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Kwesibanafo Abbeyquaye

Date Posted: Monday, April 08, 2024

Banafo Abbeyquaye, clinical research coordinatorBanafo Abbeyquaye, a clinical research coordinator supporting the Brown Lab, was recently accepted to UMass Chan as a medical student and will be transitioning away from his role in research. He shares, “Becoming a doctor has been a dream of mine. I hope to complete my medical degree at UMass Chan and match into a good residency program. Currently, I am unsure what field of medicine I would like to pursue, but I know that UMass Chan will prepare me when I get to that point in my career.”  

As a research coordinator, Banafo supports patients with rare neuromuscular diseases such as Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and Adrenomylenoneuropathy (AMN). His role of organizing and facilitating the clinical trials is to help evaluate the efficacy of new drugs and treatments that may help to slow down the progression of these diseases. He supports patients from all over the country who participate in our clinical trials, includes organizing visits, collecting data for the sponsors and completing the regulatory documentation related to research trials, while having conversations with our patients and listening to their interesting life stories. Banafo’s stories include growing up locally in Holden, MA, although he spent the first five years of his life in Ghana with his grandmother. Banafo graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Notre Dame in Science Pre-Professional (Pre-Med) and Anthropology. While attending Notre Dame, he was a student athletic trainer. While observing the sports medicine team treating and rehabilitating injured athletes, he learned he wanted to practice medicine. His research interests are in neurology and rehabilitation, and as a clinical research coordinator he gained a better understanding of how our nervous system affects the musculoskeletal system.  

Catherine Doughtwright, PhD, CCRP, Assistant Professor of Neuromuscular Research and Brown Lab has worked closely with Banafo. She shares, “Banafo joined the neuromuscular clinical research team in September 2022.  We had just been activated on a global Phase 3 investigational drug study and while many sites had difficulty navigating the complicated study protocol, Banafo did so seamlessly.  With his efforts, we became the top enrolling site in the US, allowing our long list of anxiously awaiting patients a chance to receive this investigational treatment.  In parallel to being the lead coordinator on this study, Banafo contributed significantly to several other important studies, including a first in human gene therapy study for a rare neurological disorder. Despite hectic days and continuously changing study protocols, Banafo always has a bright smile on his face and a willingness to do whatever needs to get done. With this positive attitude, dedication, and ability to quickly learn and adapt to something new, you’re going to be an amazing physician, Banafo.  We’re certainly sad that you’re leaving, but we’re so very happy and proud you’ll be completing medical school here at UMass Chan."

Congratulations! Our Neurology community wishes you well and looks forward to following your medical journey.