Since its establishment in 2018, one of the main goals of Mboalab Biotech is to foster creativity and improve the skills and academic performances of students, young scientists and researchers in Cameroon.
Through the symbiotic relationship that exists between the Mboalab biotech and some local universities, (University of Buea, Catholic University of Yaoundé and other local FabLab and Biolabs), we are able to organize and run internship and training programs to equip these growing researchers with capacity building skills in molecular biology, synthetic biology, engineering, and biotechnology.
We are committed to sharing our knowledge through the educational resources generated in on-going workshops and internships series with graduate students in which around 6-8 students are expected to pass through the MboaLab biotech each year. We estimate that as a result of this project, 40-50 researchers and students will be trained in the next two years in methods that are revolutionising molecular biology-based research and diagnostic.
In September 2019, the lab received 2 students from the University of Buea in a 3-months internship program. These students were exposed to many molecular and synthetic biology techniques and participated in the development of educational resources that today serve as a source of reference and learning tool for the next generation of students, and new cost-effective molecular biology techniques that can be applied in resource constraint laboratories.
The internship programs are purely unprejudiced, involving inter- and multidisciplinary participation of students (molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, medical laboratory technology, etc). These students are taught and guided into developing low-cost techniques applicable in molecular biology labs and are equipped with skills to become researchers, teachers, and employers.
This year 2020 the Mboalab was awarded a GCRF grant to develop a low-cost diagnostic tool for typhoid in which we intend to locally produce and employ the Cas 12a based technique. This also is going to strengthen the relationship with local universities as students are going to be involved in this project through a 6-months internship program in the building, testing, and proofing of the functionality and reproducibility of this new technique; thereby achieving one of the goals of Mboalab biotech which is to disseminate low-cost molecular biology reagents, techniques and tools to resource constraint laboratories across the globe.