September 25, 2012
Zimbabwe has a high rate (14 percent) of its population co-infected with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), thus there is a great need for new drugs and treatments. With a view to developing new drugs to treat these diseases, the University at Buffalo's Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB), and the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences have come together to launch the Zimbabwe International Nanotechnology Center (ZINC) a national nanotechnology research program with the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), and the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).
The collaborative program will focus initially on research in nanomedicine and biosensors at UZ and energy at CUT. ZINC will establish a long-term international research and training platform in the field of nanotechnology, focused in areas that promote Zimbabwe's strength and advance the development of nanotechnology as an avenue for Zimbabwe's commercial growth. Research teams will concentrate on emerging technologies, initially focused in nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine for health care.
Gene D. Morse, Pharm.D., Professor of Pharmacy Practice, associate director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and director of the Translational Pharmacy Research Core, stated that developing nanoformulations for HIV and TB diagnostics and therapeutics and new TB drug development are among the innovative strategies to address these co-infections that the research collaboration can provide. Morse continued that he hoped that an international program such as ZINC will attract pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms with similar interests to join the partnership and enhance the likelihood of economic success through research.