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Biotechnology Engineering and Research Center to start operations in Kenya

Egerton University Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage (Left) hands a gift pack to Director -International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) Professor Ramesh Venkata Sonti at the former’s office at the Njoro main campus in Nakuru. The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) gears to operationalize its first Regional Research Centre (RRC) in Africa. Photo by Dennis Rasto. 
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The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) is set to operationalize its first Regional Research Centre in Kenya to boost its research and technology hub.

The Research center, which will be based at the Egerton University –main campus, will specialize in food safety, molecular plant breeding, molecular plant pathology and entomology.

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Egerton University Chancellor, Isaac Kibwege said biotechnology development remains a top priority in enhancing food security, evolving more efficient and cleaner industrial manufacturing processes and reducing negative effects on the environment.

“Evidence shows biotechnology has so far aided in increasing food production as scientists aim at making it beneficial to the environment too. Biotechnology might simply be the solution to Kenya’s future and current agricultural problems like adverse climate and weather changes, feeding an ever-growing population and converting the huge bare chunks of land into arable land,’’ said Kibwege.

ICGEB Egerton University Principal Investigator, Josiah Omolo said the center will dedicate its resources to advanced research and training in vaccine development, molecular biology and biotechnology and advancing knowledge by applying the latest techniques in the fields of biomedicine, crop improvement, environmental protection/remediation, biopharmaceuticals, biopesticides and biofuel production.

“ICGEB will strengthen the research capability of its members through training and funding programmes and advisory services .It will also promote research themes associated with infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and industrial biotechnology,” he said.

The ICGEB board runs 46 state-of-the-art laboratories, in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa

Sally Namuye and KNA
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