Former collaboration in chemistry (IPICS)
Previously supported research groups
- BAN 01: Natural products for drug research, University of Dhaka (supported 1977-2004)
- BAN 03: Diabetes research, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorder (supported 1995-2008)
- CAM 01: Applications of molecular biological techniques for tropical diseases, University of Yaoundé I and University of Buea (supported 1998-2008)
- CAM 02: Natural and synthetic bioactive substances with potential application in medicine and agriculture, University of Dschang (supported 1991-2008)
CHI 01: Chemical ecology, Universidad de Chile (supported 1984-2002)
- COL 01: Interaction between malnutrition and growth hormone action, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (supported 1987-2004)
- COL 03: Flavours studies of Colombian fruits, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (supported 1992-2004)
- ECU 01: Nutritional biochemistry and biotechnology, Escuela Politecnica Nacional (supported 1984-2007)
- ETH 03: Bioorganic chemistry (supported 2002-2008) - more info to come
- ETH 04: Methods for Selective Extraction and Quantitative Determination of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants, Addis Ababa University (supported 2013-2018)
- LAO 02: XX (supported 2005-2011) - more info to come
- LAO 03: XX (supported 2005-2011) - more info to come
- MAW 01: Studies in Genetics and Chemistry of tropical Root and TUBER Crops in Malawi, Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station (supported 2002-2010)
- MAW 02: Quality of drinking water, University of Malawi (supported 2002-2010)
- MAL 01: Physicochemical studies of clay raw material from Mali, University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (supported 2002-2018)
- NIG 01: XX (supported 1977-2004) - more info to come
- NIG 02: XX (supported 1993-2005) - more info to come
- PER 01: XX (supported 2002-2006) - more info to come
- PER 02: XX (supported 2002-2007) - more info to come
- SRI 02: XX (supported 1979-2002) - more info to come
- SRI 03: XX (supported 1981-2002-) - more info to come
- SRI 04: XX (supported 1985-2004) - more info to come
- SRI 07: Nutritional Biochemistry, University of Sri Jayewardenapura (supported 1995-2009)
- TAN 01: XX (supported 1981-2005) - more info to come
- TAN: Agrochemical pesticides in the environment, University of Dar es Salaam (supported 2004-2008)
- UGA 01: Characterization of pesticide residues in biota, water and sediments in Lake Victoria, Makerere University (supported 1999-2008)
- UGA 02: Fundamental studies on environmental NPS derivatives, Makerere University (supported 2003-2008)
- URU 01: Screening and characterization of neuroactive natural compounds, Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable (supported 1978-2005)
- URU 02: Solid phase protein biotechnology, Universidad de la Republica (supported 1974-2003)
- URU 03: Medicinal plants and glycoconjugate chemistry and biology, Universidad de la Republica (supported 1988-1994)
Previously supported networks
AFASSA - Africa-Asia-South America Coordinating Group in Natural Products Chemistry with scientists from Africa, South America, and Asia (supported 2002-2009)
ALNAP - African Laboratory for Natural Products (supported 1996-2015)
Cassava Safety Network - Africa (supported 1994-2001)
FOSNNA - Food Science and Nutrition Network for Africa with scientists Africa South of Sahara (supported 2002-2009)
LANBIO - Latin American Network for Research in Bioactive Natural Compounds (supported 1991-2018)
LANFOOD - Latin American Network for Food Research (supported 1994-2004)
LATSOBIO - Latin America (supported 2003-2007)
MOLCAS - The Cassava Molecular Diversity Network, with scientists from Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the USA (supported 1999-2008)
NABSA - Network of Analytical and Bioassay Services in Africa (supported 1992-2018)
REG/ASIA - Asia (supported 1981-2003) - More information will come
SEANAC - Southern and Eastern Africa Network for Analytical Chemists (supported 2005-2019)
SARBIO - Southern African Regional Network for Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology with scientist from Africa South of Sahara (supported 1995-2010)
- SSN - Latin America (supported 1994-2006) - More information will come
Natural products for drug research (IPICS BAN 01)
A large number of people in countries line Bangladesh, depend on traditional medicine for treatment of various diseases. Different preparations of herbal medicine are popular in rural as well as in urban areas. Even in high-income countries drug discovery program includes natural products, besides the use of herbal preparations, specially, for incurable disease like diabetes, cancer, AIDS, asthma etc.
The group started research on bioactive natural products and had its major emphasis on carbohydrate chemistry of plants, vegetables and bacterial which laid the foundation of work on medicinal plants. In the beginning the group had a special interest in diabetes, but later also in anticancer and anti‑HIV plant materials.
A collaboration was developed with Bangladesh Institute for Research and Rehabilitation on Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorder (BIRDEM). In 1995 a new ISP supported research group on Diabetes research (BAN 03) was created and it was supported 1995-2008.
The group also started to assess and monitor pesticide residues. This branch of work was from 2003 supported as a new ISP supported research group on Studies of organic pollutants in food, water and environment.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 11 PhD students and 33 MSc/MPhil/Licentiate students. In addition the group has published papers in 34 international journals, 47 papers in national journals and produced 144 conference reports.
The research group was led by Prof Nilufar Naher, University of Dhaka.
Diabetes research group (IPICS BAN 03)
ISP supported the research group at the Bangladesh Institute for Research and Rehabilitation on Diabetes (BIRDEM) between 1995 and 2008. The group has, however, been involved with ISP since 1989 as a collaborative institute under another supported group in Bangladesh.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the major chronic diseases affecting mankind all over the world. Since the disease is heterogeneous in character there is considerable variation in its etiology and pathogenesis among different races and environmental situations. As a result, both prevention and management policies for diabetes mellitus necessitates basic, clinical and epidemiological research keeping the local perspectives in mind. The areas of studies of the projects have been epidemiology, classification, etiopathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and its complications and the management of diabetes.
