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MMUST HOSTS THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL BIOPHYSICAL VIRTUAL CONFERENCE AND NETWORKING EVENT

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology recently had the privilege to host the fourth International Biophysical Conference and Networking Event which was held virtually on 6th August, 2021. The conference on the International Trends of Biophysical Education, Research and Innovation aims at bringing together scholars, policy makers and students with a view of critiquing the trends in Africa to spur interest in potential and young scholars of Biophysics. It is in this forum, that the existing gaps and their remedies were identified for the advancement of Biophysics in Africa.

The Biophysical Society Kenyan Chapter is housed at MMUST and is led by Mr. Philip Amuyunzu, a lecturer in the School Natural Sciences (SONAS). The conference dubbed 'Biophysical Society' brought together participants from various countries including South Africa, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt and Switzerland.

The conference was officially opened by the Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics and Students Affairs, Prof. Peter Odera who expressed his gratitude to the Biophysical Society representatives from America for choosing MMUST amongst the various institutions to host the conference. He further alluded to the importance of belonging to societies, urging that many researchers belonging to other fields apart from Biology, Physics and Mathematics should also be incorporated. Members of Biophysical Society get benefits such as networking opportunities, travel and research grants.

"Biophysics is a field that applies theories and methods of Physics to understand how biological systems works, thus being on the forefront of solving old age human problems and arising pandemics such as the COVID 19," stated MMUST's Professor of Aquatic Ecology, Prof. William Shivoga. The other presentations were drawn from various experts including Prof. Mugatsia Tsingalia from JOOUST, Ms. Loyce Namanya and Mr. Festo Kiragga from Kyambogo and Gulu Universities in Uganda respectively.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Amuyunzu noted a few challenges that African countries are facing such as lack of mentors, structures and resources. He urged the BPS American Chapter to offer support to African countries in order to increase the Biophysical trends in Africa.

Notably, the conference highlighted the need of Universities to integrate the teaching of Biophysics in their curricula. Biophysics is much more than Biology, it is a rapidly growing sub-discipline that holds a lot of promise for the advancement of Science and Innovation in the 21st century.

Other Universities represented were Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Maseno, Maasai Mara, South Eastern University, Egerton and Moi University.


by Linet Owuor