New training center commissioned

On 13th August 2015, the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) commissioned a training center to promote research capacity building for Scientists from Uganda and the region.

The building located at the UVRI- campus in Entebbe was constructed with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (UK). Commissioning of the £ 400,000 facility coincided with the annual Science Symposium that brought together scientists from renowned international institutions comprising of Research organizations, Universities as well as funding partners.

The one-day Symposium, organized by MUII, a research capacity building programme between Makerere University and the UVRI that aims to enhance the capacity of local scientists to pursue a research career in Infection and Immunity focusing on endemic diseases of the region, featured presentations by seasoned scientists from international Universities and post-doctoral students who are beneficiaries of the MUII programme as well as poster presentations on developments in on-going research in HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, Tuberculosis among others and provided a platform for young scientists to interact, present and discuss their work with their local and international peers and seniors.

While officiating at the commissioning, Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University commended the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council for supporting the strengthening of the research agendas of both UVRI and Makerere University. He reiterated the importance of the relationship between the UVRI and Makerere in meeting the University’s core functions. “Working with the Uganda Virus Research Institute has enabled the University to meet its core functions of teaching and learning; research and innovations; and knowledge transfer, partnerships and networking”.

Dr. Edward Katongole Mbidde, the Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute applauded the funders for making his dream for young scientists achievable. “My dream has always been to build the capacity and resources for science training, especially for young scientists. I am glad that the partnership between Makerere University and UVRI, with support from the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council has today delivered that dream”, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Wellcome Trust, Dr. Mike Turner called on Scientists to ensure that the facility is optimally used, as this would contribute to the development and growth of the training center.

While commending the partners’ efforts in setting up the center, Morven Roberts reaffirmed the MRC UK’s confidence in the training programme. “The MRC anticipates that this facility will become a beacon of international research and a source of future African Scientific Research leaders”.

On behalf of the Sir John Savill, the Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Research Council, Sally Louise Smith congratulated the partner institutions on the development and called them to endeavor to attract young scientists to the center, considering that all the necessary facilities were in place.

To encourage and promote excellence in science research, the best three out of the submitted forty two posters in the areas of Immunology and Immunoepidemiology; Microbiology and Genetics; Mental health; Epidemiology, statistical methods and mathematics as well as the best short talks from the submitted abstracts were recognized and the respective scientists presented with Awards.

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