Research Agenda

RESEARCH AGENDA FOR THE MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY INSTITUTE: 2020-2025

The Molecular Pathology Institute MPI is focussed on genomic and molecular studies that are basic and applied in nature, designed to offer solutions to numerous health, bio-industrial and environmental challenges in Africa. The unifying theme in all our research is the application of molecular genetic tools to interrogate diseases, make discoveries and translate them to public use. This research agenda covers a five years’ period.

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YEAR ONE

ACQUIRE AND INSTAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR RAPID DNA SEQUENCING

Specifically, we plan to install Oxford Nanopore DNA Sequencing platforms including automated DNA library preparations, Thermofisher’s SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer and PacBio Sequel II. We then train staff on these instruments and associated softwares. We also train staff on bioinformatic tools mainly the DNASTAR Software, EPI2ME and other NCBI-based tools. We install adequate computers and utilize Amazon Web Services for bigger computations. Then we validate our protocols. Our partner laboratory for all validation testing is Eurofins, Germany. Key areas of validation will include STR analysis, genetic variants, denovo whole genome sequencing-long reads and high coverage short reads and Direct RNA sequencing. We engage in four main projects: 1) haemato-oncology: Tyrosine Kinase Domain TKD mutations in all CML patients in Nigeria;  JAK2 V617F and Calrecticulin mutations in chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms; 2) whole genome sequencing of hepatitis B and C viruses from patients, 3) whole genome sequencing of SARS CoV-2 virus from patients and 4) Antimicrobial resistance genes, specifically mapping out Qnr alleles present in clinically isolated E coli. Processes for depositing sequence data in NCBI will be aligned with internal protocols. By end of these four projects, the institutional capacity and manpower would have been optimized for a large research grant funded studies. Infrastructurally, the Institute will complete a 70Kva solar inverter electricity project already in progress and remodelling of seminar rooms. It hopes to complete funding for the cytogenetics unit with more fluorescent miscroscopes and to add Beckman Coulter’s Cytoflex system in Haematology Unit.