2017 International research symposium


It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the second International Research Symposium co-hosted by ICART and IITA.

With this symposium we have the opportunity to acknowledge and consolidate the great strides that have been made since we held the first Symposium three years ago. Collectively, we have not only enhanced research capacity within Bukavu but we have strengthened our inter-institutional scientific collaborations within Bukavu and the DR Congo as well as across Africa, and with institutions in Europe and the United States of America.

As already stated by the introduction of our first Symposium, many problems confronting the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of the African continent may best be addressed by the unique expertise and experience of African researchers. Thus our goals continue to be to support research training, to promote innovative and collaborative research partnerships and to engage African scientists and their partners with the aim of finding solutions to pressing social issues through research. DR Congo, like many other countries that have experienced decades of conflict, has a great need to understand the challenges of a post-conflict society and to develop evidence-based solutions to address poverty, reduce the burdens of hunger, disease and gender based violence, and to promote peace and security.

Special collaboration with institutions such as the Panzi Hospital/Panzi Foundation, the Evangelical University in Africa and the University of Michigan, which are co-founders of ICART, and collaboration with other local institutions, such IITA and the other local universities and hospital serve as powerful instruments to help in the national recovery.

So again, let me welcome you to this opportunity for substantive research dialogs and may many new research teams and projects emerge from this symposium.



  • To build on the synergies begun at the 2014 ICART symposium, which offered its first forum for disseminating exemplary scientific/scholarly communications on research
  • To maximize opportunities for face-to-face interactions with highly qualified international researchers and beginning scholars/scientists.
  • To deepen collaborative interactions between symposium participants’ research institutions.
  • To maximize the International Center for Advanced Research and Training and its institutional partners’ visibility and potential for highest impact within and outside of the eastern region of Africa.
  • To share IITA’s contribution to agriculture and nutrition through science and development.

Operationalizing the Objectives: We will emphasize content expertise areas around the interacting themes to operationalize the symposium objectives, using both oral and poster presentation, a writing workshop embedded into the symposium timeframe, and multiple opportunities for networking.


  • Food Security and Nutrition
  • Infectious and Diarrheal Diseases
  • Health and its Social Consequences for Women
  • Ecological and Environmental Impacts on Health
  • Janis M. MILLER, PhD, APRN, FAAN
  • Professor, School of Nursing
  • Research Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Medicine
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Symposium Co-Chair
  • Kanigula MUBAGWA, MD PhD,
  • Professor, Dept. of Cardiovascular Sciences,
  • University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Director, International Center for Advanced Research and Training (ICART)
Symposium Co-Chair
  • Chris OKAFOR, PhD
  • Officer-in- charge
  • ‎IITA-Kalambo Station
  • Bukavu, DR Congo
Scientific Committee:
  • Siobán D. HARLOW, PhD, co-chair Professor, Epidemiology and Global Public Health Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology Director, Center for Midlife Science University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA
  • Katcho KARUME, PhD, co-chair Professor of Physics, Mathematics, Climate Change and GIS and Remote Sensing, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Université Evangélique en Afrique, Bukavu, D.R. Congo and Director General, Goma Volcano Observatory, Goma, D.R. Congo
  • Parvine BASIMANE BISISMWA, MD, MSc Tropical Infectiology Research Assistant, Faculty of Medicine Université Evangélique en Afrique, Bukavu, D.R. Congo
  • Paul M. DONTSOP NGUEZET, PhD Agricultural Economist, Impact Economist, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Bukavu, D.R. Congo
  • Alain MUKWEGE, MD, MSc, Women’s Health Visiting Scholar/Research Assistant University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan USA
  • Jean B. NACHEGA, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCP Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA, USA and Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and International Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA and Professor of Medicine & Director, Center for Infectious Diseases Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cape Town, South Africa
  2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Jean NACHEGA, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCP University of Pittsburgh Johns Hopkins University Stellenbosch University jnacheg1@jhu.edu

Professor Nachega is tenured Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, and Microbiology at University of Pittsburgh; Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at Johns Hopkins University; and Professor Extraordinary of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases, at Stellenbosch University. He is also Visiting Professor at Université Evangélique en Afrique (UEA) and Université Catholique de Bukavu (UCB). He has over 20 year-experience in patient care, teaching, and research on HIV/AIDS & TB in Africa. He has authored over 134 peer-reviewed publications, to include in top-tier journals. He is an ad hoc consultant at WHO, CDC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a member of South African Academy of Sciences.

