SAMRC and Thermo Fisher Forge Partnership to Launch Molecular Biology Centre of Excellence in South Africa

19 March 2024 | Tuesday | News

New collaboration aims to enhance laboratory skills and technological expertise across Africa, with a focus on empowering the next generation of scientists through a state-of-the-art training facility in Pretoria.

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to collaborate on the establishment of a Centre of Excellence and training programme in the field of molecular biology and life sciences in South Africa.

The purpose of this collaboration is to address the challenges faced by the African continent in upskilling graduates and laboratory personnel, particularly in the areas of practical applications and exposure to the latest technologies in molecular biology and life sciences.

The Centre of Excellence, which is expected to launch in September 2024, will be based in Pretoria and will focus on providing accredited learning modules and training programs in general laboratory practice, theoretical science, bioinformatics, laboratory management, finance processes, and soft skills development.

By bringing together the resources, expertise, and knowledge of both SAMRC and Thermo Fisher, the Centre aims to accelerate the development of skilled laboratory professionals and build capacity within the continent,” says Prof Glenda Gray, SAMRC President and CEO.

Under the terms of the agreement, Thermo Fisher will provide the necessary consumables and instruments for the Centre of Excellence. SAMRC, on the other hand, will enlist and support student attendance at the Centre, including financial assistance and accommodation where applicable. Both parties will collaborate on the development of a certified training program curriculum, utilising Thermo Fisher's technical skillset in the sector.

“This collaboration is part of Thermo Fisher's Global Health Equity (GHE) initiative, which focuses on strengthening infrastructure and addressing public health concerns related to infectious diseases in low and middle-income countries. By partnering with key stakeholders like SAMRC, Thermo Fisher aims to positively impact the lives of young scientists in Africa and change the training landscape and laboratory expertise on the continent,” says Urmi Prasad Richardson, Thermo Fisher’s President for Europe Middle East and Africa.

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