By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The New President of the Nigeria Bioinformatics and Genomics Network (NBGN), Dr Charles Adetunji has hinted that genomic science and related research could serve as platforms in solving problems and challenges confronting Nigeria and the African continent.
Dr Adetunji dropped this hint at Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State at a 3-day 2nd Conference of the Nigerian Bioinformatics and Genomics Network (NBGN) themed ‘Leveraging Bioinformatics and Genomics for the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals’, the conference .
He pointed out that most challenges in different sectors and various field of endeavours in Nigeria and the whole of Africa leading to underdevelopment and stagnation, could be unbundled if relevant stakeholders could support the body’s initiatives. The NBGN New President stressed that to this end, collaborative efforts would be geared towards bridging identified knowledge gaps, fostering research collaborations, providing and disseminating knowledge and opportunities within the field of genomics, bioinformatics and computational biology.
Commending sponsor of the conference, 54gene and the management of Landmark University, Dr Adetunji lamented that though the potentials of Nigeria nation and Africa continent have remained untapped, the time has come to educate the up coming generations
“It is our solemn duty to ensure that we educate the bright minds of tomorrow. Key to delivery on this objectives, is not just growing our membership base, but also to connect our excellent researches all across Nigeria with other researchers in America,Europe and Asia”, he said. Consequently, Dr Adétúnjí promised that the body would swing into action towards achieving the set objectives of adding value to the society at large, stressing, “It is my desire to foster this network with many reputational research institutions across the globe and to bring Nigeria on the map of attention for foreigners” The immediate past President and founder of the body, Dr Segun Fatumo, an Associate Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, while speaking recalled that since the completion of the first human genome about 20 years ago, only a little had been done within Nigeria and African populations.
Dr Faturmo who referred to the human genome as the language in which God created life, noted that many “Nigerians are only familiar with the use of DNA to identify the fatherhood. Our DNA can predict people who tend to develop diseases such as cancer, kidney diseases, and diabetes. The good thing about this is that early genomic prediction could aid appropriate intervention.