BioRTC, a research training institute domiciled in Yobe State, Nigeria, has just been granted the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant for expanding global access to bioimaging.
With this grant, BioRTC, in collaboration with TReND in Africa, West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP- University of Ghana) and Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia, is saddled with the responsibility of establishing a self-sustained and accessible bioimaging hub in Nigeria to serve as a central resource in facilitating life sciences teaching and research across West Africa.
The hub will provide access and training on fluorescence imaging equipment for African scientists. In addition, the network will hold hands-on training courses (e.g., how to build an open hardware fluorescence microscope), conferences, seminars and outreach events with support from the African Bioimaging Consortium.
Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina – BioRTC founder and the grant’s principal investigator, said, “access to cutting-edge research equipment is critical for scientific progress, but there is a drastic lack of bioimaging expertise and equipment in Africa. To address the specific needs of West African researchers, this network will provide access and training to fluorescence imaging equipment.”
Dr Mohammed Musa Lawan, Yobe State University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Services and founding member of BioRTC, said, “The Management of the Yobe State University has put an incredible effort to see BioRTC get launched in August 2021, thanks to the Yobe State Government. Thus, we are extremely delighted that the centre has already attracted this prestigious grant that will lead in the training of the next generation of African scientists in bioimaging. As a scientist myself, I am excited by the collaboration opportunities that the centre and the grant will bring to Yobe State University and Nigeria at large. The entire University community is looking forward to the intellectual engagements and innovations that this opportunity brings to help in addressing local and global bioscience problems.”
The network will develop and integrate a fourth West African Hub at Institute Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal, through the support of TReND in Africa.
Dr Maina further said, “Widespread access to imaging equipment has the potential of changing the African bioscience research landscape, since imaging can be used to answer questions related to genetics, cellular and molecular biology. This project will train the next generation of African bioimaging scientists working on diverse diseases and animal models unique to Africa to contribute to discoveries in biomedicine.”
Read about the grant on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative website.