Current Roles

2017 – present:  Research Fellow, Serpell Laboratory, University of Sussex, UK

2020 – present: Visiting Associate Professor, College of Medical Sciences, Yobe State University, Nigeria

Education

2013 – 2017: PhD Neuroscience, University of Sussex, UK. Supervisor: Prof. Louise Serpell

2011 – 2012: MSc Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (Top Distinction), University of Sussex, UK

2004 – 2008: BSc Human Anatomy (2:1), University of Maiduguri, Nigeria

Extra Training

2015: IBRO/ARC 8th Teaching Tools Workshop in Neuroscience, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2013: 2nd IBRO School on Insect Neuroscience and Drosophila Neurogenetics, KIU, Ishaka, Uganda 

Professional Qualification

2019:  Associate Fellow of The UK Higher Education Academy

Awards and Achievements

2020:  Endorsed as a Global Talent by the Royal Society

2020:  European Journal of Neuroscience Top Downloaded Paper 2018–2019

2019:  Sussex Life Sciences Kroto Public Engagement Award (direct link)

2018:  New England Biolabs (USA) Passion in Science Awards: Humanitarian Duty (direct link)

2018:  Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year Nomination (direct link)

2018:  Johnson and Johnson Innovation (USA) Champions of Science (direct link)

2017:  Admission as a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts

2017:  Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award (direct link)

2016:  Oral Presentation Prize. Sussex Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Colloquium

2016:  People’s Choice Award, Three Minute Thesis Competition, University of Sussex, UK (direct link

2013:  TReND/AD Instruments Student of the year for 2nd IBRO School on Insect Neuroscience

2012:  Top Distinction in MSc Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience class, University of Sussex, UK

2009:  Chinese Government Scholarship for MSc at Chongqing University (Gratefully declined)

Selected Publications

2021: Maina MB, Al-Hilaly YK, Burra G, Rickard JE, Harrington CR, Wischik CM, Serpell LC. Oxidative Stress Conditions Result in Trapping of PHF-Core Tau (297–391) Intermediates. Cells, 10(3):703. (direct link)

2021: Burra, G., Maina, M.B., Serpell, L.C. and Thakur, A.K. Nucleation-dependent aggregation kinetics of Yeast Sup35 fragment GNNQQNY. Journal of Molecular Biology, 433(3), p.166732. (direct link)

2020: Oakley, S., Maina, M.B., Marshall, K.E., Al-Hilaly, Y.K., Harrington, C.R., Wischik, C.M. and Serpell, L.C. Tau Filament Self-Assembly and Structure: Tau as a Therapeutic Target. Frontiers in Neurology, 11(1207). (direct link). 

2020: Al-Hilaly, Y.K., Maina, M.B., Abdul-Sada, A. and Serpell, L. Dityrosine Crossed-linked Amyloid-like Fibrils as Bionanomaterials. Iraqi Journal of Nanotechnology, (1), pp.22-34. (direct link)

2020: Maina, M.B., Burra, G., Al-Hilaly, Y.K., Mengham, K., Fennell, K. and Serpell, L.C. Metal catalysed and UV oxidation results in trapped amyloid-β intermediates revealing that self-assembly is required for Aβ-induced cytotoxicity. iScience, p.101537. (direct link)

2020: Vadukul, D.M., Maina, M.B, Franklin, H., Nardecchia, A., Serpell, L.C. and Marshall, K.E. Internalisation and toxicity of amyloid‐β 1‐42 are influenced by its conformation and assembly state rather than size. FEBS Letters, 594(21), pp.3490-3503. (direct link)

2020: Baden, T., M. B. Maina, A. Maia Chagas, Y. G. Mohammed, T. O. Auer, A. Silbering, L. von Tobel, M. Pertin, R. Hartig, J. Aleksic, I. Akinrinade, M. A. Awadelkareem, A. Koumoundourou, A. Jones, F. Arieti, A. Beale, D. Münch, S. C. Salek, S. Yusuf and L. L. Prieto-Godino “TReND in Africa: Toward a Truly Global (Neuro)science Community.” Neuron, 107(3), pp.412-416. (direct link)

2019: Muhammad, M.S., Ayo, J.O., Danjuma, N.M., AbdulWahab, A., Isa, A.S. and Maina, M.B. Molecular mechanisms of aluminium neurotoxicity in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences, 7 (2): 70-79. (direct link)

2019: Maina, M.B., Garba, Y.M., Maina, A.B., Ahmad, U., Tijjani, S.A., Arrashid, I.H., Abdurrazak, M., Kwairanga, H.S., Yaro, A.U., Awadelkareem, M.A. and Baden, T. African Neuroscience on the Global Stage: Nigeria as a Model. European Journal of Neuroscience, 49(12):1544-1551. (direct link)

