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The Dr. Benjamin Bande develops an enhanced platform for the quantitative measurement of species-specific
snake venom toxins in the plasma (or other biological samples obtained from) of snakebite patients.
The visiting fellow receives training in the use of a number of preparative and analytical protein
chemistry technology platforms including electrophoresis, HPLC, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics
processing. In addition he is trained in techniques related to antibody production, immunoassay
design, assembly, data acquisition and analysis.
The visiting fellow receives training/experience in the handling, recording, storage and reporting of
data; the preparation and submission of animal ethics approval applications; intellectual property
protection agreements; project costing and budgeting; scientific writing; biostatistical analysis and has the opportunity to gain experience in a range of other laboratory skills and techniques.
Dr. Martha Yahimbu was involved in several projects. The first was a program to evaluate compounds in in vitro assays using several new techniques that are currently running at our site. Part of her rotation was to utilize instruments available here to separate, purify, and identify chemical compounds. This also involved chiral separation techniques. Martha has gained experience in how the project team operates and the process for bringing a compound from a hot to lead optimization. She has spent time with our formulations group to learn how to optimize in vivo dosing of compounds. The computer aided drug discovery group was involved in her projects and she was exposed to the programs we use to model compounds at all stages of the projects. In collaboration with UCSD she has also tested select compounds from a library in several neglected tropical diseases.
Dr. Evelyn Lavu will use whole genome sequencing (WGS) to describe the molecular epidemiology of MDR-TB in Papua and NCD, PNG and establish the relatedness of NCD MDR types to the Daru outbreak strain.
She will also assess the performance of TB diagnostics in PNG and describe the characteristics and prevalence of drug-resistance of patients diagnosed at the national laboratory over a 5 year period. The findings will guide policy in changing the TB screening test from sputum which has been the main stay of diagnosis of TB in PNG and treatment guidelines for DR-TB.
The training aims to provide Dr. Vitus Alberto Nyigo with the necessary hi-tech skills for drug discovery from natural products starting with advanced techniques with automations for the separation of the active constituents and then identifications of active ingredients either in pure form or in a mixture- as well as the different methods to evaluate the components and how to develop phytochemical markers and compound profiles.