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University of Embu Receives Shipment of Scientific Equipment from Seeding Labs

The University of Embu is one of 16 universities selected to receive research and teaching equipment through Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program

Embu, Kenya – December 9, 2016 – University of Embu is pleased to announce the arrival of a shipment of lab equipment from Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program. As one of 16 universities chosen for Instrumental Access, University of Embu has received a container with nearly 6 tons of lab equipment and supplies that will support teaching and research in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Seeding Labs, a US-based NGO supported by USAID’s Global Development Lab, chose 16 outstanding university departments in 11 countries for the 2016 Instrumental Access program after a rigorous application process. Universities then select items from Seeding Labs’ inventory to meet their individual teaching and research needs. Instrumental Access equipment advances cutting-edge research, expands training opportunities for students, and enhances the infrastructure that is critical to a thriving scientific community.

Instrumental Access makes high-quality laboratory equipment and supplies available to university departments in developing countries. Each shipment contains equipment donated to Seeding Labs from US-based research institutes and corporations in the life sciences, biotechnology, higher education, and manufacturing sectors; 24 donors contributed equipment to University of Embu’s shipment.  
University of Embu is one of the youngest universities in Kenya having been founded in 2011 as part of the Kenyan government’s initiative to expand access to higher education. Within a short time, the University has challenged all the odds to register remarkable progress and student enrolment now stands at about 4,197 students. The Department of Biological Sciences, based in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences, offers a number of degree programs in addition to training undergraduates from other schools across the university. The Department of Biological Sciences will use the donated equipment to establish on-site teaching labs for both undergraduate and graduate students.
The consignment comprises of an assortment of laboratory equipment that complements what the University already has and thereby providing a seamless platform for teaching, research and development in microbiology, molecular biology and Biochemistry. This will eventually benefit more than 700 undergraduate and postgraduate students per year. The University also plans to use the enhanced research capacity to build new collaborations in the region and eventually establish a Center of Excellence in natural product discovery from microorganisms.

“The Equipment donation enormously enhances our capability to offer practical hands-on training in the life sciences, a capacity that lacks in most of the Kenyan Universities,” says Prof. Kiplagat Kotut, the acting Vice Chancellor in charge of Academics, Research Extension at the University of Embu.

“Being a young institution, we have a golden chance to break new ground and introduce modernized courses that are responsive to the market needs,” says Dr. Romano Mwirichia, the acting Director of Research and Extension at the University of Embu. “Access to adequate equipment will greatly help us in delivering quality education to our students as we prepare them for the job market or careers in academia." He says.
“Despite the abundance of scientific talent around the world, lack of equipment is a simple but widespread barrier that can prevent talent from being expressed at its fullest,” said Nina Dudnik, PhD, Seeding Labs’ founder and CEO. “We are excited that our partnership with the University of Embu will allow students to receive hands-on scientific education and will give researchers additional capacity to pursue scientific solutions to issues facing Kenya and beyond.”