      Nzola-Meso MAHUNGU, PhD. DRC National Representative International Institute of Tropical Agriculture N.Mahungu@cgiar.org  

Dr. Mahungu is the DRC National Representative of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He has thirty-five-year experience in crop research for development, mainly in root and tuber crops improvement programs resulting in the release of high yielding cassava (white and bio-fortified) varieties resistant to diseases/pests with good consumers’ acceptance (food and industrial uses) and adaptability in different African agro-ecologies (DR Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, etc.) His professional experience includes international, regional (networks) and national food crops research for development systems; projects development and formulation; and monitoring and evaluation. He also has professional experience in participatory research and extension/technology transfer in collaboration with NGO's and with the public and private sectors following the commodity value chain approach and linking farmers/producers to markets. He is an effective administrator, trainer and leader accustomed to managing organizations and setting up national, regional and continental (Pan African) research for development programs.

  René-Xavier PERRIN, MD Université d’Abomey Calavi, Benin PERRINX@yahoo.Fr

Dr Perrin: Professeur titulaire de Gynécologie Obstétrique de l’Université d’Abomey Calavi (Benin), Chef de l’unité de Gynécologie-Obstétrique à la Faculté des Sciences de la Santé de Cotonou, chef du Département Mère-Enfant, coordonnateur du certificat d’études spéciales (CES) de Gynécologie-Obstétrique. Il a dirigé plusieurs travaux sur la fécondité-contraception, dépistage et traitement des cancers gynécologiques, prévention de la prématurité, mortalité maternelle et périnatale, SONU. Membre fondateur de la Société Médicale au Bénin et de la Société Africaine de Gynécologie-Obstétrique (SAGO). Président de la commission chargée du renforcement institutionnel des sociétés nationales. Il a conduit plusieurs missions et consultations en santé de la reproduction (Jhpiego, OMS, Engender Health, Médecins du Monde, UNICEF, UNCFD).

  Benoit NEMERY, MD, PhD. Department of Public Health and Primary Care Centre for Environment and Health KU Leuven, Belgium ben.nemery@med.kuleuven.be  

Ben Nemery is Professor of Toxicology and Occupational Medicine. His research involves experimental as well as clinical and epidemiological studies in lung (and other) diseases caused by occupational and environmental agents. In his recent research he has concentrated on occupational and environmental health in the South, especially in Katanga, DR Congo. He holds a weekly outpatient clinic for occupational pulmonary disorders in the university hospital of Leuven.

          Shaheen MEHTAR, MBBS, FRCPath, FCPath, MD Stellenbosch University & ICAN smehtar@sun.ac.za

Professor Shaheen Mehtar (retired) trained in the United Kingdom in Medical Microbiology, Infectious Disease and Community Health. She was Head of Microbiology at the North Middlesex Hospital & Senior Lecturer at Royal Free Hospital for 23 years. She moved to South Africa in 2000 serving as Deputy Director Public Health in the Western Cape before moving to Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University where she established the Unit of Infection Prevention and Control in 2004. It has an exceptional training reputation across Africa ranging from a basic course to a Masters and PhD in IPC. Prof Mehtar is a highly respected world expert in Infection Control and has been involved in setting up IPC programmes in Europe, Far East, India, Asia and Latin America. She served on the executive committees of prestigious organizations such as the Hospital Infection Society, The British society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, European Society of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, the International Society of Chemotherapy and International Society of Infectious Diseases. Through ICAN, Prof Mehtar is involved in establishing and promoting training programs and operational research in IPC and antimicrobial stewardship across Africa. She currently serves on several WHO committees including those for global IPC policies, surgical site infection, WASH and safety injection global network (SIGN)


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