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Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory Inaugurated in Cambodia

April 28, 2017 | Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

On April 27, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory was inaugurated at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Cambodia. The Laboratory provides a new platform for advanced training and scientific research.

The inauguration follows major renovation and strengthening of the technical capacity of the laboratory coordinated by the Mérieux Foundation.

The renovation was made possible by a €300,000 donation from Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, an independent organization operating under the aegis of the Institut de France.

The Cambodian Minister of Health, Mam Bunheng presided over the inauguration ceremony of this laboratory in the presence of the French Ambassador to Cambodia, Jean-Claude Poimboeuf; the Rector of the University of Health Sciences, Saphonn Vonthanak; the President of the Mérieux Foundation, Alain Mérieux; and the Director General of the Mérieux Foundation, Benoît Miribel.

Other participants in the ceremony included the secretaries of state, advisers, and director generals of the Health Ministry; members of the management, staff and students of the UHS; and the scientific partners of the laboratory, including the different departments of the Health Ministry, national institutes and hospitals as well as the international partners of the UHS.

Mission: to contribute to the research priorities of the university

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Cambodia plays a major role in the scientific training of the country’s health professionals. The new facilities will allow this 120 square-meter, BSL-2 biosecurity laboratory to contribute to the research priorities of the UHS, notably: clinical research, infectious diseases, and training for students in medical biology.

The laboratory’s new units include:

  • The first bio-bank for storing biological material for UHS research projects
  • Three units dedicated to molecular biology, a cutting edge analysis technique which will broaden the scope of research and services carried out by the laboratory.

As part of the renovation, an extremely modern maintenance system was installed, providing remote monitoring and 40% energy savings compared with the former system.

A laboratory open to Cambodian researchers in order to conduct their external projects

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory is open to Cambodian researchers who are able to conduct their external projects there. The Mérieux Foundation supports the university in seeking research projects for the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, notably for an epidemiological project on hepatitis B and C in Cambodia, but also for other public health challenges in Cambodia such as projects covering resistance to anti-tuberculosis and anti-malarial drugs.

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory was opened in 2005 within the Faculty of Pharmacy in Phnom Penh and operates under the supervision of the UHS to which it belongs. As an annex to the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, there is a room dedicated to virology as well as a 256 square-meter practical work room for training courses, notably in microbiology. These two annex rooms were equipped in 2008, thanks to the support of the Mérieux Foundation in collaboration with the “Defense Threat Organization” of Singapore.

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