FlyLab in UNIOSUN, Led by Dr. Ebenezer Ajayi

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The Biochemistry Department of Osun State University was represented by Dr. Ebenezer Idowu O. Ajayi at the DrosAfrica-ICGEB Workshop that was held from 17th to 28th July, 2017 on the use of Drosophila melanogaster in biomedical research for low-cost and profitable research at the Departments of Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, Nigeria.
Most of the biomedical research done in African laboratories are performed using rodents. Through the efforts of DrosAfrica, the use of the fruit fly as a model organism for research into human diseases is being promoted across HEIs in Africa.
The workshop witnessed the birth of the African Society of Drosophilists (ASD) and Dr. Ajayi was given two glass jars carrying all the life cycle stages of the wild type, Oregon C w118 fruit fly to facilitate the kicking off of the FlyLab in UNIOSUN. The FlyLab will be an avenue to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students fruit fly genetics and its usefulness in basic medical research.
The laboratory “FlyLab” was established in the Biochemistry Department of Osun State University where 5 young lecturers and 3 MSc students in the Department have begun studies with the flies. Over the space of 3 months, he has maintained the fly stock through 5 generations, maintained on high energy diet that has resulted in the creation of obese and diabetic (ob/db) flies.
Also, following his IFCC Travel Scholarship Award to attend the 23rd International Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 57th Meeting of the South African Association for Clinical Biochemistry and the 5th Congress of the African Federation of Clinical Chemistry that was held in Durban, South Africa (October 22nd -25th , 2017), he was able to share the “ob/db” stock with an associate at the University of Gitwe, Rwanda and a colleague at the University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa. There are hopes that UNIOSUN FlyLab will be of immense benefit to life scientists around Osun State according to the mandate of the African Society of Drosophilists.
Dr Ajayi is grateful to Prof. E. O. Farombi, Prof. A. Adedeji, Prof. S. B. Olaleye, Dr A. Abolaji, and facilitators from ICGEB, DrosAfrica and Company of Biologists for the skill transfer and empowerment.