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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.


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