The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) signed an MoU with the African Union - Scientific Technical and Research Commission (AU-STRC) on 27th March, 2019 at New Delhi. The MoU aims towards closer collaboration and exchange of information between India and Africa in a manner that creates synergistic relationship and partnership in health research and capacity building initiatives.
Under the ICMR/AU- STRC Health Practitioners/Researchers Capacity Building Scheme, a Call for Applications was announced (in June, 2019) for training of African researchers through seven courses to be conducted by the ICMR Institutes in India in the year 2019.
The first course on 'Basic Molecular Biology Techniques relevant to Cancer Research' has been organized at ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida during 2-6 September,2019 and attended by 11 African researchers from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, Cameroon, Comoros, Tanzania and Egypt .
The major focus of this course included molecular bio-markers for early detection of cervical, breast, oral and other different types of cancers using high-throughput genomic and epigenetics approach. To study these aspects, different Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based techniques were used such as Allele Specific PCR, Nested/Hemi-nested PCR, PCR-RFLP, Real Time PCR, Methylation Specific PCR. Additionally, course also included Hybrid Capture II (HC II) for detection of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Other techniques included - Immunohistochemistry, Immunoblotting and Tissue Culture.
The African researchers attending the course at NICPR also visited ICMR Hqrs on 5th September,2019 and met Secretary DHR and Director General, ICMR and shared their views, feedback about the course and utilization of the training.