African Pharmacological Science Gateway: demonstrator of an e-infrastructure community

Barbera, R ; Eriksen, J ; Gustafsson. L L ; Masimirembwa, C ; Spyridonis, F ; Taylor, S J

21 January 2016

Abstract: Over the years, under the North-South (N-S) Scientific and Technology transfer drive, many African scientists went for postgraduate training in developed countries such as Sweden, UK, USA, and France. This N-S initiative however did not achieve the technology transfer aspect resulting in the trained African scientists failing to continue with their work on returning to their home institutions. Some invariably return to laboratories and institutions of developed countries making the N-S initiative a conduit of brain drain from Africa. Those who remain on the continent are not fully functional scientifically and contribute minimally to maintain strong research institutions. A few groups in Africa have managed to benefit from the N-S initiative and set up competence in some key research areas important for Drug Discovery, Development and Rational Use of Medicines. These groups are often scientifically isolated with few opportunities or possibilities for South-South (S-S) interaction to realize and build on the synergies of the knowledge and technical skills they have individually established. The proposed Pharmacological Science Gateway will significantly contribute towards S-S collaboration and strengthening both capacity and capability for drug development and Rational Use of Medicines in Africa. This will be achieved by ensuring that graduate students continue laboratory based pharmacological research in Africa by having access to tools for generating, analyzing and calculating data as well as expertise in these areas. This will contribute towards the reduction of the migration of African scientists to US/Europe or reduce costly visits to US/Europe which weaken the local research environments. In general, the e-infrastructure addresses a long standing challenge of scientific and technical strengthening of Africa where the older and current approach of courses and workshops has generally either been slow or not sustainable once participants and experts disperse. This initiative will ensure continued contacts, mentorship and access to necessary tools and establish strong capacity to maintain collaborations between African laboratory-based pharmacological scientists. This will contribute to enrichment of basic and clinical pharmacological sciences in Africa.

Keyword(s): Science Gateway ; Pharmacology ; e-Infrastructure ; eI4Africa
Identifier(s): 10.15169/sci-gaia:1453373945.29

Licence: cc-by-nc-sa-4.0

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 Record created 2016-01-21, last modified 2016-06-29

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