Over 20 participants drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Ghana have converged at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) for the 8th Annual Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) training workshop.
The workshop themed: ‘A hands-on approach: From sample preparation to mass spectra data interpretation’ commenced Monday, March 14, 2016.
The five-day workshop aims to equip participants with basic skills in chromatography and interpretation of mass spectra. The participants will also be trained on how to handle GS-MS instruments.
The workshop endeavours to provide analytical training to increase science capacity and enhance professional development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking during the opening of the workshop, Hannah Spry, Royal Society of Chemistry, Strategic Partnerships Executive, said the GC-MS training programme will empower the participants, enhance their practical chemistry analytical techniques and help solve local challenges contributing to global scientific knowledge.
“You are all important to the future of African science and we really want to hear about how this training enhances your research and career,” quipped Spry.
Brigitte Odipo, GlaxoSmithkline (GSK), Head, Quality and Compliance East Africa, acknowledged that there is immense talent in the continent especially in the field of chemistry and lauded the participants for taking part in the training.
She further said, GSK will use the participants as Trainers of Trainers (TOT) in their various countries of origin to enhance capacity in the field of analytical chemistry.
On his part, Prof. Eric Okong’o, Dean School of Physical Sciences (JKUAT) welcomed the participants to JKUAT and urged them to develop linkages and put into practice the knowledge acquired during the training to tackle the problems facing the continent.
Nusrat Begum, a PhD Student from Stellebosch University, South Africa, said she wants to master the setting up, tuning and running of GS-MS instruments.
“I hope to gain knowledge on GC-MS instrumentation so that I can interpret my research data without going to a bio-chemist to do it for me,” said Begum
The training sessions are coordinated by Dr. Steven Lancaster, Chartered Chemist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Prof. Anthony Gachanja, Professor in Analytical /Environmental Chemistry at JKUAT.
The workshop is sponsored by Pan African Chemistry Network in collaboration with Royal Society of Chemistry and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The partnership has trained over 100 African scientists in GC-MS.