JOB OPPORTUNITIES

                                                                    
P.O. BOX 106148-00101, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: (+254)202445166 / 716335266 / 734972158. Email: info@angusgenomics.com. Website: www.kibs.co.ke


Dear Madam / Sir,

RE: INTERNSHIP / JOB OPPORTUNITY
Angus Genomics is a leading provider of drug, vaccine, and biomarker design;bioinformatics; health informatics;DNA testing services;andgenomics solutions. Our objective is to become the premier biotech company in Africa within the next 5 years. Together with our sister company, The Kenya Institute of Bioinformatics, we have the following openings:

1. Bioinformatics interns
2. Marketing Reprsentatives

To apply, please visit www.kibs.co.ke/aboutus.php . Applications should be emailed to info@kibs.co.ke so as to reach the undersigned on or before January 30th, 2014. Copies of the current CV containing daytime contacts and 3 referees should be attached. Successful candidates will be invited for interviews.

Thank you.

A. A. Nassir,
Director.

Enquiries:
Tel: 0202445166
Mobile: 0716335266 / 0734972158
Email: info@kibs.co.ke or careers@angusgenomicsc.om

The Next Phase of African Revolution

Necessity gave birth to inventions and surely Africa was not left behind, our traditions have served and sustained us for ages and will continue to provide for our generations. Traditions, science and technology have rocked us giving us an advantage over other beneficiaries. Science was meant to provide a solution to the unknown, known and predicted realities. The dream of a better society free from poverty, diseases, ignorance, among others are propelling Africa to greater heights by realizing the impact of technology in our daily lives. But what needs to be done to avert this aborted revolution in Africa?

Yes, I called it an aborted revolution in Africa because as the rest of the world led by Europe felt the impact of this innovation, Africa cared less. Little did we realize we had the opportunity to dominate this arena. We had to face it appropriately since this aborted revolution was the future and we owned it, and it became an African Revolution. With so much resources, workforce and brains, why are we not there yet?Some will argue that we are not the brain child of this great idea though we are slowly but surely there, but remember that the same problems affect us all and we all need solutions to these challenges, we all want a better world.

We might have embraced technology through the use of social media but there are more delicate parts that need technological attention. As a third world continent, we are facing numerous challenges ranging from socioeconomic problems to other social cancers. I believe in the impact that science and technology can positively impose on us. We can forget about being the continent associated with problems and misfortunes and be solution to our own problems. Let others look at us with joy and hope not sympathy and despair.

Technology needs to be part and parcel of our education curriculum just like English and Kiswahili is. This will help mold men and women who are not aliens to technology. Other sectors will now embrace it like medical sectors to improve research and widen hope in the medical industry. Imagine better healthcare, treatment to deadly diseases and a healthy nation? Well educated citizens with advanced technological knowhow can now invest their energy and skills to other wanting sectors like security which is becoming a persistent phenomenon in Africa.

Proper surveillance is a very important step in curbing security concerns. It is through surveillance that intelligence is gathered and acted upon to curb insecurity. Surveillance equipment’s such as cameras and weapon detectors have been availed and only need to be put to proper use. Better communication technology also plays a major role. America prides itself in the security field due to better technology and heavy investment. We must invest appropriately in this sector which affects all other sectors of our economy. We stand to loose nothing but gain a lot, why not?

Technology is here with us and it is here to stay, so we better capture its goodies. We can enhance this African Revolution to be the game changer in this world. They better watch out as it begins coz no one will stop it. This is the next phase of Africa, The Future of the entire Humanity. Join this Revolution!

By.

John Paul Wafula

a true mix of a real human, outgoing and loves writing, leader icon and open minded

@popeJayp fb: Pope Jayp

The Role of Good Leadership in Advancing this Course

A lot has been said about science and technology and its immense merits on the society but one important propelling factor has been forgotten and that is Leadership. Government plays an important role in advancing this course especially through policies and legislations that promote it. Has the government built a stable foundation for this factor of our economy to grow or has it made it an impossible venture for its citizens?

First of all, the government should embrace the use of science and technology in its daily operations. The government cannot promote an idea it has no knowledge of. They, as an institution of governance, should be role models to other institutions such as social and economic institutions when it comes to use of modern technology. This will also be in line with its techno project of Vision 2030 that aims to maximize on the use of modern science and technology in all sectors of our economy. This spirit will inspire a journey of transformation towards this noble course.

Secondly, the government should come up with policies that will form the basis of this course. This will involve proper guideline and regulations to oversee that this mega project will see the light. These procedures accompanied by very stable regulations will ensure that this is and remains a crucial part and parcel of us as a nation. National and individual interests will be safeguarded and no party will feel insecure or threatened. Proper policies and regulations will build a very strong foundation where this sector will thrive.

Thirdly, by having government that has fully embraced the use of technology and proper policies in place, the government can now invest in this sector knowing that we are ready for a transformation. Adequate investment in collaboration with partners including well trained personnel who will guide us in this process due to their experiences will definitely put us in the next level. Science and Technology requires heavy investment to start and maintain but it pays a lot at the end of the day.

