Colombia’s most famous export, coffee, is stored and shipped in sturdy woven bags made from a local plant called fique, also known as sisal. The fibers of the fique plant are notoriously strong, but creating textiles wastes nearly 95% of the plant itself. As a nanoscientist specializing in energy delivery, Esteban Garcia-Tamayo, PhD, believes that the byproducts of this process may be essential for the future of sustainable energy storage.
In a little over a year since Instrumental Access equipment arrived on campus at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Dr. Victorien Dougnon’s research and publication schedule has been accelerated exponentially.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, his work investigating traditional herbal medicines that may be effective against antimicrobial resistance is pushing ahead. Dr. Dougnon and his colleagues have used their lab’s expanded capacity to perform sample analyses on-site, increasing both the speed and accuracy of their findings.
When Dr. Jules-Roger Kuiate applied for an Instrumental Access award, the Department of Biochemistry had some promising research in progress on medicinal plants and tropical diseases. But the department had little infrastructure to efficiently carry these projects to their conclusions.
Five years later, they are collaborating with departments across campus and the Ministry of Higher Education.
After their Instrumental Access award in 2016, opportunities to analyze natural products opened up for the University of Zambia’s Department of Pharmacy. Now, graduate students are doing original analysis in the lab using Instrumental Access equipment. And they are publishing original research at an incredible pace.
Five years ago, the Chemistry Department at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education was losing students and outsourcing sample analysis to other facilities. Now, thanks to Instrumental Access equipment, students are completing their studies and researchers are publishing new work on pollution in Tanzania’s freshwater lakes.
Though no one was entirely prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists around the globe were required to respond. The world needed the ability to test and contact trace; labs that had the necessary equipment stepped up to answer this urgent call. Because the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) received a 2018 Instrumental Access award, Dr. Gama Bandawe and his lab already had most of the equipment they needed to join the fight against COVID-19.
When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Armenia, Arsen Arakelyan, PhD, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, had a particular challenge. He and his lab were tasked with delivering reliable COVID-19 diagnostic tests to fulfill the increased demand for testing, while considering the existing peculiarities of national infrastructure.
Thanks to equipment from Seeding Labs, the Institute of Tropical Medicine & Global Health is playing an important role in pandemic response.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not yet hit Armenia as hard as some other countries. Instrumental Access awardee Arsen Arakelyan, PhD, and colleagues have plans to keep the virus in check by using equipment from Seeding Labs in conjunction with a significant investment from the government of Armenia.
Dr. Thabile Ndlovu, Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Eswatini and an Instrumental Access awardee, realized that she could help her country’s COVID-19 response. She approached her University leadership with her idea: use their lab infrastructure to mass produce hand sanitizer, and bolster pandemic response in their community.