The research group has been able to establish active scientific collaborations both at home and abroad. Apart from the original collaborations with Dhaka and Uppsala University, links have been established with scientific departments and institutes in Bangkok, Calcutta, Karachi, London, Ulster, Basel, Copenhagen and Paris. The Group has played a crucial role in the creation of the ISP supported network ANRAP (Asian Network of Research on Antidiabetic Plants) which, in turn, has stimulated new regional collaborations through scientific meetings, fellowships and exchange visits.
Over the years of support the group has graduated 44 PhD students and 211 students on the MSc/MPhil/Licentiate level. In addition they have published 64 papers in international journals, 36 papers in national journals and produced 413 conference reports.
The research group was led by Dr Liaquat Ali at BIRDEM - Bangladesh Institute for Research and Rehabilitation on Diabetes.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group is available from the 2008 project catalogue
Applications of Molecular Biology Techniques to Tropical Diseases (IPICS CAM 01)
The main objective of the research group was to apply new molecular techniques to tropical diseases to be able to develop new diagnostic methods, news cures and medicines and also to contribute to vaccine development. The group started out with focus on river blindness and continued to work on malaria and tuberculosis as well as metabolic diseases.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 14 PhD students and 49 MSc/MPhil/Lic students. In addition the group has published 41 papers in international journals, 17 papers in national and regional journals and produced 58 conference reports.
The research group was led by Prof Vincent P K Titanji at University of Buea.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group is available from the 2008 project catalogue
Natural and synthetic bioactive substances with potential application in medicine and agriculture (IPICS CAM 02)
The research group at Department of Chemistry at University of Dschang, Cameroon, has received ISP support between 1991 and 2008.
Chemical diversity in natural products constitutes an immensely rich source of new pharmaceutical and agrochemical substances. Cameroon, with its culture of indigenous knowledge in plant use and an abundant renewable resource of plants, offers itself as a laboratory of choice for conducting a natural products research program for the discovery of new active compounds which can be developed as new agrochemicals or new drugs. The active principle could also be used as reference compounds in production of phytomedicine.
The overall objective of the project was to strengthen the research capacity of the University of Dschang through research cooperation and training young Cameroonian scientists in the fields of natural product chemistry, organic synthesis and pharmacology in collaboration with laboratories Sweden and other European countries. The long term aim was to valorizing indigenous knowledge and the abundant renewable plant resources of Cameroon.
Between 1991 and 2008 the group has graduated 20 PhD students and 46 MSc/MPhil/Licentiate students. In addition the group has published 86 articles in international journals, three in national and regional journals and produced 76 conference reports.
The research group was led by Dr Pierre Tane at University of Dschang.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group is available from the 2008 project catalogue
Chemical Ecology (IPICS CHI 01)
ISP supported the research group at Universidad de Chile, between 1984 and 2002.
The research group worked on problems emerging from to the use of industrial agrochemicals in crops, by studying the biochemicals involved in the interaction between aphids and plants, both in experimental system with wheat, a major crop in Chile and the world, and in the natural environment in which the hosts are native plant species.
The research group approached the problem of pest resistance in crops through the study of the chemicals involved in the interaction between aphids and plants, both in the artificial environment prevailing in wheat, a major crop in Chile and the world, and in the natural environment in which the hosts are native plant species.
The following are among the problems which have been addressed:
- Chemical mechanisms of defence of cereals against aphids and biotic and abiotic factors that modulate them,
- Gene flow in aphid populations associated with cereal crops,
- Chemical modification of plant and aphid chemicals in order to study their mode of action and to enhance their activity,
- Mechanisms of host-finding by aphids, semiochemicals in intraspecific and interspecific interactions involving aphids,
- Description of aphid-plant associations under native conditions, and insect-plant interactions in a biogeographical context.
- The group described the ecological role of hydroxamic acids (Hx), a family of secondary metabolites in cereals (which protect cereals against aphid attack through antibiosis and feeding deterrency), in the interaction of cereals with aphids along a gradient of biotic and abiotic environmental variables, and explored molecular interpretations of their mode of action.
- They used the cereal-Hx-aphid system to test ecological theories of optimal forraging and plant defence.
- They engaged in bioprospecting in order to find natural sources of chemicals with potential use as insecticides.
- The electrophysiologically-monitored feeding behavior of aphids in wheat seedlings and in artificial diets, and the localization of Hxs in both aphids and plants, led the group to design a model for the chemical interface between an aphid and a wheat plant. In this model, aphids detect the Hx aglucone while piercing mesophyll cells in search of the phloem and consequently experience its feeding deterrency, and ingest the Hx glucoside while feeding from the phloem and consequently suffer its toxicity.
- They have contributed to the field of intraspecific chemical communication in aphids by describing aggregation and spacing semiochemicals involved in the regulation of aphid populations on a cereal plant.
- On a more applied front, the group participated in the isolation and structure elucidation of numerous chemical constituents of native plants from Chile and in the testing of their insecticidal activity. Of particular interest have been naphthoquinones in Calceolaria spp. with activity against insects resistant to available insecticides, which are the subject of a patent.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 9 PhD students and 11 MSc/MPhil/Licentiate students. In addition the group has published papers in 130 international journals, 16 papers in national journals and produced 163 conference reports.
The research group was led by Prof Hermann M Niemeyer at University of Chile.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1984 to 2002 was SEK 4 051 000.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group is available from the 2008 project catalogue.
Interaction between malnutrition and growth hormone action (IPICS COL 01)
ISP supported the research group at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, between 1977 and 2004.
The research group was devoted to studies of interactions between malnutrition and growth hormone (GH) action.
