Partner Profile: BecA-ILRI Hub

Wellington Ekaya of BecA-ILRI Hub; Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and George Kennedy of NC State at NSF-PIRES project launch

NC State’s in-depth partnerships with leading international institutions, consortia, and research hubs around the world create globally-engaged and experienced scientists.

The university signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub in 2016 to increase international collaboration of research on African agricultural challenges.

BecA-ILRI is a shared agricultural research and biosciences platform located in Nairobi, Kenya. It was established as part of the African Union/New Partnership for Africa’s Development African Biosciences Initiative. The research projects implemented at the hub are directed towards delivering products to solve problems surrounding food security in Africa.

The hub consists of five laboratories that house state-of-the-art technologies. A wide range of technologies support various laboratories such as molecular biology, diagnostics, immunology, virology, plant transformation, as well as cell imaging and plant growth facilities.

NC State researchers Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and Trino Ascencio-Ibanez launched an international partnership through the hub in 2016 focused on studying the evolution of Cassava mosaic disease, a devastating plant virus that affects a staple crop in Africa.

With the support from a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education grant, the partnership brings together American and African researchers to study the plant virus in the laboratory and the field as well as providing training and capacity building for early career scientists.

Since the launch of the partnership and the Cassava mosaic disease project, NC State researchers have collaborated with researchers from other institutions at BecA-ILRI. To learn more about NC State’s experience at the hub, check out the updates below:

The Global Engagement Institute will focus on building active collaborations with our partners in East Africa for the 2018-2019 year. Learn more about the Global Engagement Institute.