Thursday, June 20, 2024

The 3rd Tropical Plant Metabolomics Training (IRES) and the 2nd Building Capacity on Tropical Plants, their Endophytes and their Metabolomics (EiR) was officially opened by the  UoN Dean Faculty of Science and Technology, Prof. John Onyari at Chiromo campus on June 9, 2024. 

The IRES program has 20 participants from various universities in the USA and Kenya, while the EiR program has 6 participants ,3 from Bowie State University and  3 from the University of Nairobi.

These two capacity  building programs focus on studying the beneficial plants and their metabolites, as well as exploring microbiomes and their metabolites for potential health and aesthetic applications. Participants will be utilizing advanced techniques like HPTLC, LC-MS, GC-MS to analyze plant and microbial metabolites, in addition to learning molecular techniques. 

The distinguished trainers include experts from universities in the USA and Kenya.They include Prof. Dr. Jiangnan Peng from Morgan University, USA; Prof. Dr. Bettys Arnold from the University of Arizona, USA; Dr. Xavier Cheseto from ICIPE; Prof. Margaret Oluka, Prof. Sheila Okoth, and Dr. Judith Odhiambo from the University of Nairobi.

During the workshop the participants engaged in exploring the world of tropical plants, their endophytes, and metabolomics under the guidance of renowned experts in the field. This collaborative effort aims to unlock the potential of beneficial plants and their metabolites for diverse applications in health and aesthetics.

The ongoing training Sessions mark another significant step in advancing research and knowledge exchange among scholars from different corners of the globe.

The training has attracted  20 postgraduate students for IRES, hailing from universities such as Leman College-City University of New York, University of Maryland, Howard University, Morgan State University, Alabama State University, Towson University, University of District of Columbia from the USA, University of Nairobi, and ICIPE from Kenya. Additionally, 6 postgraduate and undergraduate students for EiR joined from Bowie State University and the University of Nairobi. 

In addition to laboratory sessions, students had the opportunity to experience field collections, immerse in African culture, and expand their professional networks. Following the on-site training, research efforts continued virtually to meet project objectives.

These annual training programs were made possible with funding from the National Science Foundation, USA. The collaborative efforts between the University of Nairobi, Bowie State University, and partner institutions like Morgan State University, University of Arizona, CAMAG, Switzerland, and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya have been instrumental in the success of these initiatives. The current training sessions for IRES and EiR are taking place from June 6, 2024, to July 6, 2024, at the Faculty of Science and Technology.