COLLABORATION: New partnership study to explore poverty-related diseases in Africa
In a collaborative effort to combat poverty-related diseases and emerging pathogens in Africa, Ifakara Health Institute has partnered with 15 institutions from Europe and Africa in an attempt to address critical issues surrounding diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and emerging and re-emerging pathogens in Africa.
The four-year project, officially named the Pan-Africa Network for Genomic Surveillance of Poverty-Related Diseases and Emerging Pathogens, simply PANGeNS, is being jointly led by the Research Center Borstel/National Reference Laboratory for Mycobacteria (RCB) in Germany and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (UG-NMIMR) at the University of Ghana, with support and funding from the European Commission.
PANGeNS aims to unravel the genomic epidemiology of TB, malaria, and emerging pathogens in Africa. The project's primary objectives are to understand better disease etiology, the dynamics of disease transmission, and the evolution of drug-resistant pathogens.
Additionally, the project seeks to enhance Africa's capacity in bioinformatics, genomics, genomics data management, and biobanking while fostering data sharing among African nations.
At a kick-off meeting to announce the project's commencement recently, Dr. Jerry Hella, the Principal Investigator of PANGeNS, said he would lead the project himself as Principal Investigator and Dr. Brian Tarimo, as the Project Leader. The team also includes Alex Ntamatungiro and Veronica Misana - both Project Co-investigators and Priscilla Mlay - Project Administrator.
PANGeNS has outlined four primary objectives to bring about a significant transformation in the fight against poverty-related diseases, which include: developing short-term professional certificate courses in genomics; providing hands-on training for Illumina sequencing, genomics, and bioinformatics, and providing hands-on training for biobanking and genomics data management.
The 15 Ifakara partners
The PANGeNS initiative consists of a group of 16 collaborating partners from Europe and Africa, combining their collective expertise and resources to revolutionize disease surveillance, research, and control across the African continent.
The key European collaborators include the Research Center Borstel/National Reference Laboratory for Mycobacteria (RCB), KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV), German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH (DSMZ), and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH).
From Africa, the partners include; Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (UG-NMIMR) at the University of Ghana, Ifakara Health Institute, Africa include the, Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS), University of Namibia (UNAM), Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL), Laboratoire des Fièvres Virales Hémorragiques (LFVH)/Ministère de la Santé du Bénin, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Medical Research Council Unit, and The Gambia (LSHTM-MRCG).
Other partners are: the Centre for Tuberculosis and WHO TB Supranational Reference Laboratory/National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL), Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire-Virologie, Institut National d'Hygiène (INH-Togo), and National Public Health Reference Laboratory-National Public Health Institute of Liberia, Charlesville, Margibi County (PHIL).
More about this project and other projects at Ifakara Health Institute here