GH is pivotal among the complex interactions of genetic, hormonal and nutritional factors that regulate growth. GH is believed to stimulate growth by promoting the synthesis of Insulin like growth factor I QGF I), which in turn, acts on many tissues to stimulate protein synthesis and cell proliferation.
Growth is markedly reduced in nutritional deficient animals. During periods of protein-calorie restriction in humans, plasma concentrations of GH are elevated whereas IGF I levels are reduced. In rodents, malnutrition causes serum GH and IGF I to decline and administration of exogenous GH fails to restore normal values, suggesting an insensitivity to GH action.
They based their work on the hypothesis that the induction of GH resistance may result from alterations in the hormone activation and deactivation signal pathway. The understanding of the biochemistry of hormone resistance provides important targets for diagnosis of this metabolic syndrome. Other pathologies in which the GH/IGF-I axis may be relevant are cervical cancer and trophoblastic disease like mole hydatidiforme. The group examined this family of molecules to look for their importance in the genesis of these diseases of importance in Colombia.
Studies were conducted on various tissues from rat/mouse given different nutritional regimens deficient in protein or calories, to induce hormone resistance.
Between 1977 and 2004 the group graduated 5 PhD students and 13 MSc/MPhil students. The group also published 16 papers in international journals, 27 papers in national journals and produced 91 contributions to scientific conferences.
The group leader was Ms Myriam Sánchez de Gómez at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1977 to 2004 was SEK 4 495 000.
The group COL 01 was later divided into subgroup COL 01/2 and COL 01/3:
COL 01/2: Food science and nutrition
ISP supported the research group at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, between 1988 and 1990.
The research group was devoted to Food science and nutrition.
Between 1988 and 1990 the group published 2 papers in national journals and produced 2 contributions to scientific conferences.
The group leaders was Ms Ana Silvia Bermúdez at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period was SEK 15 000.
COL 01/3: Studies on tropical fruits
ISP supported the research group at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, between 1988 and 1992.
The research group studied at that time newly commercialized Colombian tropical fruits.
Between 1988 and 1992 the group graduated 3 MSc/MPhil students. The group also published 4 scientific publications in international journals, 4 in national journals and produced 6 contributions to scientific conferences.
The group leader was Dr Carmenza Duque B at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
No ISP funding was allocated between 1988 and 1992.
The group continued as COL 03 from 1992 (see below).
Flavours studies on Colombian fruits (IPICS COL 03)
ISP supported the research group at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, between 1992 and 2004. (The group started as COL 01/3).
In Colombia there is a total of approximately 170 edible fruit species, but in the 1990s only five or six were widely commercialized for the international markets. Therefore the Colombian government developed policies to stimulate export of “new” fruits, so that the export increased from 24 ton in 1984 to approximately 30 000 tons in 1998. These new fruits were tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea), lulo (Solanum vestissimum D.), lulo or naranjilla (Solanum quitoense L.), cape goose berry (Physalis peruvian), mamey (Mammea americana), mountain papaya (Carica pubescens), curuba (Passiflora mollissima), guava (Psidium guajava), mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) etc.
The main goals for the research group was to:
- gain scientific insight knowledge on the aroma composition and aroma formation of important Colombian fruits.
- obtain knowledge on how the fruit aroma changes after harvesting (of importance for post-harvest treatment) and how the aroma evolved in different storage conditions.
- develop new products with optimum flavour that could be export together with the raw fruits.
Between 1992 and 2004 the group has graduated 7 PhD students and 15 MSc/MPhil students. In addition the group has published 43 papers in international journals, 22 papers in national journals and produced 79 conference reports.
Group leaders was Prof Carmenza Duque B at Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1992 to 2004 was SEK 1 654 000.
The activities of the research group located continued after the phase-out of ISP support. The group leader retired from the university in 2006, but was replaced by a former student. Since then, the group has been continuing working and expanding the research topics. They engage in research in chemical ecology involving volatiles active in the communication among species, they develop value-added products from fruits, preserving original aromas, they study the chemistry of natural pigments (anthocyanins, carotenoids and betalains), and more.
The group has continued to strengthen the human scientific resource in Colombia. Since 2006, six PhD’s, ten MSc graduations have been accomplished. Additionally, the group has been the pioneer in the creation of a national, interdisciplinary network in the field of bioprospecting Colombian tropical fruits, involving 40 researchers from all over the country.
After the phase out of ISP support the group spent several years without external financial support, but during the following years, they managed to obtain grants from the Colombian National Research Agency, the International Foundation of Science (IFS), and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).
Nutritional biochemistry and biotechnology (IPICS ECU 01)
ISP supported the research group at Escuela Politecnica Nacional, Ecuador between 1984 and 2007.
The research group was working in the broad field of food chemistry/food science with emphasis on utilisation of starch from indigenous plants.
The main goal was to optimise the use of resources and to improve the nutritional quality of food products based on local raw materials, eg
- identify and quantify compounds with antioxidant effect in Ecuadorian fruits and mango skin.
- perform quantification of oligoelements in Ecuadorian foods. The study contributed to the Ecuadorian data food composition tables.
The research carried out in the group was done in collaboration with Lund University and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and Universidad de la Republica (URU 02). Collaborative research was also carried out with institutions in France and Spain, Uppsala University, Sweden, and University of Greenwich, United Kingdom.
Between 1984 and 2007 the group has graduated 2 PhD students and 11 MSc/MPhil students. In addition the group has published 58 papers in international journals, 25 papers in national journals and produced 211 contributions to scientific conferences.
Group leader was Prof Jenny Ruales Nájara at Escuela Politecnica Nacional.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1984 to 2007 was SEK 6 803 000.
Immediately after the phase-out of ISP support the group got a grant from the European Union (2006–2009), which was sufficient to operate the group for four years and to keep the MSc program running.
After that, the group acquired grants from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (Netherlands), The Belgian Research Cooperation, the Spanish National Research Council, and received funding from the government and the own institute.
