PCR Workshop at KNUST, Ghana

Photos by Dr. Max Efui Annani-Akollor

Three day PCR Workshop at the Virology Lab of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST from the 13TH – 15TH NOVEMBER 2019

A 3-day hands-on training workshop on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique was organized at the Virus Research and Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Department of Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, From the 13th to the 25th of November 2019

Photo by Dr. Max Efui Annani-Akollor

The workshop drew participants from the Colleges of Health Sciences, Science and School of Pharmacy at the KNUST. There were also participants from the University of Cape Coast, Center for Plant Medicine Research, Akwapim Mampong. The workshop was organized following feedback obtained from participants of a previous training workshop on PCR and the recently held College of Health sciences – Convention of Biomedical Research Joint conference in July 2019.

Acquiring practical skills in molecular techniques

Prof Patrick Feglo, the Head of Department of Clinical Microbiology in his welcome address said that PCR is a molecular technique developed to manipulate DNA for various purposes; and currently has its advanced versions such as Real-Time PCR, Multiplex PCR, Multilocus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA), Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and others. These tools he said, are used in disease diagnosis, fingerprinting of pathogens and epidemiological studies, forensic investigations amongst others. He expressed his appreciation participants for taking part in the workshop to acquire practical skills in molecular techniques such as PCR that are needed for cutting edge research work to enable them to publish their research findings in high impact journals.

In another development, the coordinator and lead facilitator of the workshop, Dr. Max E, Annani-Akollor in a short address said he was impressed by the interest shown by participants in acquiring skills at the workshop. He added that such training workshops aside skills development, also give participants the opportunity to network and to be mentored by facilitators who have advanced knowledge in the application and practice in some of these molecular techniques. According to Dr. Annani-Akollor, 30 individuals comprising faculty, staff, and students registered for the hands-on training workshop; however, only 20 participants could be accommodated by the facility due to the cost in organizing such a workshop which he estimated to be about GH₵8000.00

During the 3-day workshop, participants learned liquid handling techniques, the principles underlying processes such as DNA extraction and quantification; primer design, preparation of master mix, and PCR protocols. Others included principles and practice of agarose gel electrophoresis and gel imaging. All participants did hands-on practice on the automated method of DNA extraction using an extraction kit supplied Inqaba Biotec West Africa Ltd, and a manual method using locally prepared reagents. They went through the various steps in performing PCR from DNA extraction and quantification, master mix preparation, thermocycling and agarose gel electrophoresis of the PCR products. Additionally, participants were given the opportunity to enhance their micro pipetting skills.

In attendance was the Dean of SMD, Prof Daniel Ansong. The facilitators were Dr. Christian Obirikorang, and Dr. Max Annani-Akollor of Department of Molecular Medicine; Dr. Patrick Narkwa, and Dr Mohamed Mutocheluh of the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Mrs. Lorraine Sallah, Department of Physiology. In attendance were postgraduate facilitators: Miss Oluwatomisin Afolayan of Dept of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Mr Evans Adu Asamoah and Mr. Freeman of the Dept of Molecular Medicine, SMD

The workshop was an initiative of COBREG and sponsored by the School of Medicine and Dentistry KNUST; and Inqaba Biotec West Africa Ltd.

Workshop Sponsors