The University of Dar es Salaam College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CoNAS) has hosted the prestigious and pioneering Gene Editing – a short course for African Science Professionals in Dar es Salaam, from 16th to 20th October 2023.
The workshop, organised in collaboration with the GeneConvene Global Collaborative of the Foundation for the National Institutes for Health (FNIH), USA, brought together 50 participants from across Africa and provided them with invaluable insights into cutting-edge genome editing technologies.
The Principal of CoNAS, Professor Flora John Magige, who graced the opening of this workshop, said the workshop was significant as genome editing technologies were transforming the world of science and medicine.
“This workshop is a testament to our commitment to fostering scientific advancements in Africa. We are honored to be a part of this transformative journey”, said Prof. Magige.
According to Dr. Daniel Maeda, the Coordinator of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CoNAS and one of the workshop key organisers, the event received more than 900 applications submitted from various regions of Africa .
"We are so thrilled to see such a tremendous response from scientists all over Africa. It underscores the importance of the topic and the need for such training opportunities on the continent”, said Dr. Maeda.
During the five-day course, participants delved into the science of genome editing, exploring its potential applications and gaining insights into the latest advancements in popular techniques, including CRISPR/Cas systems.
Dr. Maeda from UDSM and Prof. David O'Brochta from FNIH played pivotal roles in facilitating the workshop, sharing their expertise and knowledge with eager participants.
"Our aim in this endeavour is to empower African scientists with the latest tools and knowledge in genome editing. This event was a great success, and the feedback from the participants is overwhelmingly positive. We are confident that the knowledge gained during this workshop will have a lasting impact on scientific research across the continent”, said Dr. Maeda.
He also noted that the workshop aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among African scientists and provide them with the skills to harness the potential of genome editing in their research and innovations.
“With this pioneering event, UDSM and its collaborators have taken a significant step toward advancing scientific research and innovation in Africa”, he stressed.
The University of Dar es Salaam in general and CoNAS in particular, continue to be at the forefront of groundbreaking research that contribute to the scientific and technological progress of the continent.