Molecular Biology and basic Bioinformatics Analysis training at PAUSTI/JKUAT to advance technical skills for students

The Innovation Centre for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (iCMoB) held an inaugural short course training on Molecular biology on 12th to 16th August 2019 at PAU Molecular Biology Lab JKUAT. The training was attended by post graduate and undergraduate students from various institutions pursuing degrees in the fields of Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Veterinary Medicine.

The Facilitators, Trainers and Trainees after the opening ceremony.

The five days training, focused on various techniques involved in molecular biology research. Basic theory on molecular biology was among the theoretical talks presented by Dr. Steven Ger and Prof Naomi Maina (JKUAT/PAUSTI) which included introduction to nucleic acids, DNA and RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis respectively. Some basic Bioinformatics analysis aspects were also presented theoretically to the trainees and they included short talks on databases, primer design and analysis of sequenced data by Dr. Kinyua and Dr. Kiboi respectively.

Dr. Kiboi delivering some theoretical aspects on Molecular Biology and basic Bioinformatics analysis to the trainees.

The trainees gathered hands-on skills on DNA/RNA extraction and purification, optimization and the process involved in the Conventional PCR and qPCR, the process involved in restriction digestion and preparation of recombinant DNA and the aspects of Gel electrophoresis. Some of the facilitators in the laboratory included Dr. Florence ng’ong’a, Dr. Kiboi, Mr. Rotich, Mr. Tanui, Mr. David Bara, Ms. Grace Kimani, Mr. Mark Mogaka and Mr. Kimathi. All meals were catered for during the training, courtesy of AICAD (The African Institute for Capacity Development).

Prof. Magoma (PAUSTI Director), Prof. Naomi (JKUAT/PAUSTI), a team from APPLIED BIOSYSTEMS, the facilitators and trainees in the PAU Molecular Laboratory.
The trainees undertaking a practical session with Mr. Rotich on Gel Electrophoresis.

The trainees were subjected to a practical exam at the end of the course which involved extraction of DNA, Gel electrophoresis and analysis of primer sequences. At the closing ceremony graced by Dr Caroline Ngugi (Chairman iCMoB) and Prof Naomi Maina (JKUAT/PAUSTI) the trainees expressed their satisfaction with the course, having gained technical skills involved in molecular biology research and were thankful to all the facilitators who made the training a success.

The training also generated interest and partnerships with other institutions for example, ThermoFisher Scientific from South Africa and Applied Biosystems which would really aid in the forthcoming trainings. The next molecular biology training will be offered mid next year. All those interested should look out for the advertisement.

The trainees and facilitators after being awarded their certificates on completion of the training.