Christian Happi


Christian Happi
African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemer’s University in Ede, Nigeria

Christian Happi, is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics and Director of the World Bank funded African Center of Excellence for Genomics of infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria. Professor Christian Happi did his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University from 2000-2003. He subsequently worked at Harvard University as a Research Scientist (2004-2007) and became an adjunct Professor at Harvard University School of Public Health between 2007-2011. 

Professor Happi in an unprecedented way, recently used next generation sequencing technology to perform the first sequence of the new SARS-CoV-2 in Africa, within 48 hours of receiving a sample of the first case in Nigeria. This seminal work not only provided an insight into the detailed genetic map of the new coronavirus in Africa, not only confirmed the origin of the virus, but also paved the way to the development of new countermeasures including new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

He received the Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award in 2011; the 2016 Award of Excellence in Research, by the Committee of Vice- Chancellors of Nigerian Universities; the 2019 Human Genome Organization (HUGO) Africa Prize for his seminal work on infectious diseases genomics in Africa, including Ebola and Lassa fever and the 2020 Bailey K. Ashford Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). In 2021, he received The Trinity Challenge Award: Sentinel forecasting systems for Infectious Disease Risk, Africa Lives-Development Award and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria.