Godfrey Okoye University Partners with US Counterparts to establish Ultra- Modern DNA Learning Centre in Nigeria
By Bethel Okoye
The President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Dr. Bruce Stillman and the Executive Director of the DNA Learning Center New York (the educational arm of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), Dr. Dave Micklos, have approved a $300,000 USD waiver and issued a licence to Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, to have the first DNA Learning Centre in Africa known as the DNA Learning Centre Nigeria.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is unarguably one of the most influential research centres in the world, and an important International Centre for Molecular Genetics, where over 600 scientists conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics.
Established in 1890, CSHL is recognized internationally for its educational activities, including an extensive programme of scientific meetings and courses that attracts more than 9,000 scientists to the campus each year.
The establishment of DNA Learning Centre DNALC in Nigeria at Godfrey Okoye University is a confirmation of the resolve of the Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke, to redefine the essence of quality education especially in the areas of Biotechnology and Agricultural Science. It is also another step in the fruitful collaboration that has been cultivated between the DNALC at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Godfrey Okoye University to pioneer a shift from usual theoretical teaching of modern biology to hands-on and enquiry-based learning.
The Centre was conceived through a collaboration led by an erudite US-based Professor George Ude (a visiting professor of Godfrey Okoye University) as well as Professor of Bowie State University, Dr. Dave Micklos of the DNALC New York, CSHL and Rev. Fr. Professor Christian Anieke, the Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. It is the first hands-on teaching centre of its kind in Africa. (www.dnalcnigeria.org).
The DNA Learning Centre Nigeria is not just the first in Nigeria but also the first of its kind in Africa and will host laboratory field trips for students, agency staff and researchers from different states in the country and within continent. The experience in the Centre will improve their confidence and encourage them to take more science classes and join the STEM workforce. The classes will in turn help them to acquire basic research skills needed to excel in undergraduate and graduate levels.