2018: Maina, M.B., Bailey, L., Doherty, A.J. and Serpell, L.C. The involvement of Aβ42 and tau in nucleolar and protein synthesis machinery dysfunction. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience12, p.220. (direct link)

2018: Maina, M.B. Bailey, L. J., Wagih, S, Biasetti, L., Pollack, S. J, Quinn, J. P, Thorpe, J. R, Doherty, A. J and Serpell, L. C. The involvement of tau in nucleolar transcription and the stress response. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 31;6(1):70. (direct link)

2017: Sotiropoulos, I., Galas, M.C., Silva, J.M., Skoulakis, E., Wegmann, S., Maina, M.B., Blum, D., Sayas, C.L., Mandelkow, E.M., Mandelkow, E. and Spillantini, M.G. Atypical, non-standard functions of the microtubule-associated Tau protein. Acta neuropathologica communications5(1), p.91. (direct link)

2016: Maina M. B., Al-Hilaly YK, Serpell LC. Nuclear Tau and Its Potential Role in Alzheimer’s disease. Biomolecules, 6(1):9. (direct link)

Selected Invited Talks

2021: The Importance of Self-Assembly for Amyloid-beta Toxicity. In: Centre for Dementia Studies Conference, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Brighton, Wednesday 3 February 2021 10am – 5pm.

2021: Panelist: Fostering Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Neuroscience Training. In: Neuroscience Training: Developing a Nimble and Versatile Workforce— A Virtual Workshop Series organised by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. January 25, 2021.

2020: What makes amyloid beta toxic in Alzheimer’s disease? In: Neuroscience Society of Nigeria Seminar Series, 14 December 2020.

2020: What makes amyloid beta toxic in Alzheimer’s disease? In: NeuroNovember Convention 2020, Project Encephalon & Stimulus, 21 – 29 November, 2020.

2020: Panelists: Dementia Science: Now and Next – Why Dementia Science? In: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC) Neuroscience Next, November 9-10, 2020.

2020: Chair for Proteintech Neurodegeneration Early Career Researcher Meeting. 22nd October, 2020

2020: Anatomical Science Research in Nigeria: Limitations and Opportunities. In: Anatomical Society of Nigeria World Anatomy Day Celebration, 15th October, 2020.

2020: African Neuroscience: Current Status and Prospects. In: Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Webinar Series, 17 July, 2020.

2020: Panelist: International Engagement. In: ScotPEN Annual Gathering 2020, 3-28 August, 2020

2020: Panelist: Improving signal-to-noise ratio in science communication: Disseminating reliable science in the era of fake news. In: King’s College London Postgraduate Research Symposium, 21 July 2020.

2020: Perspectives on Science Communication and Advocacy during COVID-19. In: Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) 2020 Virtual Forum, 11-15 July, 2020.

2019: Invited presentation on supporting diversity initiatives in global research communication. In: Springer Nature SpotOn Conference 2019, London. 21 November 2019.

Research leadership

2020 – present: With the support of many partners, I am establishing a state-of-the-art laboratory at Yobe State University, Nigeria, to facilitate the research and training of Nigerian scientists in biomedical sciences. (direct link

2014 – present: Supervision of more than 15 BSc, MSc and summer research projects in the School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex and across Africa.

2016 – present: I am a principal investigator on the bibliometrics study of African Neuroscience, leading a team of 19 African MSc, PhD and postdoctoral researchers. 

Research grants

2021: Sussex Neuroscience Research Seed Fellowship for nine on: Derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from the African-resident population

2019: Alzheimer’s Research UK South Coast Network six months Pump Priming Award on: The role of Tau in the nucleolus in iPSC-neurons

2017: Alzheimer’s Research UK South Coast six months Pump Priming Award on: The role of Tau in the nucleolus in neuroblastoma cells

2017: University of Sussex Alumni office PhD Extension Research Award for six months on: Unravelling the role of Tau in the nucleolus

2013: University of Sussex Chancellor’s International Research Award for 3.5 years PhD in Neuroscience

Other grants

2020: Wellcome Trust Neuroscience and Mental Health Team award towards establishing a molecular neuroscience research cluster in Nigeria

2019: Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Grant leading to the launch of the African Science Literacy Network

2019: The Company of Biologists and PLoS grant to organise a workshop on alternative models and openness in neuroscience in Africa 

2019: Alzheimer’s Research UK South Coast Network travel grant for Tau Global Conference in Washington

2019: The Physiological Society travel grant for the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Conference 2019

2017: Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) travel grant for Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Conference 2017

2015 – present: Multiple grants from the Physiological Society, Biochemical Society and British Pharmacological Society to organise science communication activities, including science festivals in Africa. 

