Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN)
The Goal: CAfGEN aims to use novel genomics technologies to better understand HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in African children, and also to provide a robust foundation for expanding the use and knowledge of genomics on the African continent.
Dr. Mogomotsi Matshaba
Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence
Dr. Sununguko Mpoloka
University of Botswana
Dr. Adeodata Kekitiinwa
Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda
Dr. Moses Joloba
Dr. Graeme Mardon
Baylor College of Medicine
While HIV and TB are devasting on a global scale, the African continent is disproportionally affected by these diseases. Additionally, HIV infection progresses more rapidly in children than in adults, but little research has been undertaken to understand why. Similarly, TB is common in Africa and is particularly difficult to diagnose in children, as the underlying mechanisms are not well understood.
- Expand studies in Africa on the genomics of HIV and TB progression in children with HIV infection.
- Provide short and long-term support of genomics and bioinformatics training in Africa.
- Engage local communities in Botswana, Uganda, and Eswatini to discuss the ethical, legal, and social issues related to genomics research.
Outcomes to Date
CAfGEN has used modern genomic techniques to identify genes that may be influencing HIV and TB progression in children, paving the way for future studies. The group has also leveraged scientific studies to develop genomics capacity, technology, and expertise in Uganda and Botswana, where there was little existing infrastructure for such research.
They’ve also effectively engaged local communities in addressing ethical, legal and social issues related to genomics research while educating communities through a comic book series, making complex scientific concepts accessible to the public in a highly effective manner.
Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence and University of Botswana
B. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Swaziland
Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda and Makerere University College of Health Sciences
USA: Baylor College of Medicine