Gene drive is a natural phenomenon of preferential inheritance of some genes that can increase their frequency in a population beyond the normal rates of Mendelian inheritance. There are various examples of gene drive in nature including transposable elements (TE), driving sex chromosomes and homing endonucleases genes (HEGs). These classes of gene drives present in nature use different molecular mechanisms to drive themselves. Scientists are trying to harness these natural drive mechanisms in different organisms for different purposes. The development of new gene editing tools based on site-specific DNA nucleases such as CRISPR-Cas9 has spurred biologists to build synthetic gene drives through mimicking natural mechanisms of drive to solve various public health, agricultural, conservation, and other challenges where solutions are limited or entirely lacking. Most of the research to date is focused on controlling or altering organisms that transmit infectious diseases to humans, such as the mosquito vectors of dengue, malaria, zika, and chikungunya. Sub-Saharan Africa could greatly benefit from this technology as it is home to most of the above vector-borne diseases. Scientists and public health decision makers in the continent need to be equipped with the broad theoretical and practical skills to raise awareness and advance discussion on the topic. This short training course is designed to provide the basic technical understanding of gene drive and will also cover public acceptance, regulatory issues and ecological concerns. PAMCA is proud to announce a 3-day short training course on gene drive ahead of the PAMCA annual conference.
Funds are available to support the costs of flights, accommodation, and subsistence.
Candidates who are able to cover some of their own costs for their attendance will be prioritized.
Up to 05 self-funded candidates will be allowed to attend the course.
There will be a maximum of 20-25 attendees in total.