The African Centre for Research, Agricultural advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability (CREATES-FNS) has been sponsoring the Biophysics summer schools since 2018. This year the fifth (5th) summer school on integrated machine learning and molecular dynamics simulation is taking place in Dodoma at The University of Dodoma (UDOM) from 20th September to 1st October 2021, after the first four schools held at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). This year’s summer school has been organized by NM-AIST through CREATES-FNS, UDOM, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy, the University of Dar es Salaam and St. John’s University of Tanzania.
The summer school was opened by Prof. Casmir Rubagumya on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of The St John’s University of Tanzania, Prof. Yohana Msanjila, on 20th September. In his opening speech, he thanked the organizers for considering to conduct the school in Dodoma and specifically in UDOM. The guest of honor highlighted the previous success stories of the summer school as securing co-supervisors, collaborative projects between participants from different institutions, several co-author papers and knowledge. He called upon the participants to exploit the available potentials in the coming two weeks. He further added that implementation of this summer school is in line with Tanzania’s five-year development plan, among which strive to develop and improve the health, education, science and technology and a full support from all the four collaborating universities.
Participants of the 5th summer school comes from different regions of the continent including, Ghana (Kwame Nkuruma University of Science and Technology), Cameroon (University of Buea) and Tanzania (NM-AIST, University of Dar es Salaam, Muslim University of Morogoro, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Dodoma, St John’s University, Marian University College and Dar es Salaam University College of Education, (DUCE) to mention a few.
The participants will be introduced to different topics on atomist simulation and their application ranging from machine learning to quantum mechanics molecular dynamics simulation to nanoscience and their application in drug design by facilitators from Tanzania and even outside the country, the lectures are delivered in a hybrid mode (both physical and virtual lectures). Implementation of this workshop is timely, considering the existing COVID-19 pandemic and the need for rapid discovery and development of drugs and vaccine.
The founder and co-director of the biophysics summer schools, Dr. Daniel M Shadrack, is among the former CREATES-FNS beneficiaries and ICTP STEP program, Trieste, Italy who received a prestigious sponsorship for his PhD studies at NM-AIST and ICTP under the supervision of Profs. Hulda Shaidi Swai (NM-AIST) and Ali Hassanali (ICTP). The CREATES-FNS Centre Leader Prof. Hulda Swai, is a professor of nanoscience, and she has been among the lecturers in biophysics delivering lectures on nanomedicine. For the past four years, CREATES-FNS has been funding the biophysics schools in collaboration with ICTP.