Researchers Converge at JKUAT for Analytical Chemistry Training

Dr. Ahmed gives her remarks

Over 15 researchers and post graduate students drawn from Ethiopia, Cameroon, Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana converged at JKUAT for a week-long Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) training.

The training that commenced Monday July 1, 2019, is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and implemented under the auspices of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN).

While welcoming the participants to the training, Dr. Aneesa Ahmed of the Royal Society of Chemistry said skills development had always been a key focus of the PACN.

“Since 2015 we have been working with GSK to bring analytical science training to a wide community across Africa. We have trained more than 160 chemists from 20 African countries,” said Dr. Ahmed.

She is confident that within the five years of partnership, the programme would have trained over 400 scientists in analytical techniques especially Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and LC-MS.

Philomena (left) and Cecilia share experiences during a break

Dean, School of Physical Science, Prof. George Thiong’o encouraged the participants to make the most of the training by taking advantage of the experience and expertise of the trainers.

“Use this training to build a network and use the skills gained to educate your fellow researchers in your various countries for the betterment of analytical science,” urged Prof. Thiong’o.

Samuel Baker Obakiro, an assistant lecturer of pharmacology from Busitema University, Uganda and an Analytical Chemistry PhD student at Moi University said he was confident that the training would be vital in his research interests.

With an interest in natural product synthesis and drug discovery; toxicology and drug analysis; and herbal medicine use and standardization, Obakiro attests that you need LC-MS skills to succeed in this areas.

Philomena Chepkirui, a masters student in analytical chemistry at Kenyatta University hopes that after the training, she will be in a position to troubleshoot LC-MS equipment when doing analysis in order to generate optimal data.

Cecilia Muriuki of JKUAT said the skill gained from the training will be vital as she prepares to start her PhD in pharmaceuticals in water resources. Acknowledging that research is a long, tedious though fulfilling task, Muriuki believes that knowing how to take care of your research instruments is key to the success of the research.

A commemorative group photo for the LC-MS training

Just like most of the participants of the workshop, she is grateful for the opportunity to network with her peers from the various African countries.

JKUAT’s Prof. Anthony Gachanja will work closely with Dr. Claire Beaumont of GSK to facilitate the training. Their expertise, enthusiasm and dedication to African sciences were lauded by Dr. Ahmed.

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