Stellenbosch University launches new Biomedical Research Institute

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Stellenbosch University says its newly opened Biomedical Research Institute at the Tygerberg Campus in Bellville will be used to study infectious agents or toxins that may be transmitted through the air and cause potentially lethal infections.

Construction of the R1.2 billion facility commenced in 2018 and was completed this year despite major challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complex is a high-performance research hub, where experts from various medical fields come together and share knowledge in order to treat many illnesses in Africa.

Stellenbosch University’s Director for the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, Professor Tulio de Oliveira says, “In our lab, we have people that came from 25 African countries, close to 50 fellows that are here for a few weeks to learn how to use genomics to detect and characterize new pathogens..”

He adds: “So a facility like this doesn’t only have an effect on South Africa, but also for Africa and the world, because one thing that we learned from the previous pandemic, the COVID pandemic, is that diseases do not respect borders.”