Thursday, 30 June 2011
What is all this about?
The aim of the project is to organize a 3 week long course in Uganda together with Dr. Sadiq Yusuf Head of the Medical School, and Director of Academic affairs at the International University of Kampala, and with the support of his coworkers, to introduce invertebrates, and specifically Drosophila, as model organism for neuroscience research and teaching. Currently in East Africa, and most parts of Africa, research in neuroscience is carried out mostly with rats, which are expensive. However, almost no one is using Drosophila, an inexpensive model organism that in Europe and the U.S is leading in neuroscience and basic medical research. The course will include theoretical and practical (laboratory) sessions. It is intended for graduate students and Junior Faculty who are interested or involved in teaching or doing research in neuroscience at universities in East Africa, although we have received, and we are open to applications from other African countries. I plan to buy and ship some essential lab equipment that will remain at the host institution. The students will most likely be from various universities in Uganda, although we have requested funds to to be able to offer travel grants to students coming from outside Uganda. The course is being advertised at several Universities around Africa. There will be no fee to attend the course, and participants will be chosen on a competitive basis from the applications received. Participants will be taught how to make best use of the equipment during the practical sessions, which will enable them to continue teaching these skills to future neuroscientists in Uganda and other countries in the African community. This work will open a new way of teaching of neuroscience in Africa, using the latest advances in Drosophila neurogenetics.