Teaching experience

2019 – present: 2x ‘Neurobiology of Dementia’ lectures/year for Pharmacy Students at the University of Sussex, UK

2015 – 2017: 3x tutorials/per year in ‘Principles of Neuroscience’ for undergraduates at University of Sussex, UK

2012 – 2013: Multiple lectures in ‘Basic Embryology’ and ‘Human Genetics’ to 2nd and 3rd-year medical students respectively and ‘Introduction to Anatomy’ to 2nd-year Pharmacy students at Gombe State University, Nigeria

2009 – 2011: Taught Endocrinology to postgraduate Nurses at the School of Psychiatric Nursing, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria

Administrative Activities

2021 – 2023: Member of Governing Council, Society of Neuroscientists of Africa

2020 – present: Member of African Neuroscience Meeting – Steering Group, Wellcome Trust

2018 – present: Reviewer for journals, including Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, PLoS, European Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroscience Research Notes

2018 – 2020: Alzheimer’s Research UK South Coast Member of Steering Committee

2019 – 2020: Public Engagement Representative, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, UK

2019 – present: School of Life Sciences Engagement and Communications Committee, University of Sussex, UK

2018 – present: Member of Judging panel, University of Sussex PhD Three Minutes Thesis Competition

Professional memberships

2017 – present: Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, UK

2017 – present: Member, Society of Neuroscientists of Africa

2016 – present: Member, Neuroscience Society of Nigeria

2015 – present: Member, Physiological Society UK

2014 – present: Member, Biochemical Society UK

2014 – present: Member, Alzheimer’s Research UK South Coast Network

2013 – present: Member, British Neuroscience Association

Organisation

2021: Member of the organising committee for the 2021 Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference ECR day (direct link)

2020: Co-organiser of the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA) webinar series, which brings Neuroscientists from around the world to present their research to scientists worldwide. (visit our YouTube channel)

2020: Co-organiser of Alzheimer’s Research UK Early Career Symposium in Brighton, 10 March 2020 (link to story)

2019: Organiser of alternative models and openness in Neuroscience pre-conference workshop at the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Conference 2019. This was included in the BBC Report (Link to video)

2019: Organiser of Science Communication and Science Journalism workshop in October, Abuja

2017: Co-organiser of the neurobiology of diseases pre-conference workshop at the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa Conference 2017 (Link to report)

Citizenship and public Engagement

2019: Founder of the African Science Literacy Network (ASLN). ASLN is a partnership between scientists and journalists supporting more accurate science communication to the general population (direct link) 

2018: Founder and Director of Science Communication Hub Nigeria (SciComNigeria). SciComNigeria promotes public understanding of science, inspires the next generation of scientists and curates a database of Nigerian scientists and science journalists (direct link)

2016: Student Union Ambassador, University of Sussex Student Union, UK 

2015: President, Sussex Nigerian Society, University of Sussex, UK

2013: I founded the Outreach Programme of TReND and currently serve as the Outreach Coordinator through which I lead a team of over 100 scientists to communicate science and inspire the next generation of African scientists (direct link)

In the press

2020: The Company of Biologists Prelights interview about my work on African Neuroscience (direct link)

2018: eLife community interview about my research on African Neuroscience (direct link).

2018: My comment on dementia research on The Independent UK (direct link)

2018: My comment on dementia research on BBC (direct link)

2016: Spotlight on my community services in Africa by the University of Sussex, UK (direct link)

Written Public Engagement articles

2020: COVID-19: Time to take science seriously. African Science Literacy Network. (link to article). 

2019: Inspiring A Next Generation Science In Africa Through Science Communication. FENS KAVLI Network of Excellence. (link to article).

2018: Online science campaign to inspire the next generation of African scientists. The Biochemist Vol. 40 No. 6. 

2018: Putting Nigerian neuroscience research under the microscope. The Conversation. (link to article).

2018: Sugar Intake Enhances The Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease – Should Nigerians Be Worried? Science Communication Hub Nigeria. (link to article).

2018: Online science campaign to inspire the next generation of African scientists. The Biochemist, 2018, 40(6), pp.38-40. 

2017: I’m Cautiously Optimistic a Treatment Which Could Slow Alzheimer’s Disease Is Not Far From Discovery. Huffington Post. (link to article).

2016: ‘Teach the Teachers’ – a workshop on Bioscience approaches in the Nigerian classroom. 40 Physiology News/Spring 2016/Issue 102.

Full CV

Available upon request.