The grants were used for updating some of the research equipment acquired with ISP funding. The group also started a PhD program.
Bioorganic chemistry (IPICS ETH 03)
Methods for Selective Extraction and Quantitative Determination of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants (IPICS ETH 04)
ISP supported the research group at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, between 2013 and 2018.
The major focus of the project mainly concentrated on sampling of trace level pollutants of environmental, biological, food and pharmaceutical origins for quantitative chromatographic, electroanalytical and spectroscopic determinations.
The group was involved in activities centering on the problems of communities living around areas polluted by agrochemical residues. First the group identified such localities. Then the group studied how the chemical pollution affected the residents and the ecosystem through questionnaires and sampling.
Between 2013 and 2018 the group has graduated 3 PhD students (all male) and 5 MSc students (all male). In addition the group has published 13 articles in quality journals, and produced contributions to 5 regional conferences and to1 national conference.
Group leader was Dr Negussie Megersa at Addis Ababa University( AAU), who graduated with a PhD in a sandwich program with Lund University, Sweden, in an earlier phase of the Sida bilateral program with AAU.
IPICS LAO 02
IPICS LAO 03
Studies in Genetics and Chemistry of Tropical Root and Tuber Crops in Malawi (IPICS MAW 01)
ISP supported the research group at Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station in Malawi between 2002 and 2010. The group was a part of the ISP supported Cassava Safety Network since 1997.
The main aim of the research group was to build capacity for effective research of the chemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology of tropical roots and tuber crops (cassava, sweet potato and yam) in Malawi, through active involvement of research students in the project.
The scientific results were utilized to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of future research activities within Malawi, regionally and internationally. The ultimate beneficiaries were the poor people in the rural areas who depend on these crops for their livelihoods.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 3 PhD students and 1 MSc/MPhil/Licentiate student. In addition the group has published 9 papers in international journals, 1 in a national journal and made 17 contributions to conferences.
The research group was led by Prof John Saka at University of Malawi.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group up to 2008, is available here: project catalogue
Quality of drinking water in selected areas in Malawi (IPICS MAW 02)
ISP supported the research group at University of Malawi in Malawi between 2002 and 2010. ISP funding ended after a three-year phase out period following the ISP agreement with Sida in 2008, implying that support to activities in Malawi should be terminated.
Boreholes, shallow wells, rural piped water supplies and streams are the most important sources of water for domestic and in some cases agricultural purposes in rural and sub urban areas in Malawi. Despite incidences of water related problems such as fluorosis in some parts of the country, very little work had been done in monitoring water quality in these water sources. A study of such toxic chemical pollutants as fluorides, arsenic and heavy metals provided an understanding of water quality in rural areas which would then lead to development of optimum low cost methods of removing the chemical pollutants.
The project aimed at water pollution control using locally available materials and monitoring of both ground and surface water quality in different water sources in Malawi.
- Work on removal of phosphate ions from aqueous solutions using calcium containing clays work.
- Water defluoridation activities: development of a domestic defluoridation unit from clay pots that may be used for fluoride removal in borehole water to produce safe drinking water using raw bauxite and calcined gypsum.
- Assessment of water quality, e.g of watersheds and of groundwater; impact of a wastewater treatment plant in nearby streams and in groundwater.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 2 PhD students and 5 MSc students. In addition the group has published 8 papers in international journals, 1 in a regional journal, 1 in a national journal and made 17 contributions to conferences.
The research group was led by Dr Wellington Masamba, Department of Chemistry, University of Malawi.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group up to 2008, is available here: Project report
In 2016, the group was checked for continued activities (Andersson & Sundin, 2017) and found not to be as active as it used to be "because most members of the group have relocated or taken administrative positions at the university. The students who graduated through the group are now spread out as lecturers at different universities in the country. Two former PhD students of the group currently remain at the university, both in administrative positions. They dedicate approximately 40% of their time to research, mainly focusing on an African Union project on appropriate capacity and training for Sub Saharan Africa water security. There are master students involved in the project, but no scientific papers have been published since the conclusion of ISP support. The original team has been dissolved, but there are activities although scarce."
Physicochemical studies of clay raw materials from Mali (IPICS MAL 01)
ISP supported the research group at University of Sciences,Techniques and Technologies of Bamako between 2002 to 2018.
The overall objective of the research group was to find modern methods to use traditional Malian clay, e.g. in the building industry where Mali import tremendous amounts of raw material for construction work.
The group has:
- Determinated chemical qualitative and quantitative composition of clay minerals.
- Studied the raw materials phases and contents and identified which were suitable for roughcasting and bogolan technique (cloth dyeing using traditional techniques).
- Enhanced the local clay materials' physicochemical properties so they can better fit with foreseen traditional or modern new uses.
Explored possible good interactions between clay minerals and local natural vegetable derivatives or synthetic organic compounds like pesticides.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 1 PhD student and 8 MSc/Phil/Lic students. In addition the group has published 5 papers in international journals and produced 11 conference reports.
The group leader of MAL 01 was Prof Mama Plea at University of Sciences,Techniques and Technologies of Bamako.
(IPICS NIG 01)
XX (IPICS NIG 02)
(IPICS PER 01)
(IPICS PER 02)
(IPICS SRI 03)
Nutritional Biochemistry (IPICS SRI 07)
The research group at Department of Biochemistry at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, received support between 1995 and 2009.
Group leader Professor Errol Jansz retired in 2007 and was succeeded by Professor Sagarika Ekanayake who also received her PhD training through IPICS.
The research group in nutritional biochemistry mainly aimed at solving specific research problems in the field. The work of the group was divided into different sub projects.
The major focus of the group from the inception was on nutritional and bioactivity studies of indigenous plant foods and food materials some of which were underutilized; sword bean, the velvet bean, Palmyrah fruit pulp and shoot flour.
