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Dr. Laurence Banks, Director General of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in a discussion with Dr. Damaris Matoke from KEMRI’s Center for Biotechnology Research (CBRD) when he visited KEMRI on 5th, August 2019

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Director General, Prof. Yeri Kombe in an animated discussion National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI), Dr. Moses Rugutt and Dr. Laurence Banks, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)

The Institute is to work with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to harness the benefits of biotechnology in the region.

Visiting Director General of ICGEB, Dr. Lawrence Banks said that KEMRI as a premier health research institution in Africa should take advantage of opportunities offered by ICGEB to address the many challenges facing not just Kenyans but humanity in general.

He also called on researchers to play their role towards the promotion of sustainable global development.

Dr. Banks said this to KEMRI scientists during his first-ever official sensitization visit to KEMRI on the afternoon of 5th, August 2019.

Headquartered in Trieste, Italy, the IGCEB is a United Nations centre of excellence for research, training and technology with biotech labs in Italy, India, and South Africa. It is a unique intergovernmental organisation that runs 46 state-of-the-art laboratories and forms an interactive network with over 65 Member States in Biotechnology worldwide to achieve sustainable global development within the United Nations System.

“The ICGEB provides a scientific environment of top in international standard for advance research and education and for development of biotechnology which KEMRI ought to be part of,” said Dr. Banks while addressing Virologists, Microbiologists and Biotechnologists from KEMRI.

His visit to the Institute and indeed, Kenya, is to sensitize the scientist about activities of the centre such as developing knowledge with a serious effort required to build human capacity.

He also spoke extensively about the ICGEB Research Grants, which is a dedicated source of funding aimed at financing projects addressing original scientific problems of particular relevance for the host country and of regional interest. Funding opportunities are made available through what is known as the Collaborative Research Programme (CRP).

In addition, the centre provides support for research projects in Basic Science, Human Healthcare, Industrial and Agricultural Biotechnology and Bioenergy. ICGEB champions scientific cooperation and advanced education in PhD and Post-doctoral fellowships for researchers in different medical research fields. Science in genetic engineering and possible collaboration with their laboratories was also a topic that was discussed with agreement on the need for further collaboration and benchmarking from the best in different scientific fields.

While in the country, Dr. Banks is also expected to grace a grants-writing workshop by the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation ( NACOSTI) later in the week.

KEMRI is a government owned parastatal with a wide range of specialized laboratories offering diagnostic tests. Among these is the Human DNA identification laboratory that offers state of the art DNA testing services.

The Human DNA Identification Laboratory offers DNA testing services in the area of family relationship testing and Forensic DNA Testing.

Our facility meets international standards hence ensuring quality service.

The unit serves private clients as well as those referred from courts. The ultimate goal of the laboratory is to increase DNA testing capacity in Kenya.

KEMRI being primarily a research institute, the laboratory is keen at maintaining institutional mandate and is focused on initiating research programs in the area of forensics as well as in offering training modules to graduates as a way of contributing towards capacity building.

Ms Sicily Kariuki poses for a group photo with the KEMRI Top Management Team and the 8th KASH Organizing Committee

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki officially opened the 8th KEMRI Annual Scientific & Health (KASH) Conference this Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, 14th, February, 2018 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

The Cabinet Secretary who is barely six days into her new job following her recent appointment to the position by President Uhuru Kenyetta, challenged researchers to redouble their efforts towards addressing the many health challenges facing Kenyans.

The 8th, KASH conference has attracted a very rich cocktail of scientific papers, presentations and is to be attended by over 400 participants with at least five parallel symposiums that seek to explore possible ways around the challenges of research on different diseases burden and their control.

The conference has over 143 oral and poster presentations reflecting research efforts covering eight different subthemes and at least 15 various exhibitors.

A different feature of the 8th KASH Conference whose theme is “Health Research for Sustainable Development”, is a parallel regional training for senior editors and science writers from Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya on solution journalism by ScienceAfrica from Kenya and the US-based Solution Journalism Network. This training that seeks to improve the quality and quantity of science reporting and science communication in the region is to run in conjunction with the KASH conference. Participants of the media training have real-time access to distinguished world class scientists with a wealth of knowledge on disease burden and practical knowledge of appropriate interventions.



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KEMRI Human DNA Identification Laboratory offers DNA testing services in the area of family relationship testing and Forensic DNA Testing. Read More