AfrIBOP 2019

Issued: Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:39:00 BST

The Institute's Prof iain McInnes and Prof Paul Garside stand with AfrIBOP attendees in Kalifi, Kenya

Participants from across Africa convened in Kilifi, Kenya for the fourth annual African Immunobiology of Parasites, Pathogens, and Pathogenesis (AfrIBOP) course and expert symposium at KEMRI, Wellcome Trust Research Programme between 26 and 30 August.

AfrIBOP is a week-long course staged by the Institute of Infection, Immunity, & Inflammation and the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology, in partnership with KEMRI Welcome Trust Research Programme and Pwani University in Kenya.

Targeted at PhD students and early postdocs from Africa who have a strong interest in the interaction between the immune system and pathogens, and how this underlies the pathogenesis of a wide range of infectious and non-communicable disease, the programme consists of intensive learning sessions and symposia on the most recent advances in the immunology and parasitology of malaria, HIV, TB and helminths delivered by some of the leading researchers in the field.

Participants also benefited from grant writing and careers sessions run by scientists who have a strong track record in obtaining research grants.

A highlight for those attending this year was a seminar from Professor Iain McInnes. Students were enthralled to hear of the Institute Director's career path and enjoyed a lively question and answer session afterwards.

AfrIBOP participants wearing special t-shirts stand together in the shape of the African continent

Prof McInnes said: "AfrIBOP is all about the transfer of knowledge in the hope of building contemporary capacity across Africa in the areas of immune and infectious biology.

"This course harnesses the enormous creativity and productivity of the people in African countries as we strive to collectively combat the diseases understood through such biology.

"The culture of partnership that underpins this extraordinary programme is gratifying and a singular example of the energy and ambition that we at the University of Glasgow have to share ideas and pragmatism with like-minded colleagues on a global basis in the coming decades.”

Dean of Global Engagement (Middle East & Africa) Professor Paul Garside concluded: "Following on from courses over the previous three years, AfrIBOP has been a huge success again in both delivering training with our partners and friends across Africa and promoting north-south and south-south collaborations."

Testimonial

Nigerian student Rebecca Chukwuanukwu: "Sometimes you feel like you can't do this, but with this [AfrIBOP] I feel energised to move on as a researcher in immunobiology in Africa.

"I must commend the organisation as everything has been absolutely marvellous. Everyone appreciates the challenging environment we find ourselves in and they make room for us to overcome these challenges and help you develop.

"I have a lot to take back home with me to Nigeria; a lot of people will benefit from the knowledge I have gained. Thank you, AfriBOP!"