PREV_PKDL project strengthens flow cytometry capacity in Africa
11 February 2022
Knowledge sharing and capacity building are key to advance scientific research and innovation. One of the main objectives of the PREV_PKDL project, funded by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) Programme supported by the European Union, is to strengthen immunology research capacity in East Africa by promoting the development of a flow cytometry Centre of Excellence.
To achieve this goal, flow cytometers were installed at four African sites:
University of Gondar, Ethiopia;
University of Makerere, Uganda.
Flow cytometry is a powerful tool with applications in multiple disciplines such as immunology, virology, molecular biology, cancer biology and infectious disease monitoring. The flow cytometers are now fully operational and will be instrumental in leveraging immunology capacity at the sites. These new flow cytometers will not only address PREV_PKDL specific questions to help understand the pathogenesis of PKDL and the underlying immune mechanisms, but also other ongoing and future research questions and clinical activities. A critical aspect that will need special attention is the sustainability of the flow cytometry centre of excellence, to make sure the funds and efforts invested will also be of value beyond the lifetime of the PREV_PKDL project. Flow managers have been identified at each site and trained by University of York to create a nucleus of highly skilled experts able to foster further local research and training in their own countries.
The flow cytometers installed are CytoFLEX LX, purchased from Beckman Coulter with 5 lasers and 19 fluorescence parameters. These instruments are robust and have fantastic levels of sensitivity and resolution making them a great choice for this international multi-site research project. Read more about this venture at Multinational Research Team Granted Eight Million Euros to Help Reduce Burden of Parasitic Disease in African Countries - Beckman Coulter.
Partners are looking forward to the establishment of new and fruitful collaborations as the one successfully initiated with CREDO.
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This project is part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union (RIA2016V-1640)