As an FAO Collaborative Laboratory, the ILMB is meeting its responsibilities of technology transfer with a very active program of biotechnology training. We train scientists from developing countries in biotechniques, help establish branch laboratories in developing countries to direct or collaborate in projects of local interest; provide technical expertise and advice upon request to FAO and to participating countries, and organize on-site workshops and seminars to improve technical skills in branch laboratories. Individuals from India, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt, and Argentina have worked or are presently working at the ILMB on projects related to vaccine and rapid diagnostic kit development. Eleven post-doctoral fellows from Egypt have been trained and have returned to their home country. We have established a branch laboratory in Egypt that is now completely equipped and fully operational, staffed by ILMB-trained scientists, and laboratories are in development in Ethiopia and Kenya.
The ILMB is also active in the University of California Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program, providing resources for training highly qualified graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in vaccine development and viral pathogenesis. The latest techniques in biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, recombinant DNA, biology, pathology, cell culture and vaccine development are promoted in the ILMB. Training is focused on two areas of central importance for the development of vaccines and diagnostic reagents: (1) improvement of recombinant vaccines, and (2) use of recombinant proteins for improved diagnostic kits. Trainee research is coordinated with projects involving vaccinia virus recombinant vectors, vaccinia virus immune modulating genes, cytokines, retrovirus recombinant vectors, retrovirus proteins, ribozymen gene therapy, vaccines for human and animal diseases, and immune responses to immunogenic proteins.