Proffessor Rita Akosua Dickson has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for a four-year term effective August, 2020.
She makes history as the first female to head the Kumasi based university since its establishment in 1951 and the second in the country after Prof. Nana Jane Opoku- Agyemang of the University of Cape Coast.
A statement issued by University Relations Officer said the University Council, appointed the Professor of Pharmacognosy at its 258th Special Meeting held on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
Currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Dickson, the KNUST alumna would take over from Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, Vice Chancellor whose tenure ends this month.
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.
She was the Head of Department of Pharmacognosy for three terms from 2009 to 2013
Prof. Dickson graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in 1994 after she pursued graduate studies leading to the award of MPharm in Pharmacognosy in 1999.
She was appointed a lecturer the following year in the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, KNUST.
In 2003 she was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a PhD at Kings’ College London, University of London, UK. She used this opportunity to successfully complete her programme and acquire a Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP), from the same university.
She returned to teaching at the university in 2007 and was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2009 and further to an Associate Professor in 2014.
Her work spans the areas of bioactive natural products in the management of communicable and non-communicable diseases and she has been devoting time to natural products research with anti-infective, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, among others; based on their ethnopharmacological usage.
Her research has led to the isolation and structure elucidation of several bioactive natural products including cassanefuranoditerpenoids, 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.
As a fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists, she has 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.
Prof. Dickson is a member of several local and international organisations including the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA), Society of Medicinal Plant Research, International Society of Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemical Society of Europe and American Society of Pharmacognosists.
Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson is a Christian of the Baptist denomination and is married to Nana; a banker with whom, she is blessed with four daughters.
BY TIMES REPORTER