What a monumental moment! This is the first time SARS CoV-2 is being sequenced in NRICh lab of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Department, University of Chittagong!
As made evident by the COVID19 pandemic, genomics for infectious disease research is increasingly important in developing diagnostics, designing vaccines and therapeutics. At CHRF, we are constantly working towards decentralizing genomics by developing skills and providing infrastructure. We are passionate about, 'Building Scientists for Bangladesh'.
To ensure that infrastructure is not centralized in Dhaka alone, CHRF has initiated collaborations with different universities of Bangladesh, starting with University of Chittagong (CU). To help establish a sequencing lab, CHRF provided a next-generation sequencing machine (iSeq100), and other equipment required for sequencing. This included PCR cabinets to safely carry out experiments, and other devices to quantify genetic material. CHRF is very grateful to FIND, The Global Alliance for Diagnostics, who supported this pilot and made this collaboration possible.
Lab members of the ‘’Next-Generation sequencing, Research and Innovation lab, CU (NRICh)” in the university’s Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Department also received hands-on training for 2 weeks at CHRF Headquarters in Dhaka. After months of planning, overcoming obstacles related to electricity and laboratory reagent supply, the first 10 samples of SARS-CoV-2 were loaded into the iSeq100 for sequencing in Chittagong.