The Africa Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), in collaboration with the University of Ibadan (UI), has purchased a new technology called DROSOPHILA, a biomedical research technique, which uses a fly, called drosophila melanogaster, to test drugs. The Centre has gone as far as forming clusters, which will look into testing drugs on infectious diseases, toxicology of drugs, inflammation and Diabetes, using the drosophila. To this end, ACEPRD has engaged international scholars in this field, to teach and anchor research into the subject-matter.
As part of efforts to promote research into the subject matter, a delegation, comprising members of ACEPRD and the DrosAfrica team, visited the University of Ibadan, last year, to discuss a possible partnership with the University of Jos in establishing the DrosAfrica West Africa research team. A sensitisation workshop was also conducted to the University faculty and research students of the College of Basic Medical Sciences.
The highlight of the visit was the inauguration of DrosAfrica Nigeria team, with both Universities agreeing to promote the team’s activities in Southern and Northern Nigeria.
In the wake of the inauguration, two conferences were held at the Hill Station Hotel, Jos, Plateau State, on ‘Global Trends in Phytomedicine Research Development’ and ‘International Perceptor Development.’
Discussions are currently centred on product development, particularly, sponsorship as well as awakening the interest of corporate entities in research into natural products. Other areas of concern include ascertaining public perception and confidence in the consumption of natural products. This led to a discussion on academic-industry collaboration at ACEPRD partner- institution, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State; where the keynote address was delivered by Professor Maurice Iwu, a renowned Phytomedicine expert in Nigeria.