Mahmoud Maina

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Mahmoud Bukar Maina
Mahmoud Maina portrait.jpg
Alma materUniversity of Maiduguri, University of Sussex
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Sussex, Gombe State University
ThesisFrom chromatin to protein synthesis: the role of glutamate, amyloid beta and tau in Alzheimer's disease
Doctoral advisorLouise Serpell

Mahmoud Bukar Maina is a Nigerian neuroscientist, educator, and researcher, based at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. His research is focused on the cellular and molecular pathogenesis in Alzheimer's disease.[1] He performs outreach work to inspire young people in Africa to pursue science and to increase public understanding of science. He is the Honorary Special Adviser on Science, Research, and Innovation to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, Nigeria.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Maina is originally from Nguru, Yobe State, Nigeria.[3] He attended Federal Government College Buni Yadi in Yobe State for his Secondary School.[4] He completed his Bachelor of Science in Human Anatomy at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, in 2007.[5] After working at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Maiduguri and Gombe State University, he moved to the UK in 2011 to pursue a Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Sussex.[6] He went on to do a PhD at Sussex University in the lab of Louise Serpell, for which he received the Chancellor's International Research Scholarship.[7] His PhD research was focussed on the role of nuclear Tau in Alzheimer's disease.[8][9][10] He completed his PhD in 2017 and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sussex.[8] He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2018.[11] He is also a visiting faculty member at Yobe State University, Nigeria.

Outreach work and awards[edit]

Growing up in Nigeria, Maina said he was inspired by his father's science book to become a scientist. However, there was a high level of misconceptions about science and a lack of visible science role models in his community, which hinders many young people from developing an interest in science disciplines.[12] As a result Maina founded the outreach program for TReND in Africa,[11] an organisation that aims to improve scientific development in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example by organising workshops on open hardware and neuroscience,[13] and science fairs for students and teachers.[14] He also started the Science Communication Hub in Nigeria, ,[15] a platform that aims to connect scientists from Nigeria and increase the visibility of Nigerian and African scientists.[16] He has published about neuroscience research in Nigeria[5][17] and in Africa's 54 countries,[18] as part of his ongoing work to enhance neuroscience research in Africa.

In 2019 Maina started the African Science Literacy Network, a project aimed at training scientists and journalists in effectively communicating research.[19] In September 2019 Maina organised a workshop which launched the project.[20][19] As principal investigator on a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative-funded research, with support from Yobe State Government, Bukar Maina is establishing a West African Bioimaging Network to provide access and training in Bioimaging. He founded the Biomedical Science Research and Training Centre (BioRTC) at Yobe State University as part of the research and training initiative.[21]

As a neuroscientist, he is currently developing the first sets of induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) models from ethnically diverse African donors to increase the inclusion of African iPSC models in neurodegenerative disease research. He argues that "Africa has the greatest genetic diversity, yet African models barely exist in global neuroscience."[22]

Maina's work also canvasses for an increase in the research output of neuroscientists on the African continent, arguing that neuroscience, which is currently driven by local priorities, has to be multidirectional; solving disease and brain-related problems while adopting artificial intelligence.[23]

For his outreach work, he has received the Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award in 2017[1] and the Young African Scientists in Europe award for the Champion of Science Storytelling Challenge.[24][25][26] In December 2018, he was nominated for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Young Person of the Year 2018,[15] both for his research in degenerative diseases and for his outreach work. In 2019, he was awarded the New England BioLabs Passion in Science Humanitarian Duty Award [27] and Kroto Public Engagement Award by Sussex's School of Life Sciences.[28] He is a recipient of the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize (2022) "for his longstanding efforts to expand science capacity in Africa and promote diversity in basic neuroscience research."[29]


