CEBIB Annual Report 2014/2015

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Message from the Director

The Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, is a shared research facility to facilitate and strengthen research, capacity building and generate marketable products through exploitation of biotechnology and bioinformatics.

The admission level is programmed to gradually expand, as the centre strengthens its research facilities.  It is important to note that CEBIB is the only institution of its kind currently offering post-graduate training in biotechnology and bioinformatics in the Eastern and Central African Region. The center’s facilities contain basic necessities such as Molecular Biology Laboratory, Bioinformatics Unit and Genomics platforms among other laboratory and office spaces.  Currently, the Centre has embarked on a major program to improve its research facilities through the support of a number of development partners.

The Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics operates under the guidance of An Advisory Board and a Centre Director with both academic and non academic staff members offering support.

The future growth plan for the centre is bright, and we look forward to expansion of our research facilities to cater for the planned development of marketable products, among other goals. In the meantime, we wish to assure our clients that we are fully committed to achieve our set goals and objectives of delivering quality academic programs as well as venturing into the development of marketable products to enhance – socio-economic development in our society.

 

Enrolled Students

In the year 2014, the student admission number also grew from 8 the previous year to 12 in number. This was mainly due to an aggressive marketing towards increased student admission.

Programme

2013/2014

2014/2015

 

M

F

M

F

Post Graduate Students

4

4

6

6

 

The above table reflects an increase in admission number by 50% in the New Year

International Student Component

Apart from national students, the Centre has also registered international enrollment of two students from Rwanda and D. R. Congo respectively. While Jean Piere is sponsored by the Government of Rwanda, Tania Bishola is sponsorship by DFG Fund Project. One other local student is sponsored by The African Union.

Research Activities Undertaken

Multiple research activities, covering agricultural, health, industrial and environmental biotechnology are carried out at CEBIB. Research activities by staff and affiliates of the centre are implemented both within CEBIB laboratories and in laboratories of collaborating institutions through national and international links. Most of these activities are done with a training component, as such, research students form an integral part of most research activities.

CEBIB has also enhanced its collaboration with local research institutions where we have student doing part of their project with various institutions. In this way we enhance our Appropriations in aid. Already a total of five of our research students are doing/to do their projects with such Institutions using their facilities.

Research Grants and Scholarships

CEBIB researchers and collaborators endeavor to source for grants to support research activities and scholarship to support postgraduate students enrolled at the centre.

New Research Grants

In 2014, the Centre managed to secure one new research grant to the tune of USD 64978  from The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). The PI for this grant is  Dr Benard Kulohoma who is a lecturer at CEBIB. Through this grant an amount will go towards partial scholarship of two Masters students and the rest towards carrying out the research component.

 

 

Selected Research Activities for the year 2014

NAME

GENDER

MSC. DEGREE

PROJECT TITLE

GRADUATED

PAULINE WAMBUI WANGUNYU

F

MSc.

Bioinformatics

In Silico Exploration of 3D Structures of PfMSP3 and PfMSP6 invasion genes and their allelic differences

August, 2014

OKUMU W. ALUOCH

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Nutrient Digestibility and Growth Performance in Pigs fed diets containing steeped Canola Meal with or without Enzyme Supplementation

August, 2014

DICKSON BENNET KINYANYI

M

MSc. Bioinformatics

Protein Structure prediction on a genomic scale: Application to the African Swine Fever virus genome

August, 2014

EVANS SIOMA KATAKA

M

MSc. Bioinformatics

Time Course RNA-seq Differential Expression Analysis of wild type and Jumonji (AtJMJD5) Mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana

August, 2014

KUGO CHEPCHIRCHIR MAUREEN

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Effects of ß-Mannanase of the Nutrient utilization and performance of laying chicken

August, 2014

NDUTA FAITH MWANGI

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Application of Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) in Microbiological water quality analysis

August, 2014

SAMEER ROHIT JESHBHAI PATEL

M

MSc. Biotechnology

Optimisation for production of fish protein hydrolysate from Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) by-products

August, 2014

KARIUKI HELLEN WAMBUI

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Molecular Characterization of Phytoene desaturase (Crtl) Gene from Paracoccus bogoriensis

