Curtains Close on AfriBOP 2019

September 4, 2019

Last week we hosted 80 participants at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme for the fourth African ImmunoBiology of Parasites, Pathogens and Pathogenesis (AfriBOP) workshop in Kilifi, Kenya. The course is a partnership between KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, the Initiative to Develop African Research Leaders (IDeAL), Pwani University and the University of Glasgow.

The five-day training started on the 26th of August 2019 and ended on 30th August 2019. The course targets early career Clinical Scientists, PhD students and early postdoctoral fellows from Africa who have a strong interest in the interaction between the immune system, parasites and other pathogens, was attended by 80 participants from different African countries.

AfriBOP seeks to empower African Research leaders with knowledge on the biology of pathogen-host relationships involving common tropical diseases that continue cause public health concerns in the continent – e.g. malaria, HIV and other viral infections, TB, and helminths.

Participants also benefit from grant writing and careers sessions run by scientists who have a strong track record in obtaining running successful research programmes.

“I am glad to have been selected to attend AfriBop this year. It has been a wonderful experience with a wide range of faculty that has a lot of expertise. I have learnt a lot on areas of immunobiology that cover parasitic and microbiological areas. Above all I got an opportunity to mingle with faculty and participants that has helped in my journey as a young upcoming immunologist,” remarks Rebecca Chukwuanukwu a participant from Nigeria.

AfriBOP has made remarkable steps in the last four years with the number of applications increasing significantly. “This year, we have had a fantastic faculty and wonderful participants. Happier as the reputation of AfriBOP continues to grow and new students from all over have been part thus a pure reflection of the name,” says Prof. Paul Garside from the University of Glasgow.

Alexandar McKay remarks, “The whole training has developed well, the commitment by the faculty and participants has been amazing. Hopeful that together we continue to build capacity and train Africa’s next African Science leaders.”

The participants were exposed to intensive learning sessions in the first three days, followed by a two-day symposium on the most recent advances in the immunobiology of common infectious diseases. Participants took classes in grant writing with the best grant writing presentation winning a cash prize.

“Thank you for helping us deliver the best immunobiology course in the series (so far). I have heard, especially from the students – that this is the best course they attended (so far),” remarks Francis Ndugu, Head of Biosciences and part of the AfriBOP organising committee.

As curtains close on this years AfriBOP we can only look forward to a better edition next year.