African Biotech Gets Boost with Prof Omolo's Grants for Innovative Research
Egerton University Research Division is set to benefit from the recent grants awarded to Prof. Josiah Ouma Omolo, a leading chemist in the Faculty of Science at his university. These grants will support his work in the field of biotechnology, a significant step towards solving real-world problems.
The first grant, from the Alliance for African Partnership Transforming Institutions Strategic Funding, is focused on supporting the operationalization of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Regional Research Centre (ICGEB RRC). This grant, worth USD 20,000.00, will fund Prof. Omolo's work with his external collaborator, Prof. Guo-qing Song of Michigan State University (MSU), of over a funding period between January and December 2023. The ICGEB RRC aims to promote the use of biotechnology in the region and support regional scientific research programs. Prof. Omolo's work in this project is a significant step towards building a vibrant biotechnology research community in Africa.
The second grant, worth USD 999,516.00, is from Icipe Bioinnovate Africa and will run between January 2023 and December 2025. In this project, as the Team Leader Prof. Omolo will work with his peers, including the Egerton Collaborators, Prof. Joshua Ogendo, Prof. George Owuor, Dr. John Nduko, and Dr. Bernard Kirui. The project also involves external collaborators, including Dr. John Bwire and Dr. Xavier Cheseto (ICIPE), Dr. Teresiah Njihia and Dr. Samuel Muchemi (Farm Track Consulting Ltd), Dr. Matobola Joel Mihale and Prof. Leonia Henry (The Open University of Tanzania), and Dr. Adrien Turamyenyirijuru and Dr. Chantal Mutimawurugo (University of Rwanda). This project aims to develop and commercialize innovative bioinsecticide products to combat insect pests, which are a significant problem for farmers in Africa. The project's primary goal is to provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for controlling insect pests that damage crops, ultimately enhancing food security and reducing poverty in the region.
Prof. Omolo's impressive research record in the field of natural products chemistry and biotechnology has made him a leading figure in his field. He has published several papers in leading international journals and has been invited to speak at several international conferences. He is also a mentor and collaborator, regularly working with other scientists and researchers to advance the field of biotechnology in Africa.
These grants awarded to Prof. Omolo and his team are a significant boost to the development of biotechnology in Africa. The projects will not only provide solutions to real-world problems but also support the training of young researchers and scientists in the field. The grants will also enhance the development of strategic partnerships between universities, research institutions, and industry in Africa.
Director Research Egerton University Prof Nancy Mungai extended her warmest congratulations to Professor Omolo a member of our faculty and his team of collaborators, including the Egerton Collaborators, Prof. Joshua Ogendo, Prof. George Owuor, Dr. John Nduko, and Dr. Bernard Kirui, and external collaborators from other institutions.
“I am incredibly proud of Prof. Omolo and his team for securing these two grants. The grants will undoubtedly bolster our efforts to provide sustainable solutions to challenges facing our communities. We look forward to the positive impacts of his research for our communities and beyond,” said Prof Mungai.
These projects will provide significant solutions to real-world problems, including enhancing food security, reducing poverty, and building a vibrant biotechnology research community in Africa. Prof. Omolo's work, mentorship, and collaborations continue to inspire young researchers and scientists, paving the way for a brighter future for the African continent. With Prof. Omolo's leadership and the support of these grants, Egerton University Research Division is poised to make significant contributions to the field of biotechnology.