The Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Ghana in partnership with the American Society for Cell Biology has ended a two-week workshop in modern cell biology with a focus on protozoan and bacterial pathogens.
The two-week course, which was designed to help young African scientists learn cell biology, methods for studying cells, and the effective ways to teach them, covered cells in general and both protozoan and bacterial pathogens, with an emphasis on malaria and tuberculosis.
Twenty-five participants from Ghana, Cameroon, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Cote D’voire, DR Congo and Burkina Faso attended the workshop including eight faculty professors from the United States.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Gordon A. Awandare, University of Ghana said the first edition of Cell Biology Workshop at the department led to the changes in the traditional Biochemistry Program at the University to include Cell Biology.
This he said, gave the students a more holistic understanding of the life sciences which broadened their career opportunities.
He said currently, advances in the life sciences make it necessary that undergraduates become equipped with broader set of skills to expand their career choices into areas such as biomedical research, molecular medicine, neuroscience, and biotechnology.
Dr. Awandare revealed that there are many diseases endemic in African, and that they are far more diverse and challenging in other parts of the world.
He added that many of the diseases are difficult to diagnose and most of these diseases are poorly understood.
“This means that such tropical neglected diseases such as Buruli ulcer are poorly understood and therefore poorly managed.
” We need a deep understanding of a disease causing agent in the best medical breakthrough to deliver proper diagnostics and therapeutics, and this is where the cell biology workshop is so crucial in training young biomedical scientists with new tools and knowledge to help combat neglected disease that plague Ghana and Africa,” he added.