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Virology Institute gets machine to test cancer susceptibility

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Virology Institute gets machine that can tell if one would develop cancerVirology Institute gets machine that can tell if one would develop cancer

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria has acquired a new machine, ‘Sequencing Technology’ that will help it better study cancer genes and susceptibility.

In a statement issued in Friday, Prof. Clement Adebamowo, a professor of Cancer Epidemiology at the University of Maryland Baltimore, said that newly acquired NextSeq 500/550 is a great boost for cancer studies in Nigeria.

He said that the system, currently situated at Institute, will enable researchers understand genes that make some individuals at higher risk to cancer than others.

Prof. Adebamowo, disclosed this at the just concluded hands-on master training on the equipment in Abuja.

He said that “the technology we have deployed and the training that we have given will empower trainees to sequence the entire human genome.

“You can put the sample of an individual in the machine and it will read and tell us all that a person’s gene contains”.

He noted that this emerging trend in cancer research worldwide is still novel in Nigeria.

The Professor of Cancer added that genomes can play a role in whether somebody develops a specific disease or not and even among those that develop the disease, how severe the disease will be.

Prof. Adebamowo said that he has already begun working with several families in the country to discover genetic factors that may increase their risk to breast cancer.

According to him, families at risk can take preventive action based on research results.

He added that plans are underway to extend the training to researchers in and outside the country.

“When we were planning this training, we received letters from different countries indicating that they want to send people to attend.

“The plan is that IHVN will organize additional courses in future, which will be advertised, and potential participants given enough notice to attend,” he said.

Eight laboratory research scientists and clinicians participated in the six day training facilitated by manufacturers of the equipment – Illumina.

Financial support was received from the U.S. National Institutes of Health through the African Collaborative Center for Microbiome and Genomics Research (ACCME) in IHVN.

A Laboratory Manager at IHVN who also participated in the training, Mr. Ayotunde Famooto, adjudged the process as successful.

He said that participants have learned the laboratory processes such as library preparation, cluster generation, sequencing and how to analyse data from the new equipment.

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