Back The UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit donates biomedical research machinery to a research laboratory in Cameroon

The UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit donates biomedical research machinery to a research laboratory in Cameroon

The donation was made thanks to the proposal by two Alumni researchers who are members of the NGO Trend in Africa. The equipment, among other functions, will help Cameroonian scientists in the fight against malaria.

 
21.11.2022

Imatge inicial

The UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit has donated a FACScalibur research device by the company Becton Dickinson to the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) in Cameroon. The donation was made through the NGO Trend in Africa, whose main mission is to promote and fund scientific activity in African countries. The machine arrived at its destination two weeks ago and will be ready for operation once its installation is complete. Oscar Fornas, head of the UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit together with staff from Francis Crick, will offer a training course on its operation to the technicians who will be using it in Cameroon.

Although it is the first time the Cytometry Unit has made such a large donation to an African institution, the initiative is part of the undertakings by various academic institutions to help cover the shortcomings suffered by many scientific institutions on the African continent.

The initiative arose from the proposal by two postdoctoral researchers from the Francis Crick Institute in the United Kingdom, UPF Alumni Berta Canal de Torres and Hector Huerga Encabo, who founded the collaborative project FlowAfrica with the NGO Trend in Africa. Its aim is to promote the dissemination of flow cytometry techniques in African laboratories. The two scientists made their proposal known to Oscar Fornas, head of the UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit, who agreed to participate and who is now one of the supervisors.

The initiative is part of the undertakings by various academic institutions to help cover the shortcomings suffered by many scientific institutions on the African continent

“The idea is that we help them to develop the applications they need for the centre’s research. It’s not about telling them what to do, but helping them do what they need to do”, Fornas explains. Trend in Africa was appointed to select the institution to receive the new machine, calling a competition to which thirteen applications were submitted by research centres and universities. After a selection process through interviews and a strict review of the scientific and technical criteria of the candidate centres, essential for the feasibility of the project, the Cameroonian CRID was deemed the best candidate to receive the scientific equipment.

The support of the UPF/CRG Flow Cytometry Unit will be maintained over time with the aim of remotely instructing, supervising and advising CRID researchers once the machine is up and running. “The main idea is to give them as much support as possible to allow the continuity of the project”, Fornas assures. “I will be an advisor, supervisor and trainer for the experiments they carry out over the next few years”, he adds. Currently Trend in Africa has already received two theory courses online (due to the pandemic) introducing the technology, and Pompeu Fabra University is arranging for the people responsible for the machine in Cameroon to travel to Barcelona to complete their training. 

“The idea is that we help them to develop the applications they need for the centre’s research. It’s not about telling them what to do, but helping them do what they need to do”

The initiative aims to serve as a starting point for other future collaborations as the Flow Cytometry Unit intends to reach other centres in Africa and also try to provide more advanced machines to the same laboratory in Cameroon.

Multimedia

SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:

03. Good health and well-being
04. Quality education
09. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Els ODS a la UPF

Contact

For more information

News published by:

Institutional Communication and Promotion Unit