Research on carotenoids of Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables was another aspect which was studied in detail. On the bioactivity front the activities and the fractions or active ingredients responsible for hypoglycaemic, hypocholesterolaemic, cytotoxic and neurotoxic activities from a variety of plant sources were researched. From 2005 the major focus was on to study the glycemic indices (GI) of typical Sri Lankan foods with the intention of providing the GI data to physicians, dieticians and nutritionists.
During the years of collaboration the group has graduated 6 PhD students out of which all is still in the country and employed in academic institutions. 12 MPhil students have graduated over the years of support, all except two are still in Sri Lanka today. The first ever MPhil of the faculty graduated through ISP support. The group has published 16 papers in international journals and 28 papers in regional and national journals; in addition they have produced 31 conference reports. The first ever paper in an international (SCI) journal of the faculty came through ISP support.
A database with glycaemic indices values of the foods was established by members of the supported research group in biochemistry at University of Srijayewardenepura and was in 2009 made available to the doctors practicing at the Family Practice Centre, University of Sri Jayewardenepura to use in the advising of diet plans of patients. The data was distributed via TV and at a national exhibition. In addition, the group has contributed to the development of food based dietary guidelines that has been developed by the Nutrition Division of the Health Ministry.
IPICS TAN 01
IPICS TAN 02
More information to come
Characterization of pesticide residues in biota, water and sediments in Lake Victoria (IPICS UGA 01)
ISP supported the research group at Department of Chemistry at Makerere University, Uganda between 1999 and 2008.
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity for research in pesticide residue analysis at Makerere University through regional and international research collaboration. The research focuses on quantifying the extent of pesticide contamination in the major components of Lake Victoria; the water column, the sediments, the biota and fish. The project aims to promote safer and healthier environment for people living on the shores of Lake Victoria and those who utilize the water of river Nile downstream.
Over the years the group has graduated 5 students on the MSc/MPhil and Licenciate level. The group has published 1 paper in an international journal, 2 papers in national journals and produced 22 conference reports.
The group leader was Dr Bernard Kiremire at Makerere University.
Fundamental Studies on Environmental NPS Derivatives (IPICS UGA 02)
The research group at Department of Chemistry, Makerere University, Uganda, received ISP support between 2002 and 2008.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur derivatives occur as very important compounds in the environment and the living body systems. Presence of these compounds in surface waters is of environmental interest, as they are known to cause eutrophication and algal blooms. Such blooms can produce highly potent toxins, which may cause liver damage to humans. They also produce unpleasant muddy odors. In drinking water, excessive amounts of nitrate and nitrite may cause infertile methemoglobinemia and cancer. The importance of these derivatives in natural waters calls for their constant monitor and quantification. The current methods of quantification of these species are lengthy and cumbersome besides interference from other anionic species.
The research group aimed to avoid problems associated with the current methods and to develop new and possibly more accurate methods of quantification based on fundamental chemical principles. The studies thereby also intended to strengthen coordination of chemistry research at the chemistry department.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 5 MSc/MPhil/Licentiate students and produced 10 conference reports.
The group leader was Dr Henry Ssekaalo at Makerere University.
Screening and characterization of neuroactive natural compounds (IPICS URU 01)
ISP supported the research group Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE), Uruguay, between 1978 and 2002.
With the prolongation of the life span due to advancement of technology, brain pathology is increasingly gaining importance all over the world. Together, degenerative diseases of the nervous system affect more than 10% of the population over 65 years. Given this high prevalence, the search for new therapeutics is a scientific activity with great economic and social potential. Strategies to approach the problem include chemical synthesis from already known compounds or searching for new molecules with original profile of action. Nature is a rich source of new molecules and a great number of therapeutics now in use have their roots in natural products.
The flora and fauna of South America is one of the greatest in the world in the number of species, representing a still poorly explored richness. Biodiversity is thus the most important natural resource available for many countries, a resource whose potential for sustainable development is a challenge to be addressed at the national and international level. Domestic research (analytical chemistry, bioassays, etc) can be performed in the countries in question to gain actual control of the chemical leads available in their biodiversity.
The research group of the Neurochemistry Division aimed at exploring the rich regional biodiversity of South America, screening natural compounds for their activities in the central nervous system, mainly their potential for treating diseases like Parkinson Disease and Alzheimer´s Dementia.
Oxidative stress with its concomitant overproduction of free radicals is involved in the ethiology of highly prevalent human diseases, particularly in the brain (Alzheimer´s Dementia, Parkinson´s Disease, etc). Since natural compounds can be a source of lead molecules for antioxidant activity, a systematic screening was performed by the research group. For example the Chondriamides from red algae (Chondria atropurpurea) of the South Atlantic Coast and Flavonoids from marcela (Achyrocline satureioides) were analyzed.
The research group also did Clinical assessment of oxidative stress: Practically all the research on active oxygen species and oxidative stress is based on their importance for human pathologies like ageing, diabetes, cancer, etc. Nevertheless, surprisingly scarce research has been devoted to the direct assessment of free radicals in human pathology. For these reasons, one of the research objectives of the Neurochemistry group was to assess the level of oxidative stress in humans through the hydroxylation of salicylate. The experimental method was modified for its clinical use and several groups were studied in co-ordination with the Geriatric Clinic at the University Hospital in Montevideo.
Preliminary results showed that the production of the 2,3 dihydroxybenzoic (2,3 DHBA) derivative of salicylate was increased in old people suffering from different pathologies (diabetes, hypertension, and dementia). In contrast, elderly people without pathologies did not differ from young controls in their levels of oxidative stress, as demonstrated by 2,3 DHBA production. These results were the basis for the production of a kit to assess oxidative stress in clinical conditions, an objective that attracted industry interest.
