Reconnecting global research communities through face-to-face learning and networking

Wellcome Connecting Science resumes in-person training outside the UK

In-person teaching has been a staple in the world of education for centuries, and despite the rise of online and virtual learning, its value remains unrivalled. Our global training programme, which aims to build capacity in genomics and biomedicine for research and healthcare communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, recently resumed in-person training after a three-year hiatus. This return has highlighted the unique advantages that can only be realised in a physical classroom setting.

The Practical Aspects of Drug Discovery course, delivered in partnership with the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infective Research and the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo in Uruguay, was the first Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) in-person training event held outside of the UK in three years.  Held in November 2022, the course involved 24 researchers from 10 different countries, who benefited from access to face-to-face interactions and discussions, essential for developing regional collaborations.

Practical Aspects of Drug Discovery course participants sharing a meal together

Image shows a group of course participants posing for a photograph during a social dinner

Having the course in-person allowed for the much-needed face-to-face interactions of the Latin American drug discovery community… Being able to meet other Latin American scientists and interact with local peers was essential in showcasing the scientific capacities of the region and bringing potential collaborators into the same room.

Dr. Luíza Cruz, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Brazil

In December 2022, we delivered a two-day workshop in partnership with the Moroccan Society of Human Genetics and the African Society of Human Genetics. Over 45 participants attended the workshop, which covered the analysis of genome sequence data to understand the monogenic inheritance of disease. Despite the challenges involved for participants in accessing this in-person training opportunity, such as funding constraints and complex travel and visa processes, we enabled their attendance through both bursary and administrative support. This emphasises the importance of strong partnerships between local, regional and global organisations to deliver genomics skills training across Africa.

At the beginning, I didn’t think a two day workshop would not be enough to understand next generation sequencing analysis, and how we apply it in the context of monogenic diseases. But I was very satisfied with the clear information and knowledge provided by the instructors during each session. And also, the effort from the Wellcome Connecting Science team to organise everything from the hotel booking to the conference room, was clearly a result of a huge planning and generous intentions to make the workshop successful for all the participants. It was indeed a surprise for me, and this event exceeded all my expectations. A big BRAVO to the team and I wish for them a good luck for their future events! 

Participant, Next Generation Sequencing Bioinformatics course, Africa 

The benefits of a wider range of perspectives and approaches to solving complex biological problems are immeasurable. By investing in the development of global bioinformatics and genomics expertise, WCS contributes to a more diverse and inclusive future for genomics research and medicine.

In the next six months, the WCS global training programme will collaborate with scientists from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to deliver courses in Thailand, Uganda, Kenya, Paraguay, and Brazil, delivering benefits which cannot be replicated through online or virtual learning.

To learn more about the global training programme and other courses, please explore our learning and training website.



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