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Rose Leke

University of Yaounde

Emeritus Professor Rose Gana Fomban Leke is a Professor of Immunology and Parasitology and Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences CAS, the African Academy of Science (AAS) and The World Academy of Science, (TWAS).  Until March 2013, she was Head of Department at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé, and Director of the Biotechnology Centre. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Medical Research Institute (IMPM) and Vice President of the Scientific Committee of Cameroon First Lady’s Research Centre (CIRCB).  She was invited as the 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer at the University of Ghana and awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa (DSc). 

In 2011, she was one of six women who received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award for Women and received the 2012 award for Excellence in Science from The Cameroon Professional Society. She was elected International Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene ASTMH in 2015. She is a member of the Canada Gairdner Foundation Global Health Award Advisory Committee. Elected one of nine women as Heroine of Health 2018 and celebrated in Geneva on 20 May 2018 in the presence of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, the Regional Director WHO/AFRO, and the Cameroon Minister of Health. 

On November 23, 2018, she was crowned by the Cameroon Medical Council as Queen Mother of the Cameroonian medical community. She has served as Executive Director of the Cameroon Coalition against Malaria and Chair of the Multilateral Initiative in Malaria (MIM) Secretariat. She was President of the Federation of African Immunological Societies and a Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies for two terms. She has served and still serves as a consultant on many committees for the World Health Organization (WHO): the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC), the Malaria Elimination Oversight Committee, the African Regional Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis (ARCC) and the Global Certification Commission (GCC). She has been a member and Chair of the African Advisory Committee for Health Research (AACHR), a member of the Global ACHR, a Board member of the Global Forum for Health Research, and since 2013 serves on the WHO Emergency Committee for Polio Eradication. 

Rose has also served as Vice-Chair of the Technical Evaluation Reference group (TERG) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and was awarded a Plaque of Honour. She was Chair of the DSMB Azithromycin-chloroquine, and was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for Ebola vaccine trials in Guinea. Her research has focused on immunology of parasitic infections, particularly malaria. She has a keen interest in global health and health systems strengthening and is very effective in training the next generation of scientists. The HIGHER Women Consortium Cameroon, a mentoring programme, is one of her initiatives.  On 15 December 2022, she was awarded the Achievement in Global Health Leadership at the Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) 2022.