African Academy Of Sciences collaborates with Johnson and Johnson on research development

In an effort to ramp up Africa’s research and development skills among the continent’s scientists, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has partnered with leading pharmaceutical the Janssen company and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation in a fellowship program.

This is aimed at meeting the Continent's need in developing innovative medicines and vaccines for treatment and disease prevention to ensure the health of those who live in it; Local solutions and drugs should be developed for those ailments which are endemic to the continent of Africa.

This is the third initiative since 2018 which the AAS had successfully undertaken to strengthen drug discovery capabilities in Africa. The first two were embarked on with the partnership of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Drug Discovery and Development Centre, the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The fellowship programme makes it possible to plug into the existing AAS grant management capabilities, the drug discovery network and post-doctoral support programmes. In order to improve research skills and develop a wide range of research-related insights through the AAS Mentorship Programme and training workshops, leadership and media engagement are also part of the programme.

This collaboration with Jansen would also offer extensive on-the-job training at Janssen’s Research and Development (R&D) Campus in Belgium. This would also include mentorship from its senior R&D leaders, skills-based training in leadership, communication, project management and course work in epidemiology, public health, or tropical medicine at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine.

“We are excited for this collaboration with Janssen and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation which is in line with our long-term commitment to support the development of drugs for diseases endemic to Africa and our goal to contribute to reducing the continent’s disease burden. This strategic collaboration also broadens our support to developing the careers of young scientists,” – Prof Tom Kariuki, AAS Programmes Director

The fellowship programme would strengthen the fellow’s skills and capacities and upon return of the fellow to their home countries, would greatly contribute to the creation of critical clinical development centres of excellence across sub-Saharan Africa. By aiding critical research and development skills and capacity, this unique collaboration would also contribute to the discovery and development of innovative medicines for unmet medical needs on the African continent. Ultimately, it would lead to greater prosperity and welfare of the African continent.

Interested researchers have up to 31st of July to apply.

Photo courtesy/ Google

Article by Jedidah Mwangi

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