Landmark University Hosts Bioinformatics Conference

Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, has hosted a three-day second Conference of the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network (NBGN).

Themed ‘Leveraging Bioinformatics and Genomics for the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, the conference was held during the week.

The event was graced by the Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq; the traditional ruler of Omu Aran, Oba AbdulRaheem Adeoti; Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly; commissioners for tertiary education and health, professors, scientists and researchers from Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, America and other parts of the world.

Keynote speakers include Professor Nicola Mulder, who heads the Computational Division at University of Cape Town; Dr Bentley Amy, a senior scientist with the Centre for Research on Genomics and Global Health (CRGGH) at the National Human Genomics Research Institute (NHGRI), USA; Dr Solomon Rotimi, an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the Covenant University, Nigeria, and Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, the CEO and founder of 54gene – a leading biotech company based in Nigeria and America.

In his welcome address, the new president of the Nigeria Bioinformatics and Genomics Network (NBGN), Dr Charles Adetunji, noted that genomics science and related research could serve as platforms in solving problems and challenges confronting Nigeria and the African continent.

According to him, most challenges in different sectors and various fields of endeavours in Nigeria and Africa which had led to underdevelopment and stagnation could be unbundled if relevant stakeholders could support the body’s initiatives.

He commended the sponsor of the conference, 54gene, and the management of Landmark University, assuring those collaborative efforts would be geared towards bridging identified knowledge gaps, fostering research collaborations, as well as providing and disseminating knowledge and opportunities within the field of genomics, bioinformatics and computational biology.

 “It is our solemn duty to ensure that we educate the bright minds of tomorrow.

“Key to delivery on this objective is not just growing our membership base, but also connecting our excellent researches all across Nigeria with other researchers in America, Europe, and Asia.

“It is my desire to foster this network with many reputational research institutions across the globe and to bring Nigeria on the map of attention for foreigners,” he said.

The immediate past president and founder of the fast-growing body, Dr Segun Fatumo, an associate Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, recalled that since the completion of the first human genome about 20 years ago, very little had been done within Nigeria and African populations.

Fatumo who referred to the human genome as the language in which God created life, noted that many “Nigerians are only familiar with the use of DNA to identify the fatherhood.

“Our DNA can predict people who tend to develop diseases such as cancer, kidney diseases, and diabetes. The good thing about this is that early genomic prediction could aid appropriate intervention.”


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