Over the years of ISP support the group has graduated 5 PhD and 9 Master/Licentiate students. Moreover, the group has published 63 papers in scientific publications in international journals, 12 in national journals and made 100 contributions to scientific conferences.
Group leader URU 01 was Dr Frederico Dajas at Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable (IIBCE).
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1978 to 2002 was SEK 4 665 000.
The research group has continued its activities after the phase out of ISP support with the help of funding from the government, international donors, and private funding from the industry.
They have been very active in the participation and organization of training courses and conferences. The group is also in contact with the former host department in Sweden through research cooperation, joint research projects, co-publishing, and administrative collaboration.
The group is involved with the formerly ISP supported School of Neuroscience, and is responsible for organizing the school every second year.
Solid phase protein biotechnology (IPICS URU 02)
ISP has supported the network at Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay, between 1974 and 2003.
The solid phase protein biotechnology is based on the use of support materials to perform many tasks that would be much more difficult, or even impossible, using solution chemistry. This research project aimed at contributing to the general scientific knowledge through the development of new methods potentially useful for the downstream purification of biomolecules and the production of fine chemicals as well as pharmaceutical drugs.
Since we are dealing with tools of great interest for many different areas such as medicine, diagnostics, food processing, pharmaceutical sciences and bioengineering, it is of interest both from the academic and applied points of view. The project was carried out with the collaboration of Uppsala University, Sweden.
One major goal of the project was to promote high level education of research students in order to provide the country and the region with a number of well-educated people in this field. Therefore, the research group awarded many former PhD students to group members when finishing their degree, thus opening new possibilities for growing and strengthening of the research group.
As a natural consequence of the expanding activities of the group, cooperation and joint efforts with other scientists in the country and in the region emerged. The organization of regional post-graduate courses greatly contributed to this, as well as to spread out the knowledge and experience gained. The group was part of the establishment of the regional network LATSOBIO.
Between 1974 and 2003 the group has graduated 4 PhD students and 3 MSc/MPhil students. In addition, the group has published 34 papers in international journals, 3 papers in national journals and produced 96 conference reports.
Group leader was Dr Francisco Batista-Viera at Universidad de la Republica.
The amount of ISP funding allocated over the support period 1974 to 2003 was SEK 3 933 000
The group at Catedra de Bioquimica, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, has continued its activities after the phase out of ISP support. The senior group members have remained in the group and have progressed very well in their academic careers at the department.
The former PhD graduates have succeeded to start new research projects and to attract new graduate and postgraduate students, hence the group has grown and consolidated its activities.
Although difficult in the beginning, the group members have managed to get funding from other sources after the end of ISP support, mainly from national funding agencies such as the National Agency for Research and Innovation and the Program for Development of Basic Sciences. The group has also received funding from the university and international research funding from the Spanish Agency for Cooperation, the Spanish National Research Council and the industry (eg. CONAPROLE, national dairy industry).
The group is still in contact with the former host department through research cooperation, joint research project, co-publishing, and lecturing.
In addition, the group has established new academic links and collaborations with foreign institutions through participation in a CYTED Network, which enabled scientific cooperation with research groups in Argentina and Spain.
Medicinal plants and glycoconjugate chemistry and biology (IPICS URU 03)
ISP supported the research group at Universidad de la Republica, in Uruguay between 1988 and 1994.
The aim of the research group was to improve the research capabilities in medicinal plants and glycoconjugate chemistry and biology of the Natural Products Group at Universidad de la Republica, and to establish active research programs in this field.
The research areas were:
- Solanum tuberosum and native Solanum species:
- chemical screening and phytochemcial studies of their glycoalkaloids and saponins;
- the toxicity and possible role of these compounds in the resistance of these plants to pests;
- Ilex paraguayensis:
- Chemical screening, phytochemical and biological-activity studies of the glycosides present in this plant, extensively used as an herbal tea drink.
- Medicinal plants:
- Antimicrobial activity screening of the plants used in folk medicine:
- Isolation and chemical characterization of the active principles.
- Bacterial polysaccharides:
- Structural studies of bacterial polysaccharides of potential economic or sanitary interest.
Over the years of ISP support the group made 11 scientific publications in international journals and 11 contributions to scientific conferences.
Group leader was Mr Fernando Ferreira at Universidad de la Republica.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1988 to 1994 was SEK 705 000.
The Cassava Molecular Diversity Network (MOLCAS)
MOLCAS is an interregional network bringing together genetic resources and knowledge of cassava from national and international scientists in Africa, South America, Sweden and Europe. ISP supported the network between 1999 and 2008.
Of all staple crops cassava is the most efficient converter of solar to dietary energy. Due to its high yields and drought tolerance cassava roots are the main staple food for about 400 million people. MOLCAS aims to enhance the undisputed position of cassava as a food security crop and engine of economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa by generating new approaches to cassava germplasm improvement using new tools of molecular genetics, bioinformatics and farmer knowledge of cassava. The strategy combines an assessment of genetic variation in Africa compared to the total available variation in cassava and wild progenitors from South America and a determination of underlying genetic factors in successful cultivars and how to complement them with favourable alleles from other cultivars and wild progenitors.
The international nature of cassava germplasm and its usage makes complementary collaborative efforts indispensable to achieve the objective.
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group up to 2008 is available here: project catalogue
Southern African Regional Co-operation in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology (SARBIO)
SARBIO is a regional Southern African network, which received ISP support between 1995 and 2010.
One of the considerable disadvantages facing development of Science in Africa is that, for the most part, scientists work in relative isolation in a number of different countries with few opportunities to interact. Often, the external links of African scientists are with Europe or USA and few with scientists within Africa. The objective of SARBIO is to strengthen regional research capacity in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology by promoting links between scientists in the Southern African sub-continent and between this sub-region and the rest of Africa.
