Applications open for the PanACEA Postgraduate Studentships: Submission deadline 19 September

We are pleased to announce the opening of our Postgraduate programme, which will offer candidates a unique opportunity to support PanACEA objectives and obtain a research degree. The research programmes will be sponsored by expertise core and other affiliated resources. Candidates will be matched to appropriate projects based on their scientific interests, experience and acumen.

To apply, the Postgraduate Application Form (below or click here) must be submitted, which consists of two parts (Part A and B). First, candidates must fill out Part A of the form. In Part B a statement of support must be supplied by a principal investigator (PI)/other referee.*

Closing date for submission: Wednesday 19th September 2018 at 23:59 Greenwich Median Time (UK Time)

For further information or assistance, please contact Prof Tim McHugh (t.mchugh@ucl.ac.uk) and or Lavinia Rodney (l.rodney@ucl.ac.uk).

Upon application, the principal investigator (PI)/other referee will be contacted via email to also provide projects for this scheme (Part C)

 

 

Postgraduate Application Form

Part A: Applicant to fill out
Part B: Principal investigator (PI)/other referee

 

SAMRC interviews Andreas Diacon

The South African Medical Research Council interviewed Professor Andreas Diacon, founder and CEO at TASK Applied Science, on the future of TB treatment. TASK performs clinical trials in TB and has been a partner in the PanACEA consortium since the first EDCTP granting phase.

New and improved drugs are necessary to increase the effectivity of treatment of TB, Professor Diacon explains, but improvement of diagnostics and development of vaccines are essential as well to eradicate the disease. Such a multi faceted strategy requires a concentrated effort of many players globally. Specific to the African context he argues that the scientific agenda should yield a robust and cost effective overall strategy.

You can watch the interview here:

MBLA Conference at St Andrews

Monday 11th June until Wednesday 13th June delegates from all over the world assembled for the MBLA Conference at the University of St Andrews, School of Medicine. The conference was organized and sponsored by the University of St Andrews and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), in cooperation with the PanACEA Biomarkers Expertise Core. The conference consisted for a large part of practicalities that successfully trained the participants in Molecular Bacterial Load (MBL) assay and analysis.

This MBL assay was developed through PanACEA Capacity Development and the PANBIOME study. The MBL assay is quite easy to master but this novel quantitative method will significantly speed up the advancement of clinical trials and save resources. It allows for a smaller sample size and a more rapid and accurate identification of viable TB bacteria. The assay performs well in different laboratory circumstances, different aspects of TB diagnostics and treatment monitoring.

MBL assay will be rolled out to many PanACEA trial sites. This will build the capacity of Southern centers to deliver cutting edge microbiological methods and expand their opportunities to perform research.

 

 

 

 

EDCTP Workshop Johannesburg

From June 12-14th the EDCTP held a three-day competency training workshop in health research ethics, Good Clinical Practice and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The goal of the workshop was to improve the skills and capabilities of the participants to become a “Trainer-of-Trainers” or focal person within the research networks or regions within which the EDCTP projects are operational. Attending on behalf of the PanACEA project was Bariki Mtafya, head of the laboratory Sciences at NIMR-MMRC, Tanzania.

New EDCTP Project Officer

As of June the PanACEA consortium welcomes Jean Marie Habarugira as the new EDCTP Project Officer. At the General Assembly meeting on June 11th the consortium had the first opportunity to get acquainted with him and an official visit will follow. Jean Marie Habarugira has been working for the EDCTP as Project Officer since 2010. To get to know him better, go to: http://www.edctp.org/get-know-us/people-edctp/edctp-secretariat/jean-marie-vianney-habarugira/

Jean Marie Habarugira is replacing Monique Rijks-Surette, who is leaving EDCTP to start a position at Johnson & Johnson. We enjoyed the pleasant cooperation and wish her all the best in the new challenges ahead.

GA Conference V

Building up to this quarterly General Assembly (GA) meeting on June 11th the Expertise Cores developed a comprehensive trial capacity development proposal. The Cores are eager to start and the General Assembly gave the final go-ahead for their plans.

PanACEA is one year into the project now and an Annual Report was submitted to its funder, the EDCTP, on behalf of the consortium. The Coordinator reported on the progress of the project, activities for capacity development and dissemination of scientific results/achievements.

Other items on the agenda of the GA were the HR1, trial that is coming to an end, and the upcoming trials for which the preparations are under way.

World TB Day at CERMEL

Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL) is a partner in the PanACEA Consortium. Over the years CERMEL has become increasingly involved in TB research. The institute has developed a research group and a laboratory specialized in TB.

To honor World TB Day, CERMEL organized a day of lectures, discussions and lab tours to educate participants on TB and create awareness. The activities were sponsored by the Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria (CANTAM) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

You can read all about the event on the website of CERMEL: https://www.cermel.org/news_2018-04-14.php

 

Site visits Johannesburg, South Africa

On the 4th of May the Coordinator of PanACEA, Martin Boeree, was welcomed at WITS Health Consortium in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Mohammed Rassool and his team. WITS was active as site during PanACEA I and will be again for the PanACEA STEP IIC trial. On the 7th of May the Coordinator also visited , The Aurum Institute in Johannesburg, another long-standing PanACEA partner. Here he was shown around by Gavin Churchyard, Salome Charambous, Vinodh Edwards and Bob Wallis, who are all part of the STEP IIc study team. Both sites were well prepared and we look forward to working together.

Site visit CoM, Blantyre, Malawi

College of Medicine (CoM) is one of the new partners of the PanACEA consortium. End of April a delegation from PanACEA traveled to Malawi for an assessment of the trial site. They were greeted with a warm welcome and a well organized visit. It was a good opportunity to get acquainted with our colleagues in the study team, amongst others Liz Corbett, Marriott Nliwasa, Doris Shani, Brigitte Denis and Mphatso Mwapasa.