Training in protein purification provides essential skills to African research centers

Since the spring of 2022 Bio-Works has been involved in a project to spread the art of protein purification even further afield than normal. Through an international collaboration with the non-profit organization Bio-Struct Africa, Bio-Works is contributing with training in protein purification to structural biology researchers on the African continent.

Structural biology is an essential tool for understanding the molecular basis of diseases, which can guide the rational design of new drugs, vaccines, and the optimization of existing medicines. But many countries in Africa suffers from a drain of knowledge within the field, due to the loss of skilled researchers who pursue careers overseas.

A pure protein is needed for crystallography, but structural biology scientists are usually not also protein purification experts. Bio-Works provides expertise in protein purification to help solve otherwise insurmountable issues.

"We’re really proud to be part of this important project to bring critical skills to where it’s really needed and can make a difference. The work that BioStruct Africa is performing is closely aligned with our company mission to make important medicines available and accessible to everyone.” Jonathan Royce, CEO Bio-Works

This is what Bio-Struct Africa wants to remedy through a series of workshops and hands-on training in different areas of structural biology. Bio-Works is responsible for the training in protein purification and the work has already started.

“The first workshop took place over four days in April 2022 at the Malaria Research and Training Centre in Bamako, Mali with thirty participants, mostly early-career researchers, who attended talks and hands-on sessions. It was four very rewarding days and we’re already looking forward to the next one ” says Mikael Andersson Schönn, Application Scientist at Bio-Works, who presented the tricks of the trade in protein purification for crystallography.

BioStruct-Africa is a registered non-profit organization, established in 2017 to train and support structural biologists working in Africa on diseases predominantly affecting the Africa continent; one of these diseases is malaria. The next workshop is preliminarily planned for the end of 2023.

Read more about the initiative here:

Hands-on training in structural biology, a tool for sustainable development in Africa series 4. Dinkorma T. Ouologuem, Fatoumata O. Maiga, Antoine Dara, Abdoulaye Djimdé, Daouda A. K. Traore and Emmanuel Nji.

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