Prof Akosua Dickson appointed first female KNUST Pro VC

BY: Graphic Online
Professor (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson
Professor (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson

The Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi has appointed Professor (Mrs) Rita Akosua Dickson, as the first female Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the institution.

This was at the council’s 250th meeting held in Kumasi on Thursday, September 27, 2018.

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Until her appointment Prof. (Mrs) Dickson was the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the university in 1994.

She pursued graduate studies leading to the award of MPharm in Pharmacognosy in 1999 and was appointed a lecturer the following year in the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, KNUST.


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In 2003, she was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a PhD at Kings’ College London, University of London, UK. She returned to teaching at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2007 and was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2009 and further to an Associate Professor in 2014.

Prof. (Mrs) Dickson is a Phytochemist whose work spans the areas of bioactive natural products in the management of communicable and non-communicable diseases and she had devoted time to research in natural products, with anti-infective, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and antidiabetic properties among others; based on their ethnopharmacological usage.

Experience in research

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Her research has led to the isolation and structure elucidation of several bioactive natural products, including cassane furanoditerpenoids, coumarins, alkaloids, glucosides and flavonoids with potentials as leads in drug discovery.

She has attended and presented research papers at several local and international conferences; and has over 50 publications in peer reviewed International Journals to her credit.

She serves as a reviewer for several journals in pharmacognosy, natural products and phytochemistry as well as a reviewer for South Africa’s National Research Foundation and the KNUST’s Research Fund (KReF).

Prof. (Mrs) Dickson had been actively involved in the evaluation of papers of academic staff for promotion in both local and international universities and had been an assessor and external examiner for PhD theses locally and internationally.

She is also a board member of the Ghana Pharmacy Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. Before her appointment, she was the Chairperson of the Education sub-committee of the Pharmacy Council and serves as an examiner in the Ghana Pharmacy Council Professional Qualifying Examination for pharmacy graduates.

She also served on the Continuous Professional Development Technical Committee of the Pharmacy Council.

Committees

As a fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists, she had served on several committees locally and internationally in the area of Pharmacy Education and Training.

She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Ghana National Medicines Policy Programme.

She is also a member of a number of local and international organisations, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA), Society of Medicinal Plant Research, International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISEP), Phytochemical Society of Europe (PSE) and American Society of Pharmacognosists.

Her people-oriented approach to leadership is underpinned by her commitment to both staff and students in providing them with opportunities for their development.

Prof (Mrs) Dickson had been the Head of Department of Pharmacognosy for three terms from 2009 to 2013. Before her appointment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, she was the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and also acted as Provost of the College of Health Sciences in the absence of the Provost.