Democratic Republic of the Congo: September took the team (Dr. Jo-Ann Stanton and Dr. Laura Boykin) to Democratic Republic of the Congo to meeting with long time collaborator Tony Bakelana (INERA)- we are working to uncover the causal agent of the cassava root necrosis in the western parts of DRC. We also teamed up with Dr. Gerrye Mubungu (U of Kinshasa) and Dr. Hugues Abriel and Oxford Nanopore (Iain MacLaren and Charles Kayuki) to put on Pore Safari #2 – where we trained over 60 students in over 3 days.  It was an epic 3 days.  Soon we shall publish the results of the sequencing on the farmer for the Lukuakua farmers.

Sierra Leone: The second week of the trip took us to Sierra Leone at the invitation of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and his chief Innovation Officer, Dr David Moinina Sengeh- who is also a Senior TED Fellow along with CVAP’s Dr. Laura Boykin. Laura met the pair at TED 2019 where HE gave a TED talk on innovation to drive change. More about this meeting can be found here. We conducted some research on AI cassava disease recognition with David’s DTSI team and Dr. Alusaine Samura- who is a cassava disease expert. Stay tuned for those results!

In addition, we carried out training of 60+ scientists on the Oxford Nanopore technologies – flow cell loading, library preparation and we generated sequence data.

News reports on the visit can be found here and here.

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