- Exchange of postgraduate students and staff for research training or for work on collaborative research projects
- Workshops, research meetings or conferences within the region, and
- Interaction with other regional initiatives in order to co-ordinate activities and to share information for effective use of resources
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group up to 2008 is available here: project catalogue
Food Science and Nutrition Network for Africa (FOSSNA)
The FOSNNA network was a collaboration between researchers at University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) (Ethiopia), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) (Kenya), University Mohammed Premier Oujda (UMP) (Marocco), Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center (TFNC) (Tanzania), Makerere University (MU) (Uganda), and University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
The network received ISP support between year 2000 and 2009.
Circulation of information and exchange of knowledge in food science and nutrition research in African countries is minimal. Further, little is also happening on the transfer of knowledge in solving problems at the ground level. It is against this background that the idea of establishing a food science and nutrition network in Africa started.
FOSNNA is apolitical, non-sectarian and non-profit making network for professional and individuals working or interested in the food and nutrition related area. The network aims at providing an opportunity for exchanging of ideas among food scientists in Africa through Internet, workshops and symposia. It addresses challenges related to R&D and how to generate additional information that can improve transfer of technology. The network was inaugurated in February 2002 during the first biennial scientific conference held in Dar as Salaam, Tanzania, attended by 64 participants from 17 countries in Africa.
- Promote collaborative research in food science and nutrition among African countries
- Linking members through internet
- Organize food science and nutrition conferences and workshops
- Provide information and facilitate exchange of researchers, students and technicians
- Encourage public-private partnerships in product development, diversification of products, and problems solving
- Encourage open laboratory system among member countries of the network
- Provide food science and nutrition information through mass media and producing printed information
Africa-Asia-South America Coordinating Group for Natural Products Research (AFASSA)
AFASSA is an interregional coordinating body of several current and former ISP supported networks (NABSA, ALNAP NAPRECA, SARBIO, ANRAP, and LANBIO) involved in natural products research in Africa, Asia and South America. ISP supported the AFASSA between 2002 and 2009.
AFASSA was established to:
- promote collaborative research in natural products in countries of the South and establish South-South linkages in natural products research
- build capacity to deal with South-specific problems in health, agriculture and the sustainable use of biological resources by sharing expertise and experience in the field available in the three continents, and
- influence the future direction of research and education in natural products sciences in countries of the South
A short overview of the activities and history of this research group up to 2008 is available here: project catalogue
African Laboratory for Natural Products (ALNAP)
ALNAP (website: www.alnapnetwork.com) consists of five natural products laboratories at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Burundi (Burundi), University of Kinshasa (DR Congo), Makerere University (Uganda) and University of Rwanda. ISP has sponsored the network since its start in 1996. The laboratories participating from the start are those in Uganda, Ethiopia and Burundi. Final year of ISP support was 2015.
The main objective of ALNAP is to enhance the theoretical and practical capabilities of research personnel in its member countries while at the same time promoting regional research cooperation. The main activities are:
- To cooperate in natural products research
- To assist each other through provision of analytical and bioassay services
- To exchange information, expertise and materials
- To train young researchers and technicians through home-based fellowship schemes
- To build databases on natural products developing the Natural Database for Africa (NDA)
- To work with micro-propagation (MP) of medicinal and aromatic plants
- To support the glass blowing unit of the Chemistry Department
- To develop gardens for growing and preserving medicinal and aromatic plants
- To organize short courses and workshops
Latin American Network for Research in Bioactive Natural Compounds (LANBIO)
The network LANBIO was conceived in 1991, and supported by ISP from that year, as a coordination of natural products researchers (chemists, biochemists, biologists, etc.) sharing knowledge and laboratory facilities for the identification and characterization of biologically active compounds isolated from regional natural sources. ISP support ended in 2018.
More than thirty laboratories in fifteen universities spread over the South American continent initially constituted LANBIO membership. It was later decided that LANBIO should concentrate on two programs, neurochemistry at the Clemente Estable Institute in Uruguay, and ecological chemistry at Universidad de Chile. Furthermore, activities focused on research-building efforts in a few designated centres. The program in neurochemistry concentrated in Cuba and Peru, and later new collaborations were started in Bolivia and Paraguay. The ecological chemistry program focused on Peru, and later on Bolivia, mainly Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) at Cochabamba, and is the program supported by ISP since 2009. LANBIO is coordinated by Professor Hermann M. Niemeyer, Department of Ecological Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
The objectives of LANBIO were to build up competence and promote development of active research groups doing high quality basic science within problems of local relevance and with the tools of ecological chemistry, in Bolivia. Ecological chemistry is a priority area in Bolivia as it involves the study and eventual utilization of natural resources. Training of Bolivian fellows, at University of Chile, have had different emphases from mainly ecological to mainly chemical all sharing analytical organic chemistry as a basic tool. The research programs of LANBIO fellows are generally tailored to their previous experiences and competence, and take into account the research priorities at their home institutions.
LANFOOD - Latin American Network for Food Research
ISP supported the network between 1994 and 2007.
The LANFOOD network coordinator was Dr Jenny Ruales at the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Ecuador.
LANFOOD had the following participating scientific nodes:
- Argentina: Comisión de Energía Atómica
- Argentina: Universidad de Buenos Aires
- Chile: Universidad de la Frontera
- Chile: Universidad Santiago de Chile (USACH)
- Colombia: Universidad del Valle
- Costa Rica: INCIENSA
- Ecuador: Escuela Politécnica Nacional
- Mexico: CEPROBI (Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bióticos)
- Peru: Universidad Adventista La Unión-Lima
- Peru: Universidad Nacional la Molina
The aim of the network was to promote regional cooperation between research groups working in the field of food science by
- exchanging information on ongoing research in the field
- identifying research problems of local and regional importance
- sharing local and regional resources, eg labs
- exchanging scientists and training of students
- organizing scientific events to give opportunities for the members to meet and discuss collaboration
LANFOOD supported research activities on carbohydrates (dietary fibre, starch) and activities related to the composition of food products. Bioavailability of nutrients and development of new products based on local raw materials was also of interest to LANFOOD.
