has helped shaped my career today. I took the Introduction to Academic Practice Course which got me an Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Other notable achievements whist at Edinburgh are my election to Membership of the Royal Society of Biology and the award of Chartered Biologist status. I also gained experience with University management as a Member of the Senatus Academicus.

Edinburgh brings me many memories and key to these is that it is where I started my family. I had my two kids whilst in Edinburgh and though challenging it was a beautiful experience having them around whilst studying. I enjoyed the city so much (theatres, cinemas, shopping, etc). I am not a travelling hobbyist but from my journeys across the United States, Asia and Africa, Edinburgh remains my favourite destination.

​​​​​​​The University of Edinburgh is more than an educational institution, it offers a unique opportunity to develop a great personality across all spheres of life.

Dr Kwabena Duedu

Your experiences since leaving the University

After submitting my thesis in August 2015, I received a Postdoctoral Fellowship award for which I settled in Ghana to transition into starting an independent career as a research scientist and academic. I returned to Edinburgh to successfully defend my PhD and went back to Ghana to continue my career.

I rose quickly through the ranks from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer in two years and currently run a leading research group in my University.

My current research is focused on understanding the role of microbial communities in disease pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance and polymer degradation. I am building and applying metagenomics capacity and approaches to investigate genes and pathways involved in various life processes. I then use synthetic biology tools to design and investigate these pathways.

Some specific areas of work currently include investigating dysbiosis as a basis for sickle cell disease crisis as well as investigating horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance determinants among microbial communities. I am also investigating the role of microbial communities in biomass and plastic degradation.

Edinburgh exposed me to various opportunities. My supervisor gave me the opportunity to supervise and cultivate a research culture. He was more than a supervisor. He’s been and continues to be a mentor who frequently wants to know my progress and offer any help within his means. I have since returned to Edinburgh to build more collaborations with other scientists and maintain that Edinburgh relationship.

The University of Edinburgh is more than an educational institution, it offers a unique opportunity to develop a great personality across all spheres of life.

Alumni Wisdom

Take advantage of the many opportunities that are in Edinburgh. Be curious and take as much as you can. Edinburgh has more than you can ever dream of.

Related Links

The School of Biological Sciences