Call for applications: Plant Metabolism for Improved Nutrition and Health Course

Introducing a short course from 20th February - 4th March 2017 hosted by

  • John Innes Centre (JIC) a world leading Plant and Microbial Science Research institute; 
  • Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST): Eastern and Southern Africa Centre for Research Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition Security (CREATES-FNS); and
  • Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub

The Plant Metabolism for Improved Nutrition and Health Course will cover the breadth and depth of plant metabolism and how it can be exploited for the improvement of plant and human nutrition and health. With emphasis on recent results, from starch metabolism to engineering natural products, from nanoscience to medicinal plant ecology, this course will provide an introduction to current methods used in plant metabolomics. The course is designed for Post Graduate scientists with some experience in plant nutrition who wish to work with plant metabolism, in any plant species, for improving nutrition and health. Training consists of a vigorous lecture series, hands-on practical sessions, informal discussions and social activities.

The stellar group of JIC speakers are recognised leaders in their field and will be presenting their most current research on a wide range of topics in plant metabolism. NM-AIST, in collaboration with their leading experts in Nanoscience and the ecological aspects of medicinal plants will contribute as faculty in this course.The speakers will provide expert overviews of their fields, followed by journal clubs and in-depth discussions on their own work. The hands-on practical sessions will run with a common theme through the duration of the course, demonstrating how to best utilise the current technologies to advance your research. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to interact individually and informally with the speakers to further enrich the learning experience.

We are looking for the top Masters/PhD students from across Sub-Saharan Africa whose research falls within this broad topic. In addition, there are a maximum of three places for JIC PhD students who can apply through the same process. Students should be eager to build networks with peers and trainers to address challenges faced in plant nutrition and health in Africa. The course will be hosted by CREATES at NM-AIST in Arusha, Tanzania. NM-AIST will provide a buzzing atmosphere of international and interdisciplinary scientific activities and has a great experience in hosting international trainings. The NM-AIST campus is conveniently located within the East African biodiversity hotspot and provides various possibilities for excursions in the surroundings. Registration, Travel and Accommodation costs for the training will be covered for successful applicants. 

 To apply fill in this online form by 23rd October 2016.


2017 Lecturers:

  • Alison Smith, John Innes Centre, UK: Understanding and measuring sugar and starch metabolism
  • Janneke Balk, John Innes Centre, UK: Uptake and delivery of iron for improved nutrition
  • Dale Sanders, John Innes Centre, UK: Metal accumulation in seed for improved nutrition 
  • Sarah O’Conner, John Innes Centre, UK: small molecule production in plants for health
  • Cathie Martin, John Innes Centre, UK: small molecule production in crops for nutrition
  • Omowunmi “Wunmi” Sadik, SUNY, Binghamton, USA:  Nanostructured biosensors for detection and remediation of anthracnose diseases in plants
  • Admire Dube, UWC, South Africa: Nanomedicines for treatment of infectious diseases
  • Theres M Allen, University of Alberta, USA: TBC
  • James Kuharananga: TBC
  • Musa Chacha, NM-AIST, Tanzania: TBC


Thank you to our funders for making this course possible


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