“I forgive University of Ghana medical school for rejecting me” – Prof. Awandare

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Radio Univers
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Pro Vice-chancellor of Academic and Students’ Affairs at the University of Ghana, Prof. Gordon Awandare says he has pardoned the Medical school for declining his application in 1997.

According to Prof. Awandare, he would not have been a good Doctor if he had been admitted into the school to pursue a bachelor degree in Medicine and Dentistry.

Speaking at his inaugural lecture at the Great Hall, the Founding Director of the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) explained that he does not only defy rules but also initiate hypothetical steps which fly in the face of medical processes and procedures.

“Those days, when you come to University of Ghana that you want to do Medicine, You do biological sciences in 1st year and later some are selected for interview. After the interview, they select those who are chosen. As many of you know, they did not find me worthy. I think they were right. I don’t think I would have been a good doctor. So medical school, I forgive you. Some of you know that I do not conform, I defy rules and I do what is supposed to be done, and I don’t think doctors are supposed to behave that way,” Prof. Awandare said on June 8, 2023.

He shared that he discovered his field of research following his final year project work for the award of the bachelor science degree in Biochemistry.

“Thank you panel [Medical School] for showing me the way. I was then led to do Biochemistry. I was assigned to a popular, super star lecturer that many of you know, Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy. She was the few Ghanaian professors who were female and had grants to do research. So I was fortunate enough to be assigned to her and at the time she was doing a project, screening herbal drugs for their anti-inflammatory activity,” he added.

The inaugural lecture was on the theme, “How our immune system acquires tolerance and helped us survive covid-19” and witnessed prominent personalities from sister Universities, Academia, governmental institutions and agencies, politicians among others.


Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare is a Professor of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology.

He is also the Founding Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana, and a visiting Professor at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.

Gordon Awandare completed his O’level in 1991 at Notre Dame Seminary Secondary School, Navrongo and A’level in 1993 at Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon.

He then obtained his Bsc Biochemistry in 1998 and MPhil Biochemistry in 2002 at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Subsequently he obtained a PhD in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in 2007.

After obtaining his PhD in 2007, Gordon Awandare worked as a Scientist at the Division of Malaria Vaccine Development of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland until 2010 when he returned to the University of Ghana to establish his research group.

He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011, Associate Professor in 2015 and Professor in 2018. He was Head of Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from 2013 to 2017.

In 2014, he led the establishment of WACCBIP after winning one of the World Bank’s African Centres of excellence grants and became the Founding Director of the centre.

He was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, University of Ghana in December 2021 and assumed office in January 2022.

Story by | Eli Djomekou |univers.ug.edu.gh

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