KEMRI to Offer Courses on Bio-Manufacturing.

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is establishing a course in bio-manufacturing to train workforce for local and international biomedical manufacturing companies.

KEMRI Acting Chief Executive Officer Prof. Elijah Songok said the objective of the course is to have a ready workforce for biomedical manufacturing companies setting up shop locally and in the Africa region.

The CEO said the institution is working with the Commission for University Education for accreditation to offer a postgraduate course in specific areas of product development from discovery, to clinical trials.

“This training hub will draw students from the whole Africa region who have an interest in biomanufacturing,” said Prof. Songok.

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The CEO who was speaking during the Commissioning of the Centre of Excellence in Stem Cell Research at the KEMRI Headquarters in Nairobi, said the institution has been in forefront in developing new tools and insights for the health security of Kenya and the region from potential epidemics.

He expressed gratitude to the National Research Fund (NRF) for funding the Stem Cell Research centre at a tune of Sh77.2 million infrastructure grant that was awarded to a team of KEMRI Scientists in 2020 to research and develop programs on stem cell technologies research.

KEMRI’s National Reference Laboratory for Stem Cell Research is part of the Vision 2030 flagship Project.

The Unit has been equipped with state-of-the-art modern equipment which include next generation sequencer, BD FACS Melody™ Cell Sorter, Cell Imager, Biosafety chamber, CO2 incubator, Freezer, liquid nitrogen tanks, medical refrigerator, refrigerated centrifuge, Real time PCR machine and a Cell Counter.

Speaking at the event, the NRF Chief Executive Officer Prof. Dickson Andala thanked the Board of Directors of KEMRI for supporting the project by providing space and setting aside research grants amounting to Sh15 million to scientists involved in Stem Cell Research work and for the assurance in the continued sustainability of the unit.

The Stem Cell Research Unit main objectives include the establishment of a biobank that will serve as a continuous source of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, carry out research on stem cell and regenerative medicine in disease management.

It will create a database for information sharing on stem cell research and regenerative medicine among the participating institutions, build and strengthen capacity development on knowledge, skills, and infrastructure in stem cell research through local, regional, and international collaborations.

The Unit will also spearhead training of Masters, PhD students and research scientists in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine, as well as establish a repository of stem cells in the country.

KEMRI’s National Reference Laboratory for Stem Cell Research in Kenya is part of the Vision 2030 flagship Project funded through the National Research Fund.

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