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Visiting African scientists collaborate with MBL scientists on infectious diseases

August 24, 2004

Over the next few months, two African scientists will be collaborating with researchers in the MBL's Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution to help further the world's understanding of infectious diseases, which are responsible for one third of all human deaths each year.

The visiting scientists, called the Ellison Visiting Scholars, are here to take advantage of the Bay Paul Center's Global Infectious Diseases Program (GID). The Ellison program provides scientists studying infectious diseases, from both developed and under-developed countries, access to the Bay Paul Center's cutting-edge facilities and expertise in using molecular biology, molecular evolution, biochemistry, genetics, and bioinformatics--all of which are helping scientists better understand infectious diseases.

The African scholars will also share their first-hand knowledge of the impact infectious diseases have in their home countries, and will develop strategies with MBL scientists to combat these diseases. One important pathogen studied by the visiting scholars in the GID program is the African trypanosome. This vicious parasite causes human sleeping sickness, a fatal disease that has reemerged as a major health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Gustave Simo, from Cameroon, will be at the MBL from now through mid-September. Henrietta Awobobe, from Nigeria, will arrive mid-September to spend three months in the GID laboratory. The Ellison Visiting Scholars Program brings 10 scientists, from around the world, to the Bay Paul Center annually. This program is funded by The Ellison Medical Foundation of Bethesda, Maryland.
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The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, dedicated to improving the human condition through basic research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. MBL hosts research programs in cell and developmental biology, ecosystems studies, molecular biology and evolution, neurobiology, behavior, global infectious diseases and sensory physiology. Its intensive graduate-level educational program is renowned throughout the life sciences. The MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the western hemisphere.

Marine Biological Laboratory

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