With devolution in place and actively involved, this advancement will now be felt with ease and comfort everywhere from our offices to the classrooms, churches, industries, streets and our homes. Security organs and healthcare providers will also benefit. We will have a generation that will understand that science and technology is part of them and not a new civilization in their society. Our own innovations will have an opportunity to be enjoyed and benefit us contrary to earlier.

Great ideas thrive among us and a good testimony can be seen in the annual science congress where some of these ideas are given a chance to be displayed though after that we don’t hear of them again. We need to tap thesebrains and use them locally in a productive way.

Government has role to play and after all it will benefit the most. They have the resources and capacity to begin with. This initiative must begin from the top and reach to the grassroots through Devolution. This will be an ultimate success and a new chapter in our history, a true African Revolution.

By.

John Paul Wafula

a true mix of a real human, outgoing and loves writing, leader icon and open minded

@popeJayp fb: Pope Jayp

At Last: Results for the Writing Competition

An advertisement was posted in all the notice board requesting students of the Technical University of Kenya to submit their abstracts.

After submission, they were trained on the skills needed for writing scientific paper and were given a chance to write their research papers and submitted for grading. 10 papers were submitted to the patron to come up with a list of five that will be awarded bursary as a price.

The five people include:-

  1. Siele K Stephen
  2. Okumu Jared
  3. Charles Ndirangu Maina
  4. Jesse Kamunya
  5. Margaret Ayabei

Congratulation to them and to all those who took their time to participate in the challenge.

Prof. D. Yole – Stick to Your Passion….

If you asked student one of the lecturer they most admire, Prof. Yole rarely miss in that list. Two of our able students from the association took their time to interview her and find out the secret behind her success.

Tell us briefly about yourself?

My name is Prof. Dorcas Yole. I am the Director of School of Biological and Life Sciences in the Technical University of Kenya. I am a Professor in Biology. My area of specialization is Immunology and Parasitology.

Give us the brief history of your professional life

My primary education was in a local village school in Machakos. I went to Precious Blood Secondary School, Kilungu for my O levels (Form I to IV) and Alliance Girls High School for A levels (Form V & VI). I took Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree (Zoology) at the University of Nairobi and a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Parasitology, also in the University of Nairobi. I then went for my Doctor of Philosphy (PhD, Biology) studies in University of York (UOY), United Kingdom, and my Postdoctoral Studies in the same University. My research work for my PhD and Postdoctoral studies was carried out the Institute of Primate Research (IPR).

After completing my MSc, but before graduation, I was employed as an Assistant Research scientist, at the Institute of Primate Research, (National Museums of Kenya). I was working in Leishmania Laboratory, under Dr. Olobo  (now Professor). Him and Scientists at IPR had for the first time, found African green monkey naturally infected with leishmania infection. They isolated the parasite and  I had the privilege of being the first person to culture these monkey leishmania. Shortly after that I was moved to Schistosomiasis laboratory after which I went for my PhD in the UK. During my PHD program, I worked on the baboon as a model for vaccines for schistosomiasis which is commonly known as bilharzia and my major parasite was Schistosoma mansoni. Under the supervision of Prof Alan Wilson (UOY) and Dr. Reid (IPR), I was able to develop a  schistotomiassis vaccine which,  gave a protection of over 90% in the baboon, the highest protection ever recorded in any model . I documented immunological, parasitological and  pathological parameters which made the baboon the best model for schistosomiasis. I continued to work as a scientist in IPR, and raised through the grades, from an Assistant Research Scientist to a Senior Research Scientist I. My areas of research expanded to include development of drugs for shcistosomiasis and molluscicides to control the snail intermediate host, of the same parasite; both being based on plant extracts. I was also involved in administration, as the Head of Parasitology Department and also as the Chair of the Institutional Scientific and Ethical Review Committee.

I have always been interested in teaching and I taught in many universities on part-time basis: African Nazarene University, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Kenya Methodist University and Mount Kenya University. I was involved in teaching and supervision of students’ project at Bachelors, Masters and PhD levels. My teaching experience made me realize that I had strong interest both in research and teaching. I felt I needed to work in a place where both teaching and research were appreciated. This happened when I was finally employed in the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) in December 2011 as an Associate Professor in Biology.

My first assignment at TUK was Director of a new directorate, Campus Outreach Programme.  Together with a team of 10 lecturers from the three Faculties of TUK, we developed a presentation on ‘Demystifying Science’ and a Career presentation for Secondary Schools. We went to different Secondary schools in various counties in Kenya, and helped students realize that we apply sciences in many activities we do on a daily basis e.g. a child swinging is Physics! Therefore, sciences are not as hard as they may think. Also, we helped them in knowing which careers to choose depending on their strengths and performance. In addition the team was also involved in community engagement, where we trained local people in skills like computer packages and soap making. My current assignment from January 2014 is Director of the new School of Biological and Life Sciences, TUK.

What challenges did you experience to be who you are today?

