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Engage Genomics, Proteomics, Metagenomics in Solving National Challenges -Professor Adebayo

The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, says it has become imperative for Nigeria to engage genomics, proteomics, or metagenomics as vital tools in solving pertinent national challenges in her aspiration for national development.

He said that advances in these research fields transformed medical diagnosis, treatment, food production and processing, environmental sustainability and energy production. "However, the shortage of well trained and experienced scientists in these fields militate against reaping the potential benefits," he noted.

Professor Adebayo made the call in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2021 International Biotechnology Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IBCE&W) with the theme 'Genomics, Proteomics and Metagenomics: Tools for National Developments', organized by the Department of Biological Sciences, Covenant University in conjunction with Inqaba Biotec West Africa Limited.

The field of molecular biology, said the Vice-Chancellor, had profoundly impacted life science investigations over the last decades and stipulated life science research and progress. He said molecular biology methods had tremendous value in investigating fundamental scientific questions and applying them to a wide variety of problems affecting the overall human condition. According to him, disease prevention and treatment of a new generation of new protein products, a manipulation of plants and animals for desired phenotypic traits were all applications routinely addressed by applying molecular biology methods.

Professor Adebayo said that, as an institution, Covenant University partnered with other stakeholders in the research fields of genomics, proteomics, and metagenomics to organize the training workshop. He expressed optimism that the critical mass of scientists required for adopting genomics, proteomics and metagenomics, which were tools for national developments, would be upscaled through the workshop.

While welcoming participants to the event, the Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Victor Omotosho, said the Department of Biological Sciences was blessed to have a multi-million-naira laboratory. He appreciated the Chancellor, Dr David O. Oyedepo, for establishing the platform for raising new leaders. He believed that the workshop would add more skill to the research endeavours of participants and positively impact the country.

In his speech, the Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Professor Solomon Oranusi, stated that this year's event involved different great packages culminating in great testimonies. He said Inqaba Biotec West Africa Limited was coming up with many issues in modern molecular biology techniques, with resource persons from different parts of the globe joining the event online.

"The beauty of this year's workshop is that every result generated will be published in a Scopus indexed outlet. Beyond learning on the bench, every participant will be listed in the publication. We, therefore, hope that every participant will give it all it requires to have good work and experience," said Professor Oranusi.

While addressing the participants, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Dr Jacob Popoola, said this year's workshop billed to hold from September 13 – 17, had been revised to enhance its relevance to life sciences research. Also, it was to encompass the various stakeholders while targeting students of all categories and budding scientists, amongst others.

He stated that the workshop's objective was not limited to promoting hands-on ability and the acquisition of practical skills in molecular biology but also to demystify the application of the latest molecular approaches and bioinformatics to research in the life sciences. "We hope that participants, attendees, and other stakeholders will appreciate the level of knowledge and skill acquired and will apply same to advance their career, promote result-oriented researches to enhance national development," said Dr Popoola.

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