Saturday, August 17, 2019
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Newly Acquired Sequencing Technology to Boost Nigeria’s Cancer Research

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Professor of Cancer Epidemiology at the University of Maryland Baltimore, Prof. Clement Adebamowo, has said that newly acquired NextSeq 500/550 System machine situated at Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), will enable researchers understand genes that make some individuals at higher risk to cancer than others.

Prof. Adebamowo, who said this at a just concluded hands-on master training on the equipment in Abuja, noted that, “the technology we have deployed and the training that we have given will empower trainees to sequence the entire human genome. You can put the sample of an individual in the machine and it will read and tell us all that a person’s gene contains,” he said.

He noted that this emerging trend in cancer research worldwide is still novel in Nigeria. “Genomes can play a role in whether somebody develops a specific disease or not and even among those that develop the disease, how severe the disease will be.”

imagesProf. Adebamowo said that he has already begun working with several families in the country to discover genetic factors that may increase their risk to breast cancer. According to him, families at risk can take preventive action based on research results.

Plans are underway to extend the training to researchers in and outside the country. “When we were planning this training, we received letters from different countries indicating that they want to send people to attend. The plan is that IHVN will organize additional courses in future, which will be advertised, and potential participants given enough notice to attend,” he said.

Eight laboratory research scientists and clinicians participated in the six day training facilitated by manufacturers of the equipment - Illumina. Financial support was received from the US National Institutes of Health through the African Collaborative Center for Microbiome and Genomics Research (ACCME) in IHVN.

Training participant and Laboratory Manager at IHVN, Mr. Ayotunde Famooto, said that the training on Microbiome, Whole genome and Metagenomics sequencing has been successful. He said that participants have learned the laboratory processes such as library preparation, cluster generation, sequencing and how to analyse data from the new equipment.

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