Research Initiatives and Projects
The Division of Haematopathology Research Committee has expanded initiatives over the last year. Five active research groups currently exist and include those focusing on HIV activation and Inflammation (HAIG), HIV related lymphomas, namely the Tygerberg Lymphoma Study Group (TLSG), the TB cytokine group, the FISHflow research group as well as the Biobanking Research Group (NSB). A number of projects for Honours students, Masters Student, PhD students as well as MMED students have been created, which are on-going or have been completed during this time frame.
The Tygerberg NHLS/Stellenbosch University biorepository (NSB), initially funded by the NIH as part of the H3Africa initiative under the direction of Prof Abayomi and Dr. Carmen Swanepoel (Operational Manager) are registered at the Stellenbosch University as a fully operational biobank. This initiative is in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University, NHLS, South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI – University of Western Cape), RUCDR (Rutgers University), and the Scripps Research Institute for Regenerative Medicine as well as part of a collaborative effort between other Divisions within the Pathology Department. Anatomical Pathology under the direction of Prof. Schneider as PI and Co-PIs: Prof A Abayomi (HOD Haematopathology), Prof R Erasmus (HOD Clinical Pathology), Prof W Preiser (HOD Virology) have been awarded an Aids Malignancy Consortium/AIDS Cancer Specimen Resource Biorepository grant.
In February 2015 a new collaboration between the European Union and African institutions, our Division of Haematology and the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) located in the University of the Western Cape (UWC) are collaborators in multi-million rand grant to fund global research infrastructure for biobanking and bioinformatics. In association with the Horizon 2020 work programme, the European Commission has provisioned a budget of approximately 30 Million Rand over the period of 3 years for the B3Africa initiative.
The B3 Africa project (Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa) has two strategic aims:
- Create a harmonised ethical and legal framework between European and African partner institutions: Such a framework is essential for an acceptable informatics platform that will allow sharing bio-resources and data and also consolidate the Africa-EU biobank cooperation.
- Provide an "out-of-the-box" informatics solution that facilitates data management, processing and sharing that can be used under challenging networking conditions in Africa and Europe
Because of all these initiatives the aim is to make FMHS a centre of excellence for biobanking related research in order to promote a greater understanding of biobanking technology and the ethical, legal, and social issues associated with it.