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Molecular Labs

Main Focus

An objective of the Kirkhouse Trust is to support capacity building in locations where there has been little practical molecular biology training available at the tertiary level. One approach to this has been for the Trust to provide the necessary equipment and consumables to enable institutions in Africa and, to a lesser extent, India, to establish small laboratories which can be used by both scientists and students. Most of these laboratories are linked to research projects which the Trust has funded. However, two laboratories have been established primarily for training purposes. These two are denoted by the yellow markers on the map below.


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CRIG, Tafo, Ghana

Mobile Lab.
PI: Margaret Acheampong.

A vehicle purchased by the Trust in 2006 was refitted as a mobile laboratory. This vehicle was donated to the Cocoa Research Institute, Ghana (CRIG) to manage as a mobile facility. The Mobile Lab visits tertiary, and occasionally secondary, level institutions across Ghana to provide training to scientists and students in molecular breeding and more basic molecular biology techniques. The Trust continues to support the lab by: funding a scientist and technician to provide the training courses; maintaining and replacing equipment, and restocking chemicals. Since the mobile lab arrived in Ghana in 2006-2007, around 5,000 people have benefited from the training opportunities it has provided.

UZ, Harare, Zimbabwe

Teaching Lab.
PI: Professor Idah Sithole.

The Trust supplies the University of Zimbabwe with equipment and consumables to support the training of students in molecular techniques. The lab work focuses on Taq polymerase expression purification and analysis experiments, supported by a lecture course. Training has been split into several components to complement the University’s taught courses. This project provides undergraduate biology students with essential practical laboratory experience in a fully equipped molecular laboratory.