TReND has been running since 2010. The first activity we ever ran was to organize the first ever course on insect neuroscience and Drosophila neurogenetics in Africa. It took place in the summer of 2011, at the School of Health sciences of the Kampala International University, Bushenyi, Uganda. During the course we introduced the use of insects and Drosophila as powerful, yet inexpensive model organisms, with the aim of improving basic research in neuroscience at African institutions by promoting research activities that maximize the research outcome with the resources available at those institutions. We educated 15 scientists from 6 different African countries ( Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania,and Malawi). The course was an absolute success, and was the seeding that brought us to develop the rest of our charitable program. Some of the comments from the student who participated in the course are the following:
“I will carry the knowledge i have gained in the course of the workshop to other places.”
If you want to know more about this past course you can read here the blog that Lucia wrote weekly last summer during the course.
In 2012 we held the 1st IBRO school in Insect Neuroscience and Drosophila Neurogenetics at KIU:
“A very enriching school, with interesting courses organized in modules and taught by unassuming, friendly and inspiring faculty. It was not all about fruitflies/insect neuroscience and neurogenetics; hands-on practical wet- and dry lab sessions were high points during the school. My participation in the Insect Neuroscience School has taught me how to improvise in research. Though, not current working with Insects, the skills I acquired during my 3 weeks stay at Ishaka is now indispensable in my doctoral research.” – Sola Oladipo, Class president of the 2012 IBRO school
The next course will be held August/Sept 2013
Summer school aside, TReND has grown considerably over the months and years and now features several closely integrated branches, including our outrech programmes at local schools, our human neuroscience branch and our efforts to support the 1st MSc Neuroscience at KIU, Uganda. In addition we are currebntly scaling up our equipment donation and redistribution schemes, having shipped several 100 kg of equipment from Europe/USA to Uganda in 2013 alone. Moreover we are developing as wide range of online tools to support neuroscience on the African continent and beyond: Open Neuroscience, TReND links. For details, see “activities tabs”.
Some TReND alumni achievements
The efforts of TReND are already starting to bear fruit. See below for some good news and success stories
– George Obiero (Kenya; TReND almunus 2012) was selected to attend the Wellcome Trust funded and highly competitive course “Computational Molecular Evolution” at Cambridge, UK
– Yunusa M Garba and Jimmy Olusakin (Nigeria/Uganda; TReND alumni 2011) attended the interregional IBRO school on Computational Neuroscience in Hyderabad, India
– Sunday Abba (Nigeria/Uganda; TReND almunus 2011) worked as a lecturer at Mekelle University (Addis, Ethiopia) and is now about to join the University of Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa) to do his PhD on memory and epilepsy using Drosophila as a model system.