The Thrivus Institute for Biomedical Science and Technology has held its maiden matriculation ceremony with a call on students to conduct research to address the emerging health challenges on the continent.
The Dean of School of Medicine and Dentistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Daniel Ansong, who made the call said there was a need for postgraduate research to lay emphasis on prevalent medical conditions for improved health outcomes on the continent.
“As postgraduate students, you will be required not only to fill the gap in scientific knowledge, but new knowledge should be translated into improving health, as well as generate opportunities for medical technological development in the country.
“Your research work should lay emphasis on medical conditions that are prevalent in our society and in addition, your study should address the emerging health challenges in our society,” he said.
A total of 15 postgraduate pioneering students of the institute have enrolled to undertake Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) programmes and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Human Embryology and Gene Therapy for two years and three years respectively.
The institute, which is the first of its kind in the country, has been established to lead the way in biomedical research with a focus on embryology at the molecular level and on gene therapy with genome editing as a target.
At the ceremony, the Founder and Executive Director of the institute, Dr Kenneth Frimpong, explained that the school’s aim was to produce world-class dynamic biomedical scientists and practitioners, adding that, “We will transform our students into leaders who will spearhead scientific discoveries in Gene Therapy and Human Embryology.”
The students, he said, would be trained to create opportunities through research and to be able to establish seminal, research-oriented, invention-based biotechnology companies that could be found outside the country.
“Thrivus will serve as a fulcrum and an incubator for the transition and the student scientists will lead the transformation,” Dr Frimpong said.
He added that other specialties would be added to the school’s curriculum beyond Gene Therapy and Embryology.
On student funding, Dr Frimpong said every student in the institute’s pioneering class had been granted a scholarship through various scholarship foundations of the institute to help defray part or all of their tuition.
He further called on students in the country and West Africa to apply to the institute for their postgraduate studies.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, said as a monitoring institution, the university expected the students to exhibit good academic standards.
He assured the students that UCC would continue to provide quality mentorship to the institute to offer quality services to them.
“We will work with lecturers to provide the best services to students to excel both in their academic lives and careers,” Prof. Boampong said.