The Executive Director of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria's Laboratory Diagnostics and Research, Dr. Alash'le Abimiku, has received a grant from the United States of America's National Institute of Health (NIH)
The Executive Director of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria's Laboratory Diagnostics and Research, Dr. Alash'le Abimiku, has received a grant from the United States of America's National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop a Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3 Africa) bio-repository (central laboratory bank) at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) to facilitate studies on different life forms, diseases and interaction between genes and drugs of African populations with the aim of understanding health and diseases affecting the continent.
In a statement, the NIH Director, Francis Collins, said that the grant "aims to transform the way science is conducted in Africa by creating a sustainable research infrastructure and catalyzing the use of advanced genomic technologies to improve understanding of a variety of diseases."
Dr. Abimiku, who is the Principal Investigator of the H3 Africa bio-repository at IHVN, noted that the grant continues the trend of reversing 'brain drain' to 'brain gain' in Africa where Africans in the diaspora (such as Dr. Charles Rotimi at NIH who was instrumental in the 'birth' of H3Africa) actively advocate for programs that benefit Africa and with it comes capacity development of African scientists and infrastructure with full engagement and collaboration of highly esteemed investigators and institutions in the north leading to 'brain gain' for Africa.
IHVN Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Patrick Dakum said that as part of IHVN's effort to boost its research capacity in Nigeria, the grant fits into its strategic thinking and vision of growing the Institute's clinical diagnostic research. "It is going to help us fulfill the goal of providing evidence-based treatment and care services to millions of Nigerian living with HIV." He also said that with this grant, the bio-bank at IHVN will store specimens from different life forms and human for current and future researches into diseases that plagued the African continent. "Samples of new diseases and those that may have scourged the continent will be stored in this bio-repository because of the state-of-the-art facilities in this facility, which will serve scientists all over the world who are interested in the diseases affecting Africa," he added.
To strengthen the capacity of indigenous research personnel to carry out quality and ethical researches, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has trained research personnel on proper sample collection, processing, distribution, management and shipment.
• The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bio-repository consultant, Dr. Sue Penno visited the bio-repository at the Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) to assess I-HAB’s readiness for NIH-H3Africa phase II funding.
The central bio-repository in Abuja has been awarded an NIH funded Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) biorepositories grant (Principal Investigator: Dr. Alash'le Abimiku) to upgrade its infrastructure and functions to international standard to support H3Africa investigators in Africa and eventually expand to other investigators as well.