Clinical research programme partners launch CREATOR project in Malawi

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer (back, left) Health and Life Sciences EPVC, Professor Louise Kenny (front, second left) and Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Hazel Scott (back, second right) visit MLW students in Malawi (Credit: @MelitaGordon5)

University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer and senior members of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences have been in Malawi for the launch of a new project to build a Clinical Research and Training Open Resource (CREATOR) in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).

The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust (MLW) Clinical Research Programme is a partnership between the College of Medicine (CoM) at the University of Malawi, University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), with funding from the Wellcome Trust. CREATOR will build on existing infrastructure to expand the training of doctors and scientists. It will also accommodate an expected 30% increase in clinical research activity and postgraduate specialist clinical medical education over the next 10 years by engaging with hospital academic departments.

Professor Louise Kenny, Executive Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “The CREATOR represents the next exciting phase of our long-standing partnership with the College of Medicine in Malawi, LSTM and the Wellcome Trust. For over 20 years we have been proud participants in the wonderful joint work of MLW. CREATOR will be a fantastic facility for training the next generation of doctors, other healthcare professionals and scientists. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

Dr Henry Mwandumba deputy director of MLW and Dr Fumbani Limani, clinical research intern of MLW, unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion

The CREATOR building will be hosted within the grounds of the Queen’s hospital and once completed, is expected to have facilities including laboratories, collaborative spaces and innovative teaching and learning facilities offering research interactions between clinicians and research scientists in a creative, enabling environment.

Professor David Lalloo, Director of LSTM, said: “The need for the CREATOR building reflects the rapid growth and quality of Malawian medical science and LSTM is delighted to be a partner in a project that will help deliver even greater success.”

Training the next generation of scientists and conducting excellent international research to benefit human health is at the heart of MLW’s mission, as such this project is not only timely, but relevant to the unique context of Malawi.

During the launch Professor Stephen Gordon, Director of MLW, said: “We have been planning the CREATOR for three years as a partnership between QECH, CoM and partners in the UK. It will be a game changer for medicine and science in Malawi.”

CREATOR will be funded following an award of £2.4 million from the Wellcome Trust with additional funding and supplementary fundraising coming from the University of Liverpool and LSTM respectively.

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