Molecular Approaches to Clinical Microbiology in Africa (MRC Unit, The Gambia)

05 - 10 March 2016MRC Unit, The Gambia
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Application Deadline Closed

  • Summary

    The wind of change is blowing through clinical microbiology, not just in
    Africa but across the globe.  Molecular techniques are
    revolutionising the routine practice of the identification and
    characterisation of pathogens, opening many new opportunities and
    challenges in all areas of clinical microbiology from routine diagnosis
    to basic research. 

    This course will examine the impact of molecular approaches in the
    African context by a combination of lectures and tutorials with
    laboratory and computer practical sessions.  The course will provide
    clinical microbiologists and laboratory scientists working in Africa with
    a concise yet comprehensive overview of the latest research and practice
    in this essential area, with an emphasis on how these techniques can be
    applied day-to-day in the African setting, especially when resources are
    limited.  There will be an emphasis on approaches that are: (i)
    currently applicable in African laboratories; (ii) likely to be
    applicable in Africa in the foreseeable future; or (iii) of value to
    participants in interpreting the literature and assessing the likely
    utility of new technologies as they are developed.

    The course philosophy combines an understanding of the latest research
    techniques and theoretical approaches with practical methods to provide a
    foundation-level of understanding of the philosophy, methods, and
    vocabulary of molecular techniques for those primarily trained in
    culture-based microbiology.

  • Programme

    The course will be based around three themes, chosen to represent three of the most pressing clinical imperatives in clinical bacteriology throughout the continent: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; enteric bacteria and antimicrobial resistance; and encapsulated bacteria.  For each of these themes the following approaches will be covered:

    1. Basic molecular biology techniques including preparing, handling, and
    storing DNA.
    2. PCR, including real-time PCR, methods and applications.
    3. Determining sequence variation, its visualisation and interpretation,
    concentrating on conventional approaches.
    4. Bioinformatic analysis of molecular and genomic data, particularly the
    exploitation of web-based tools.
    5. Future technologies, overview and potential for clinical microbiology.

    These techniques will be explored in the lectures and tutorials and employed during the course practical sessions in the cross-cutting themes of pathogen detection and characterisation, including antimicrobial resistance and the evolution of pathogens, and the application of the data in the improvement of interventions to reduce disease burden. 

  • Instructors / Speakers

    Course instructors
    Martin Antonio Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia
    Cath Arnold Public Health England, UK
    Keith Jolley University of Oxford, UK
    Sam Kariuki Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
    Martin Maiden University of Oxford, UK
    Chisomo Msefula Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Malawi
    Mark Nicol University of Cape Town, South Africa

  • How to Apply

    Prerequisites
    The course is open to applicants working in Africa. Applicants should
    have demonstrable experience in a relevant field and be: clinical
    trainees or specialists in medical microbiology; postdoctoral scientists;
    senior technicians; or research assistants with a Master’s degree. 
    Clinically qualified applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

    Cost
    Overseas courses are free to attend for non-commercial applicants.
    Limited bursaries to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance expenses
    are also available. Full details can be found under the
    Bursaries tab.

    Applications
    Applications for this course can be completed online. If you have any
    problems with the online application process, please contact us.

    Please note: Applications
    must be supported by a
    recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor or
    head of department). A request for a supporting
    statement will be sent
    to your nominated sponsor automatically during
    the application process.
    Applicants must ensure that their sponsor
    provides this supporting
    statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting
    statement cannot be considered.

    Deadlines
    Deadline for Applications: Closed

  • Bursaries

    Bursaries
    Overseas courses are free to attend for non-commercial applicants.
    Limited bursaries to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance costs are
    available and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a
    bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online application
    form.

    Please note that both the applicant
    and sponsor are required to provide
    a justification for the
    bursary as part of the application

    Bursary terms and conditions

    UK Courses (held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton,
    Cambridge)
    A
    limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
    awarded by the selection committee according to merit. The bursary
    covers a maximum of 50% of the course fee, though in exceptional
    circumstances an application for the total course fee may be considered.
    Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may
    issue smaller amounts. We cannot assist with travel costs to attend UK
    courses.

    Overseas Courses (held outside of the UK)
    A
    limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
    awarded on merit to cover travel, accommodation and sustenance. The
    maximum award for travel (economy class) will be £750.

    Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form.
    Applicants
    will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on
    the
    course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The
    decision of the selection committee is
    final.