International Group of Scientists Create ‘Imaging Africa’ Initiative

UNC School of Medicine’s Klaus Hahn, PhD, and colleagues from around the world will lead an intensive workshop and symposium to increase student knowledge of microscope technologies, including cellphone-based technology and super-resolution modalities. The workshop and symposium are free to all student scientists in Africa.

International Group of Scientists Create ‘Imaging Africa’ Initiative click to enlarge Klaus Hahn, PhD

November 12, 2019

Six scientists from five world-renowned research universities and institutes have created Imaging Africa, an intensive, four-day workshop and day-long symposium focused on exposing students to a plethora of microscope technologies and impactful applications. More than 700 students from 32 countries applied for 24 slots for the inaugural conference to be hosted at the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, in South Africa from January 13 to 16, 2020 and followed by a research symposium on the January 17.

Topics range from portable, cellphone-based microscopes to advanced super-resolution modalities. Students will be introduced to experimental applications such as biosensors and optogenetic tools. These theoretical and practical classes will run in parallel with an in-depth quantitative image analysis course, which will provide the students with the skills necessary to reveal meaningful information from microscopy data.

With the generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, and the UNC School of Medicine, the Imaging Africa workshop is free of financial burden to all attending students. The expenses associated with air travel, accommodation, and food will be covered by Imaging Africa. All attendees will be from an academic institution in Africa.

Imaging Africa organizers also invited 20 youth who are part of the South Africa-based Ikamva Youth, an organization dedicated to helping lift under-privileged teens from Cape Town out of poverty and into tertiary education. These students will attend a special dinner and half-day engagement program.

The open access online journal eLife invited Imaging Africa scientists to submit a featured article for peer-reviewed publication.

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The lead researchers are:

Teng-Leong Chew, PhD, Director of the Advanced Imaging Center at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, United States

Dan Fletcher, PhD, the Purnendu Chatterjee Chair in Engineering Biological Systems, Bioengineering and Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California-Berkeley, United States

Klaus Hahn, PhD, the Ronald G. Thurman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Professor of Chemical Biology and Chemistry at the UNC Eshelman Shool of Pharmacy, United States, and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Musa Mhlanga, PhD, Technical Manager at the Biomedical Translational Research Initiative, Honorary Research Professor in the Division of Chemical Systems & Synthetic Biology at the University of Cape Town, and Head of Synthetic Biology Programme & Gene Expression and Biophysics Laboratory, CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa

Kelly Rogers, PhD, the Division Head of the Centre for Dynamic Imaging in the Division of Advanced Technology and Biology at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia

Digby Warner, Professor of Medical Microbiology in the Department of Pathology, and member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa

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