by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE multinational healthcare company, Roche, and the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) have teamed up to support the next generation of scientists from the continent.
The AREF-Roche and Genentech Fellowship Programme will support three emerging African scientists to become leaders in the fields of clinical pharmacology, pathology and human genetics.
The selected fellows will spend nine months at Genentech and Roche laboratories to develop and refine their research ideas, engage with a global network of mentors, and build their capacity to address prevailing health challenges across Africa.
With research and development (R&D) investment in Africa being largely underfunded at 1,3 percent of the global R&D spend and 2,5 percent of clinical trials being conducted in Africa, this fellowship programme aims to equip emerging African scientists to become health research leaders.
“African scientists should be at the forefront of producing research that addresses Africa’s unique health needs,” said Prof. Sir Tumani Corrah, Founder and President of AREF.
“That’s why AREF is committed to nurturing and supporting emerging health researchers with fellowship placements at globally reputable research centres, to acquire advanced research skills, develop mentorship relations and collaborate with an international network of scientists.”
AREF has supported over 600 researchers from 41 countries across Africa, setting them on the path to lead their own research teams within the continent and secure additional funding.
Roche has been conducting clinical trials in Africa for over 25 years.
Maturin Tchoumi, Area Head, Africa, Roche, said this fellowship will contribute to the need for capacity building, as defined by African researchers and their institutions and help equip a new generation of African scientists leading genomics, clinical pharmacology and pathology science and innovation on the continent.
The AREF- Roche and Genentech Fellowship Program applications will launch this November and the fellowship programme will kick off in July 2024.
– CAJ News