December, 2014

OGOLA CHRISTABEL AWUOR

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Molecular Characterisation of erythrocyte receptor genes, CRI, DARC and Band 3 required for malaria parasite invasion

December, 2014

OTADOH JANE AKINYI

F

MSc. Biotechnology

Characterization and Determination of Efficacy of local Trichoderma isolates as a Biocontrol Agent (BCA) on Fusarium wilt on Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L)

December, 2014

WAMAE KEVIN KARIUKI

M

MSc. Bioinformatics

In Silico Prediction of B-Cell and T-Cell Epitopes in Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Invasion Proteins (EBA175, RH5 AND RIPR)

December, 2014

International Links and Collaborations

CEBIB has relied on various forms of collaborations and networking arrangements in order to fulfill its core vision and mission in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics research and capacity development.  Various forms of Linkages and Collaborations have been developed with international research institutions, regional and national Research and Development systems, advanced laboratories as well as universities. To enhance research and capacity development, CEBIB is currently working with the following networks and partner institutions who have provided grants, staff exchange, student exchange, equipment, sub-awards, and joint grant applications:

INSTITUTION

KIND OF

LINK

BENEFIT TO UON

No of Students trained

KEMRI/WELCOME TRUST

Collaboration

Sub-Award, Staff support (APO), Provision of equipment

8

University of Manitoba-KEMRI-UNITID-CEBIB

Collaboration

Student and Staff exchange, Training of CEBIB Students, Use of Collaborator labs.

6

African Biomedical Centre (ABC)  

Collaboration

Provision of laboratory equipment

2

Ben Gurion University, Israel

 

Collaboration

Molecular Diagnostics and antibody research and training

1 (Staff)

Denver Foundation, USA/University of Colorado

Collaboration,

Sub-Award

Full Research costs for Training 2 MSc students covered

2

University of Melbourne, Australia

Collaboration

Joint Grant applications, student and staff exchange

 

Centres for Disease Control (CDC)

Collaboration

Student and Staff exchange, Training of CEBIB Students, Use of Collaborator labs.

1

Inqaba biotech, South Africa

Collaboration

Joint implementation of Short term Hands-on training

44

ILRI BecA

Collaboration

Student and Staff exchange, Training of CEBIB Students, Use of Collaborator labs.

1

Biozeq-Kenya Ltd

MoU Development

Equipment placement

 

MCDC

Collaboration

Capacity Development

 

The Centre has also initiated collaboration through the MCDC-KEMRI-Wellcome Trust held at CEBIB. So far through this collaboration CEBIB has gained in terms of appropriations in aid through the following;

  • Employment of a contract Post Graduate Research coordinator on a one year contract with a one year salary to the tune of Ksh 581,580 already transferred to the University account in the month of December 2014
  • Facilitation of a Brain storming session for key CEBIB staff  (4) at Lenana Conference Facility in the month of November 2014 at a cost of approximately Ksh.10,000
  • Sponsoring of CEBIB space design reorganization completion to the tune of Ksh 20,000
  • Facilitation of CEBIB team building activity to be held at Lukenya Getaway to the tune of Ksh 20,000 in the month of December 2014
  • Catering for travelling expenses for Dr Isabella Oyier who is a visiting lecturer to attend a conference in the USA and Tanzania leading to appropriations in Aid to the tune of over Ksh 250,000

The Centre is also in the process of establishing collaboration network with TAU through Prof Fuad. So far the Centre has written a motivation that Prof Fuad be given a position as a Visiting Professor at the Centre and he has agreed in principal to facilitate the shipment of special experimental rats at a cost of 10,000 US dollars. The conditions for this initiative to successfully take off however include;

  • CEBIB has through the University of Nairobi has to refurbish and provide an experimental animal house (infrastructural support to house the animal house). An initial approximate costing done through the Universities internal maintenance team is gave an approximate value of Ksh. 2.4 million as the amount of money required to refurbish one of the old dilapidated buildings. The other alternative would be to use one of the buildings around the CEBIB premises which are currently not fully utilized. If this were to be done, the cost for the refurbishment would be approximately one million or less which would be more affordable. CEBIB is in the process of motivating to the Central administration, through the Principal, CBPS  to support this initiative

 

  • CEBIB is also in the process of partnering with other renowned Scientist by engaging them as Adjunct professors. Already three appointments letters have been processed to have on board world renowned who are willing to collaborate with CEBIB and mentor both staff and students. With this strategy, CEBIB will be in a better position to apply for meaningful research grants which is a critical means of revenue collection. This process in ongoing.