When I started working, there were very few women scientists. The first challenge was being a scientist in a man’s world! For quite a while, I was the only female scientist at IPR and I had work real hard for the male scientists to believe that I was as good as them in science. When I was made the Head of Department, all the scientists were men and most of the technical staff. As the Chair of the Institutional and Scientific and Ethical Committee, I was the only woman. I learnt to appreciate myself, as a woman first, and not try to be a man. It was important to recognize that although men and women have fundamental differences and there are those areas which a particular sex excels in, there are those areas where either sex can excel provided one worked hard and concentrated in what they were doing. One of these areas is being a scientist. I love science and I gave my best to it. I have over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals and I have supervised over 30 post-graduate projects.

The other challenge was to find a balance between family and career.  I am married and we have two children. I had to work at getting a balance between developing my career and not neglecting my family. My first priority is family. As far as I am concerned, if the family is not happy, it affects one’s performance. I ensure that my husband and children are taken care of and when I come to work I give my work the best. I had to cut down on my social life. It is hard to maintain a very active social life and at the same time concentrate on the family and career. I still keep a few real good friends who understand my situation. I can be open and talk to them. I also use some of the hours I could be relaxing for work.

Is this what you wanted to be when you were young?

Since I was a child, I always wanted to be a lecturer in a university. I had a cousin who was a Professor and I admired his career. When my mum came from work with sore legs, I loved massaging her and I was the little nurse in the family. My family and Career Teacher in Alliance Girls High School thought I should be a doctor, as I had all the characteristics of a doctor. I had no problems in dealing with human disease, but I do not like my programmes being interrupted. I knew as doctor I would have to be willing to be interrupted, so medicine was not an option for me. Although I had the grades to do medicine on government scholarship, I choose to do a Bachelors of Science.  I did well in my second year so I was one of the ten students selected to do Zoology major and also project in third year. When I was working on my project, I realized that I loved research. After joining IPR, this was confirmed. Discovering new things really excites me! It is something I love and enjoy doing. I enjoy communicating what I have discovered and that is why I love both research and teaching.

What motivates you?

To discover new things and to solve problems. The developed world does not care much about neglected diseases like Bilharzia and they are not willing spend money on that. Schistosomiasis is endemic in some parts of Kenya and my matrimonial home is in one of these areas. I desire to develop an intervention which is cheap in order to help the community.

If time is taken back, what would you change?

Basically nothing because I became what I wanted to be and I am so happy with what I do. When I go home I am a happy wife and mother since I have spent my day doing what I love.

Why Immunology and not any other thing?

It’s very fascinating! Immunology helps me to understand how the body defense system reacts to infections. When I am developing a vaccine I know what I should target in order to stop the disease development.

Did you have any role model?

I have several role models. First, my mother, a primary school teacher, taught me discipline, handwork and Godliness. She lived what she taught. Second, my father; he told me that education was my first husband. He defended me from Uncles and neighbours who were wondering why I was still continuing with education instead of getting married like my age mates. My father excelled as a Headmaster and his hobbies as a carpenter, in roofing and football! I got married when I was almost finishing my PhD. My other two role models were my two immunology Professors. Prof. Jasper Mumo (Late, University of Nairobi) taught me how to make a difficult subject exciting to students. He came to our level and ensured that we understood immunology. He had a high sense of humour and we really enjoyed his classes. I try to emulate him when I am lecturing! Prof. Alan Wilson (University of York), taught me hard work and excellence. He pushed me to produce work I never imagined I would be able to. He drew out of me strengths I never knew I had.  This is what helped me when I came back to IPR, and I was really the only one who understood my work. The habit has stuck!  Prof Alan Wilson was the top Scientist in Schistosomiasis, and a point of reference to the rest of the world.

Final words to University Students

You can make it! However, you need to work hard and know early what you want to do in life and stick to it even when everybody else thinks you are wrong. You need to really know what your passion is and concentrate on it and you will succeed. Nothing good and lasting comes easy!

Outreach programme

Science and technology Students Association, in collaboration with the Maisha house foundation, has introduced an outreach program which aims at mentoring youth, whose lives are affected by heroine, alcohol and substance abuse.

The primary objective is help them realize the negative effects of drugs both health wise and socially. With the help of Mr. Stanley, we have been able to visit the hard hit areas where drug businesses and usage is rampant. The mentors are able to talk to the addicted about their stories as they educate and distribute to them safe and sterile syringes. The syringes help to prevent the spread of HIV/ AIDS virus, which has infected most of the due to unsafe sex and prostitution.

All members of the club have been assigned to mentor in their respective neighborhoods for time and transport convenience. Also, a supervisor is present with them at all time to ensure the mentors’ safety against various dangers associated with drug usage by the addicts. This program will take three months of which members will receive a certificate of participation.

In addition, the Mentorship club aims to attend various mentorship programs at various high schools, where members will mentor students on various career choices. In this manner, it will also be a way of marketing the university’s name, reputation and the programs offered to the schools. The high school mentorship program will commence as from September 2014.

Written by

Anne Chege

4th Year Students at the Technical University of Kenya