Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) and University of Chittagong Set Up a Next-Generation Sequencing Lab
Scientists play critical roles in the progress of society and in ensuring everyone's wellbeing. This requires investments in infrastructure to not only conduct research, but also to train the next generation of scientists. Genomic research is becoming increasingly important in the field of infectious diseases, as it allows scientists to understand the pathogens behind the disease, and help design therapeutics and
strategies to prevent infections. The COVID19 pandemic is a prime example of this.
To ensure that infrastructure is not centralized in Dhaka alone, CHRF is initiating collaborations with different universities of Bangladesh, starting with University of Chittagong. To help establish a sequencing lab, CHRF has provided a next-generation sequencing machine, and other equipment required for sequencing. This includes PCR cabinets to safely carry out experiments, and other devices to quantify genetic material. CHRF is very grateful to FIND, The Global Alliance for Diagnostics, who sponsored this pilot and made this collaboration possible.
The inauguration ceremony for the ''Next-Generation sequencing, Research and Innovation lab, CU (NRICh)" in the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Department of the university took place on 23 May 2022 at 11 AM. Professor Dr. Shireen Akhter, Honourable Vice Chancellor, University of Chittagong was the chief guest. As special guests, Professor Benu Kumar Dey, Honourable Pro-Vice Chancellor
(Academic), University of Chittagong and Professor Dr. Md. Towhid Hossain, Honourable Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Chittagong were present. Dr. Senjuti Saha, CHRF's Director and Scientist, was present in the ceremony along with Dr. Sultana Aflatun Rubana, Program Research Manager, and other CHRF members.
CHRF and University of Chittagong also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) where the two institutions agree to exchange knowledge on capacity building. CHRF will support sequencing and training of the students for one full year and hopes to build a sustainable collaboration. This is just the beginning. We will keep working towards building capacity and decentralizing genomic research.