A total of 14 early career researchers from Pakistan completed a practical skills-based laboratory capacity-building workshop course at the KEMRI-based, Center for Microbiology Research (CMR), this Friday, 8th, November 2019.
The rare workshop facilitated through a collaboration between CMR and the Washington State University (WSU) was funded by the National Academics of Science, Engineering & Medicine (NASEM).
Participants were taken through the Nucleic-Acid Amplification method, known as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Surveillance with practical case studies from Kenya and the East Africa region. The programme has been held for two weeks with a group of seven attending each week.
“PCR remains an important method of choice for researchers for quickly generating a sufficient amount of identical genetic material or segment of DNA for study and analysis”, informs, Prof. Sam Kariuki, a member the faculty and also Director in charge of Research and Development in KEMRI.
His view is shared by his colleague, KEMRI Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Robert Onsare, thus, “this training was very timely as it entailed high quality, hands-on training on the various types of PCR available particularly conventional and Real-time PCR.” Class work involved, theory through relevant and topical lectures on Laboratory Biosafety, Quality Assurance and Control, PCR principles and applications and an overview of epidemiology of infectious diseases with practical hands-on laboratory experience.
The participants had a glimpse into the ballooning AMR problem in the region with the challenge on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and how researchers have responded to it. “I am happy that participants had the opportunity to understand the AMR trends, as young researchers, this should challenge them explore innovative solutions of addressing this global matter urgently,” reflects, Dr. Evans Amukoye who officiated in the opening ceremony on behalf of Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe. Dr. Amukoye is the Ag. Director in charge of Scientific Programmes, Partnerships and Grants Management at the Institute.
As the curtains came down during the official closing ceremony preceded by Prof. Kariuki, all the participants concurred that the two-week period at the center was a valuable experience that will impact their future professional lives.