Who should apply for participation in TSS-2019?

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden of communicable diseases worldwide, but conversely is the region with the smallest scientific workforce and the largest need to improve health-related interventions. Although the last decades have witnessed a substantial increase in the pool of qualified scientists in the region, the lack of opportunities for scientific training represents a major bottleneck to the efforts to increase the number of talented scientists. In the important field of virology, the knowledge of young African scientists in diagnostics and epidemiology is often good, but does not reach beyond this in most cases. Even for RNA viruses that represent a major burden in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Ebola virus, Dengue virus, or Chikungunya virus, the knowledge of molecular mechanisms is limited, although interference with these mechanisms is the basis of the action of all vaccines and antiviral drugs.

It is the goal of the Tofo Spring School on Molecular Biology of RNA Viruses to help close this gap and provide training in these subjects for epidemiologists, clinical virologists, and graduate as well as postgraduate students from sub-Saharan countries but also from other places in the world. By linking young African scientists with highly reputed international experts, we also intend to foster South-South collaborations and catalyze the establishment of networks among African scientists in the field of molecular virology.

The Spring School will entirely focus on strengthening the scientific knowledge of the target group concerning emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses, to enable the participants to better follow the subsequent 4th Tofo Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re-Emerging Viruses (September 01 - 05, 2019) at the same venue. Lecturers who are experts in their respective fields will present the molecular biology and replication strategy of each emerging RNA virus family of importance for Africa, from the basics to the latest insight.