In a bid to further develop translational genomics research capacity across Africa, 54gene, a health technology company has decided to award a total of $64,000 in scholarships to four PhD candidates in Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa.
The four candidates are Rejoice Gomera – University of Pretoria, South Africa; Christopher Kintu – Makerere University, Uganda; Abimbola Onyia – Covenant University, Nigeria and Chisom Soremekun – Makerere University, Uganda.
According to a statement by the firm, the money, which will be disbursed by the African Centre for Translational Genetics (ACTG), will cover all expenses of the recipients during their postgraduate study.
Speaking on the scholarships, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO of 54gene, said, “Developing the next generation of genomic scientists is critical in ensuring that the knowledge, resources and insights derived from homegrown research benefits not only Africans but the global population. Access to funding as well as to our international team of genetic and biomedical specialists is a unique opportunity for these talented African researchers who, like us, want to unlock the boundless potential offered by the human genomic diversity of African populations. The funding and available resources will put them at par with their counterparts in developed countries and make them more confident in leading future research studies.”
With over $45 million in investment raised by the company since its launch, the PhD candidates will receive up to $4,000 annually for four years, to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Recipients will have the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers at 54gene and its partner institutions (NIMR and CGRI), who are experts in genomic data science, bioinformatics and molecular genetics. Recipients will also be given access to state-of-the-art genomic technologies and the opportunity to co-publish novel findings in collaboration with these leading scientists.