DNA LEARNING CENTER, GOUNI LAUNCHED
It was indeed a memorable event as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a centre for molecular genetics research in the United States, cut the ribbons of the DNA Learning Centre for Africa at Godfrey Okoye University, Ugwuomu-Nike, Enugu, Nigeria. The event took place on 14 January 2020. Present on the occasion were:
• The Vice Chancellor of the University, Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke (project host)
• Prof George Ude (Chair, Department of Natural Sciences, Bowie State University, Maryland, USA)
• Ass. Prof. Marian Unachukwu (Ag. Dean, Natural and Applied Sciences, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu)
• Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Adinna (Former Dean, Natural and Applied Sciences).• Mr. Okoro Michael(project coordinator)
• Mr. Chieze Venatus (DNALC farms and travel logistics)
• Mrs. En Christabel (team welfare I)
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is said to be the world’s first DNA Learning Centre since its inception in 1988 with operating centres in Long Island, Manhattan, China and Mexico. This year another unit has been launched in Africa, at Godfrey Okoye University precisely.
The DNALC GO University will be providing laboratory instructions and equipment to researchers, students and any person interested in Molecular Genetics. The Centre is the result of the relentless effort of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke and Prof. George Ude, Chair, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Bowie State University, Maryland, USA, who worked hard to achieve this milestone development.
In an interview with the DNALC of GO University Coordinator, Mr. Okoro Michael, a pioneer alumnus of GO University from the Department of Biological Sciences (Biotechnology) of Godfrey Okoye, he explains: “The DNALC is an operating unit that will teach science education and science research in order to communicate biological sciences to a young generation of researchers, secondary and tertiary institutions, as well as science enthusiasts, carefully extending the training to incorporate genetics, genomics, DNA science and evolutionary studies in their curriculum “.
The Coordinator, Mr. Okoro, expressed his profound gratitude to the Vice Chancellor of the University, for raising the university’s standards to towering heights, making it an avenue for deep researches in the field of biological sciences. Godfrey Okoye university, since its inception in 2009, has made a name for itself in the world of academia, producing well seasoned graduates. The university has sponsored students to travel abroad for exchange programmes, for Master’s degrees and PhDs in partnership with Bowie State University, Maryland, USA and other partner universities in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom. According to Mr. Okoro, the university boasts of the best scholars, especially in the field of natural sciences and law. He also expressed his gratitude the government of Enugu State for their full support while the project was going on.
The GO University DNA Learning Centre is not just the first in Nigeria, but also the first in all of Africa. The Centre will be carrying out research of all sorts (DNA, ecology study, cultivation studies, genetic engineering and so many more). The lab is fully equipped with the most advanced and new equipment and is ready for serious academic research.
At the moment there is an ongoing research at the DNALC GO University involving the students of Biotechnology and Microbiology of Godfrey Okoye University on Microbial Inoculant, aimed at curbing the excessive use of fertilizers.
The plan is to get the DNA Learning Centre to move to an industrial level of commercialising its research products, incorporating bigger agriculturally based research, plant-based genetic engineering, etc. The Centre also aims at carrying out cancer research in its state-of-the-art laboratories.
The DNALC Nigeria was established to pioneer a shift from theoretical instruction of modern biology to hands-on and inquiry-based teaching. The center which was conceived through a collaboration between DNALC CSHL, NY, Bowie State University, USA and Godfrey Okoye University, Nigeria is the first hands-on teaching institution of its kind in Africa. DNALC Nigeria is licensed by DNALC, NY with the objective to offer the same hands-on lab experiences in Nigeria as is offered in the USA and other countries where DNALC has been established. The overall goal is to provide high school teachers, college faculty (professors) and students with laboratory and research skills needed for scientific discoveries for the benefit of mankind. We will, therefore, be training a new generation of skilled scientists with the capacity to diagnose and solve real-life medical and agricultural problems in Africa using modern genomics, proteomics, and Next Generation Sequencing tools. DNALC, Nigeria will ensure that African emerging scientists are equipped for successful graduate and postgraduate research experience in America and other developed nations.