Research Programme

ACEGID has a mandate to study and understand pathogens that cause febrile illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa through microbial metagenomics - the unbiased characterization of microbial nucleic acids. Clinical diagnostics are currently unavailable for many of the pathogens that causefebrile illness, termed fevers of unknown origin (FUO), but genomic tools can enable researchers to test on-site for a wide array of known and uncharacterized microbes. The project seeks to employ new sequencing technologies and bioinformatics to discover novel pathogens, as well as develop and deploy new tools for field diagnosis of new and known microorganisms.

ACEGID will establish lasting scientific capacity in genomics through complementary research and education-based goals related to the detection and control of infectious diseases. The educational goals of ACEGID are to:

(1) Develop a critical mass of well-trained African genomics scientists;

(2) Empower African researchers to utilize genomics-based tools towards the control and elimination of infectious diseases;

(3) Create genomics curricula to support and promote cutting-edge genomics-based research; and

(4) Engage communities in prevention efforts and public health education.

ACEGID’s research-related goals are focused on characterizing FUOs through microbial metagenomics by:

(1) Using field-deployed and state-of-the-art genomic technology to identify pathogens driving febrile illness; and

(2) Creating a foundation for African scientists to carry out tractable and important genetic research projects entirely in country.

By building capacity for state-of-the-art genome sequencing and field-deployable genetic tools for microbial infection in Africa, we can support clinical care of the most devastating diseases and enable a surveillance network for some of the world’s greatest health threats. ACEGID will establish research programs for African scientists to pursue high-impact projects not only to bring regional academic and research success for African science, but also to contribute to the improvement of global public health and economic development.