Updates from virtual workshop “Conducting Microbiome Research in Low and Middle Income Countries"
The virtual workshop “Conducting Microbiome Research in Low and Middle Income Countries" was successfully held from 24th May to 11th June 2021. This workshop, sponsored by MPRU, University of Edinburgh and MLW Clinical Programme, was led by MPRU Strategic Group member Prof Debby Bogaert and Dr Kondwani Jambo, members of the Bogaert group in University Medical Center Utrecht and University of Edinburgh, MPRU PhD student Chikondi Peno, MLW PhD student Angeziwa Chunga Chirambo and MLW postdoctoral researcher Dr Charlotte Van Der Veer.
The course focused on participants’ proposed projects, with emphasis on study design, laboratory procedures, bioinformatics and statistical analysis. There was broad representation of attendees from across the African continent, including participants from Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Kenya and the Gambia. The instructors are international experts in gut, respiratory and vaginal microbiomes. Although fully virtual, the workshop was a great success. Attendees gained not only skills but also confidence in carrying out their own microbiome studies. Additionally, the networks formed between participants and instructors, facilitated by the creation and maintenance of a Slack channel, will lead to future learning and collaborative opportunities.