MLW programme partners launch CREATOR project in Malawi

News article 12 Mar 2019
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Dr Henry Mwandumba, deputy director of MLW, and Dr Fumbani Limani, clinical research intern of MLW unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion

LSTM’s Director, Professor David Lalloo, has been in Malawi for the launch of a new project to build the Clinical Research and Training Open Resource (CREATOR) building in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in the southern city of Blantyre.

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 (UoL) and LSTM, with funding from the Wellcome Trust (WT).

CREATOR will be built 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 Lalloo 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.”

The CREATOR building will be hosted within the grounds of the QECH 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 Louise Kenny, Executive Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool’s 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.”

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 gamechanger 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 UoL and LSTM respectively.