From 8-11 May 2023 in Thohoyandou, South Africa, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) hosted the first Course funded as part of the ICGEB Special Programme with South African Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs), in partnership with the South African Department of Science and Innovation.
The four-day course entitled Proteomics: from theory to practice, organised by Professor Addmore Shonhai, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Agriculture, included a scientific faculty of world leading proteomics experts and its focus straddled across the theory and practice of proteomics. The course provided participants with skills on design of proteomics research experiments, data analysis, optimization of equipment settings and an understanding of the application of proteomics in various fields of study such as infectiology and cancer.
Over fifty course participants attended, including students and researchers from UNIVEN, Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), National Biotechnology Authority (Zimbabwe), Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico), Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (Tanzania), and the following South African institutions: University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo, University of KwaZuluNatal, North-West University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the University of South Africa. Participants had the opportunity to engage with a varied Scientific faculty including ICGEB researchers from Trieste and Cape Town; Dr Michael Myers – Protein Networks and Dr Stefano Cacciatore – Bioinformatics. In addition, experts from UNIVEN, the University of Zimbabwe, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Anatech provided insights and facilitated practical demonstrations.
‘We are thankful to the ICGEB Special Programme with South African HDIs for funding the international proteomics workshop. The workshop was a success beyond our imagination. We hope that the workshop laid the seed for the growth of proteomics in Africa. Several collaborative linkages were established on the sidelines of the workshop. Of these, the most notable was an agreement by the participants to set up a proteomics hub to be coordinated by the organisers based at the University of Venda, together with Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, Makerere University, Uganda, and the University of KwazuluNatal, South Africa.’ Prof. Addmore Shonhai
The ICGEB Special Programme with South African HDIs is designed to develop and support capacity development in South African Historically Disadvantaged Institutions. The Programme includes funding opportunities for 1) Collaborative Research Grant Programme, 2) Meetings and Courses and 3) Fellowships.
The ICGEB and UNIVEN signed a MoU on 31 August 2022, with the partnership strengthening strategic areas of collaboration, including capacity building, cooperation in research areas of joint scientific interest and expertise including agricultural biotechnology and health sciences as well as training workshops and meetings.