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Global Studies & Partnerships

Bringing Access to Wistar Science Around the World

The mission of Wistar’s Global Studies & Partnerships is to foster worldwide collaboration and access to Wistar’s research, education, and mentoring expertise, particularly for researchers, students, and communities in low and middle-income countries. A sample of our work to date includes:

Laboratory Field Workshops. Based on techniques and strategies developed by the Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX) at Rutgers University, we have developed a series of Laboratory Field Workshops to engage with local communities such as those with knowledge of local natural products and medicinal plant preparations and uses. These workshops bring laboratory techniques and data analysis to participants in their communities to help “de-mystify” biomedical research, build trust relations, and initiate dialogues toward collaboration that will directly benefit them. For example,

  • In the Tutume District of Botswana, we have provided these workshops to traditional health practitioners as part of documenting and strengthening their knowledge and better understanding the therapeutic potential of local medicinal plants.

  • We also use these workshops in collaboration with the Secwépemc First Peoples of British Columbia, Canada to provide laboratory support and facilitate interactions with other healers toward their goals to reclaim and revitalize Indigenous medicinal knowledge.

  • We also work with individual traditional healers to extensively characterize single medicinal plants for their antiviral and other bioactivities with the goals of knowledge dissemination and improving health.

International Biomedical Laboratory Orientation Courses (IBLOC). We have adapted Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program to provide students at resource-limited universities with in-depth, state-of-the-art laboratory training that empowers them to embark on independent and thesis-based research. Our first IBLOC was held in September 2023 at the University of Buea Center for Drug Discovery in Buea, Cameroon, where six students became proficient in molecular and cell biology techniques which they now use to assess the bioactivities and antiviral properties of naturally-produced chemical compounds found in plants and marine sources of Cameroon.

Wistar Laboratory Experiences. Faculty and trainees from resource-limited universities and institutions can collaborate with one or more laboratories at Wistar to learn new laboratory techniques and identify means to transfer them back to their home institutions for independent research. Visiting scientists and scholars can also participate in ongoing Laboratory Orientations offered through Wistar’s Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Education and Training Center and work with Wistar faculty to advance shared or independent research projects.

Selected Links
Selected Publications


For more information, please contact:

Ian Tietjen, Ph.D.
Director, Global Studies & Partnerships
Assistant Professor, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center

Funding Acknowledgements