We are proud to announce our launch of African Centre for Translational Genomics (ACTG) in Lagos, Nigeria. It is an initiative designed to empower the next crop of African genomic researchers by providing grants, internships and training. It will also facilitate translational genetics research by African researchers and precision medicine across continental Africa.
As a pilot effort, the ACTG will be funding its first study under the Non-Communicable Diseases – Genetic Heritage Study (NCD-GHS) Consortium. The consortium will see over 100,000 Nigerians participate in the eponymous study to understand the genetic basis of the highly prevalent non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria such as cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic kidney and sickle cell disease, among others. The consortium will have a steering committee co-led by the Director-General of Nigeria Institute of Medical Research [NIMR], Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako, the Director of National Biotechnology Development Agency’s Centre for Genomics Research and Innovation [NABDA-CGRI], Prof Oyekanmi Nash, the CEO of 54gene, Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, Dr Segun Fatumo, Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine [LSHTM] and Dr Omolola Salako, Consultant Oncologist, College of Medicine, University of Lagos [CMUL].
The initiative is in line with our belief that genetic research in Africa should be ethical and beneficial to the communities we serve, and that African scientists be placed at the forefront of new drug discoveries that benefit Africans and the world at large.
The NCD-GHS study is our first concerted effort under the ACTG that has the potential to rewrite the playbook of genomics research, where African scientists will be placed at the forefront of new drug discoveries for conditions that affect the health of not only Nigerians but greater Africa and the world.
We are proud to be in collaboration with scientists at NIMR and NABDA-CGRI, as a consortium as this presents an opportunity for us to contribute to a broader national agenda for genomics research.