 

 

 

Publications for the Year 

  • Ochola-Oyier LI, Okombo J, Mwai L, Kiara S, Pole L,  Tetteh KK, Nzila A, Marsh K. The MSPDBL2 codon 591 polymorphism is associated with lumefantrinein vitro drug responses in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Kilifi, Kenya. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 2014. In press.
  • Kiboi D, Irungu B, Orwa J, Kamau L, Ochola-Oyier LI, Ngángá J, Nzila A. Piperaquine and Lumefantrine Resistance in Plasmodium berghei ANKA associated with Increased Expression of Ca2+/H+ antiporter and Glutathione Associated Enzymes. ExpParasitol, 2014; 147:23–32
  • Okombo J, Kamau AW, Marsh K, Sutherland CJ, Ochola-Oyier LI. Temporal Trends in Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance Alleles over Two Decades of Changing Antimalarial Policy in Coastal Kenya. Int J. Parasitol, 2014; 4:152–163.
  • Busibwa N, Chiyanzu I, Obiero, G, Sanette M. Effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zymomonas mobilis on the co-fermentation of sweet sorghum bagasse hydrolysates pretreated under varying conditions, Biomass and Bioenergy (2014).

Number of Staff and their respective designations

CEBIB being a virtual centre has got no direct staff establishment for the academic and non-academic staff. The current staff working at the centre for various positions have been employed on positions borrowed from other departments and their designations are listed below ;

DESIGNATIONS

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

Professor

0

0

0

Associate Professor

1

0

1

Senior Lecturer

1

0

1

Lecturer

1

0

1

Visiting Lecturer

0

1

1

Assistant Lecturer

0

0

0

Senior Technician

1

1

2

Technician

0

0

0

Postgraduate Research Coordinator (on Contract)

1

0

1

Office Administrator

0

0

0

Secretary

0

1

1

Messenger

0

0

0

TOTAL

5

3

8

Number of Graduands in 2014

Post graduate students      -               11

 

 

Papers presented at Conferences 

 

Title of the Paper

Date Presented

Location

1

Evidence of selection in Rh5, MSP142 and EBA181 P. falciparummerozoite antigens after drug treatment of children with uncomplicated malaria

1st November,

2014

Malaria Capacity Development Consortium meeting; New Orleans, USA

2

Using population genetic approaches to understand and estimate malaria transmission in the context of malaria elimination activities in Siaya County, Western Kenya

1st November,

2014

Malaria Capacity Development Consortium meeting; New Orleans, USA

3

Evidence of selection in polymorphic P. falciparummerozoite antigens during the recovery of children from malaria

2nd-6th November, 2014

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

4

Genomic diversity of polydna viruses in tsetse fly species from East Africa

8th–10th November,

2014

The 5th Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortiumhe H3Africa consortium meeting, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

5

Genomic diversity of polydna viruses in tsetse fly species from East Africa

26th -31st October,

2014

Next Generation Sequencing’ workshop at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge, UK

6

Genomic diversity of polydna viruses in tsetse fly species from East Africa

25th - 31st May, 2014

DFG/ICSU/ISSC Young Scientists Networking Conference on Integrated Science: Ecosystems and human wellbeing in the green economy, Villa Vigoni - Lake Como, Italy

7

Genome Sequence of tsetse polydna virus (PDV); Insights into symbiotic virus evolution

16th – 17th October, 2014

3rd MVVR Symposium, Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

8

Molecular Epidemiology of simian immunodeficiency virus in wild populations of non-human primates in Kenya

16th – 17th October, 2014

3rd MVVR Symposium, Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

9

Natural History and evolutionary considerations of simian immunodeficiency virus in Kenyan non-human primates

16th – 17th October, 2014

3rd MVVR Symposium, Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

 

 

 

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