Collaborative studies were coordinated by the network such as a study on resistant starch. Exchange of reference samples for proximate analysis, carbohydrates (dietary fibre, total starch, resistant starch and digestible starch), and minerals were done in collaboration with LATINFOODS which was co-sponsored by the UN.
LANFOOD graduated 1 MSc student, published 27 scientific papers in international journals, 10 in regional journals, 1 in a national journal, and made 21 contributions to scientific conferences
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 1994 to 2007 was SEK 2 188 000.
The collaborating activities decreased after ISP support ended, much because the absence of funds for the mobility of the students and researchers, which was one of the important activities of LANFOOD.
Complementary research work for the undergraduate and postgraduate students were continued for some time after ISP support at laboratories of the region, such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. In Ecuador, a PhD program was established (see IPICS ECU:01), but invited candidates from Peru and Colombia couldn’t follow the program due to the lack of financial support.
In conclusion, besides the node in Ecuador, very limited activities have continued in most other nodes, due to lack of funding.
Read more in Phased out groups and networks 2003–2014 - Experiences and continued activitiesby Rebecca Andersson and Peter Sundin, 2017.
LATSOBIO - Latin American Solid Phase Biotechnology Network
ISP supported the network between 2003 and 2007. LATSBIO was developed from the ISP supported Uruguayan group URU:02.
The LATSOBIO network coordinator was Dr Francisco Batista-Viera, Universidad de la Republic in Uruguay.
The network studied of tropical parasitic diseases, including diagnostic tools. DNA techniques were used for the characterisation of cassava varieties.
The main objective was to promote high-level education in the area of solid phase protein biotechnology, with the aim to drive the development and strengthening of this area in Latin America, targeting Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.
Activities were focused on providing postgraduate courses and sponsoring scientific exchange in the countries of the region, thus encouraging South-South exchange and contributing to the formation of human resources.
The amount of funding allocated over the support period 2003 to 2007 was SEK 795 000.
After termination of ISP support, LATSOBIO entered entered into an agreement with the Biotechnology Center, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of San Simón in Bolivia, to train students and to organize postgraduate courses, as well as to develop joint research projects.
LATSOBIO also developed and strengthened the links with the Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay, eg. in arranging postgraduate courses in “Enzyme Immobilization Techniques and their Biotechnological Applications” and in “Affinity Chromatography Techniques and their Applications”. Participants from Africa (selected from IPICS supported African groups) have attended this type of courses.
LATSOBIO was a relatively young network (five years old) and was dependent on ISP funds. The success of the activities performed during the period 2003-2007 encouraged the network to attempt to apply for support from national and international funding agencies. However, all efforts were unsuccessful. As a consequence, the LATSOBIO network was concluded in 2008.
Read more in Phased out groups and networks 2003–2014 - Experiences and continued activities by Rebecca Andersson and Peter Sundin, 2017
Network for Analytical and Bioassay Services in Africa (NABSA)
The network NABSA was founded in 1992. It provided free analytical chemical services, particularly in NMR and mass spectrometry. The network also hosted short-term research visits, organizes regional symposia for chemistry post graduate students, and offered CD-ROM literature services.
In 1995/96 University of Botswana joined NABSA and availed its MS and NMR instruments, and since then most of the services have been rendered from there.
ISP supported the network between 1992-2018.
The network should rather be characterized as a Resource Center, since it provided services based on central resources, the availability of which is not restricted to a number of member countries but generally open to African scientists. The purpose of NABSA was to assist African scientists by giving them access to the analytical and laboratory facilities and equipment in the Department of Chemistry, University of Botswana, thus assisting scientists working in isolation and in various facility constrained institutions and less enabling environments in Africa.
Coordinator for NABSA was Dr Gomotsang Bojase Moleta at University of Botswana.
Nodes in the network was situated at
- University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
- University of Botswana (Botswana)
- University of Ibadan (Nigeria)
- University of Kinshasa (DR Congo)
- University of Nairobi (Kenya)
- University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
- University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon)
- University of Zambia (Zambia)
- University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
Southern and Eastern Africa Network for Analytical Chemists (SEANAC)
SEANAC (www.seanac.org) was formed after the realization that African chemists are not able to effectively carry out analytical chemistry research in the continent due to a lack of resources. Since its inaugural conference in 2003, which attracted analytical chemists from all parts of Africa, it has been realized that SEANAC is the African network of analytical chemists. ISP supported the network between 2005-2019.
Despite the wider participation, the objectives of SEANAC were to
- Promote analytical chemistry in the region through collaboration, research, research training, teaching and information sharing
- Facilitate inventory, access, operation, maintenance and repairs of analytical equipment as well as
- Collaborate with organizations of similar aims
It was within the SEANAC objectives that there should be efforts to encourage sharing of resources and experiences by African chemists and where possible with chemists in Europe. This was reflected in its activities where either European based chemists come to Africa or SEANAC sent researchers to visit research groups in Europe. With the support from ISP, SEANAC was able to offer 3-6 months research fellowships for graduate students as well as postdoctoral scientists for regional collaboration.
The network was coordinated by Professor Nelson Torto, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.
Nodes in the network were situated at:
- Egerton University (Kenya)
- Makerere University (Uganda)
- National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe)
- Rhodes University (South Africa)
- University of Botswana (Botswana)
- University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
- University Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique)
- University of Malawi (Malawi)
- University of Eswatini (Eswatini, former known as Swaziland)