  1. ^ a b "Neuroscientist wins Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award 2017". The British Neuroscience Association. 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  2. ^ Zanna, Usman Abba (9 August 2022). "Leading Nigerian science researcher in UK gets appointment in home state, Yobe". Yerwa Express News. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  3. ^ "RSB announces winner of the New Researcher Science Communication Award 2017". Royal Society of Biology. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  4. ^ "Champions of Science Storytelling Challenge – YASE Edition Winner Announced! | J&J Innovation Center". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  5. ^ a b "Global Science: Neuroscience in Nigeria". eLife. 2018-08-29. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  6. ^ "People". TReND. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  7. ^ "Researcher profile: Mahmoud Maina, School of Life Sciences doctoral researcher : May 2017 : ... : Doctoral School : Schools and services : University of Sussex". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  8. ^ a b Team, Web. "Dr Mahmoud Maina : Role Models: 12 Sussex Stories in Nigeria : ... : Study with us : University of Sussex". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  9. ^ Maina, Mahmoud B.; Bailey, Laura J.; Wagih, Sherin; Biasetti, Luca; Pollack, Saskia J.; Quinn, James P.; Thorpe, Julian R.; Doherty, Aidan J.; Serpell, Louise C. (2018-07-31). "The involvement of tau in nucleolar transcription and the stress response". Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 6 (1): 70. doi:10.1186/s40478-018-0565-6. ISSN 2051-5960. PMC 6066928. PMID 30064522.
  10. ^ Maina, Mahmoud B.; Bailey, Laura J.; Doherty, Aidan J.; Serpell, Louise C. (2018). "The Involvement of Aβ42 and Tau in Nucleolar and Protein Synthesis Machinery Dysfunction". Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 12: 220. doi:10.3389/fncel.2018.00220. ISSN 1662-5102. PMC 6086011. PMID 30123109.
  11. ^ a b Allen, Stephanie. "'Champion of Science' recognised for positive impact of research communication". The University of Sussex. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  12. ^ "Champions of Science Storytelling Challenge – YASE Edition Winner Announced! | J&J Innovation Center". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  13. ^ "TReND in Africa Workshop Visit". Micro Control Instruments. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  14. ^ "Science fair for teachers, students holds in Yobe". Premium Times Nigeria. 2017-11-22. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  15. ^ a b "Davido, Samson Itodo, Tomi Adeyemi, Nemitari Ajienka and Mahmoud Maina || Meet the honorees for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Young Person of the Year 2018". The Future Awards Africa. 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  16. ^ "About | Science Communication Hub Nigeria". Home | Science Communication Hub Nigeria. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  17. ^ Maina, Mahmoud Bukar; Mohammed, Yunusa Garba; Bukar, Ali Maina; Ahmad, Umar; Tijjani Salihu, Abubakar; Ibrahim, Harun A.; Abdurrazak, Muhammad; Hamidu, Suleiman Kwairanga; Yaro, Aisha Umar; Awadelkareem, Mosab Ali; Nasr, Fayza Eid (June 2019). "African neuroscience on the global stage: Nigeria as a model". The European Journal of Neuroscience. 49 (12): 1544–1551. doi:10.1111/ejn.14372. ISSN 1460-9568. PMID 30758873.
  18. ^ Maina, M. B.; Ahmad, U.; Ibrahim, H. A.; Hamidu, S. K.; Nasr, F. E.; Salihu, A. T.; Abushouk, A. I.; Abdurrazak, M.; Awadelkareem, M. A.; Amin, A.; Imam, A. (2020-06-04). "20 years of African Neuroscience: Waking a sleeping giant". bioRxiv: 2020.06.03.131391. doi:10.1101/2020.06.03.131391. S2CID 219535302.
  19. ^ a b Tsanni, Abdullahi. "African Science Literacy Network: Science Communication and Journalism workshop holds in Abuja". Retrieved 2019-11-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Allen, Stephanie. "Sussex neuroscientist working to improve science communication in Nigeria". The University of Sussex. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  21. ^ Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. "Building a Bioimaging Network in West Africa". Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  22. ^ ALBA Network. "ALBA-FKNE DIVERSITY PRIZE 2022 WINNER". ALBA NETWORK. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  23. ^ Adepoju, Paul (2021). "Cohesion needed to improve neuroscience research in Africa". Nature Africa. doi:10.1038/d44148-021-00073-6. S2CID 239675031. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  24. ^ "Champions of Science Storytelling Challenge – YASE Edition Winner Announced!". J&J Innovation Center. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  25. ^ Ogbe, Author Toju (2018-10-17). "Dr. Mahmoud Bukar Maina Wins 2018 Champions of Science Storytelling Challenge (YASE Edition)". PositiveNaija. Retrieved 2018-12-20. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  26. ^ "Leading Nigerian science education advocate, wins 'Champion of Science' Award in Europe". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  27. ^ "New England Biolabs® Announces 2019 Passion in Science Awards® Recipients | NEB". Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  28. ^ Gowers, Jessica. "Winners of the Kroto Award for Public Engagement announced at symposium". The University of Sussex. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  29. ^ ALBA Network. "ALBA-FKNE DIVERSITY PRIZE 2022 WINNER". ALBA NETWORK. Retrieved 24 August 2022.

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