Anke Weisheit is Building a Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Vision for Uganda

In Health, Podcast by Mary Kurek

Anke Weisheit is the Co-Founder and Chair of Innovation and Business Management at Pharm-Bio Technology and Traditional Medicine Center (PHARMBIOTRAC). One of 24 Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE II) Programs, this university-based center has a critical mission guided by Weisheit’s dedication and vision that goes from incubator to hospital. The goal of this program is to create a critical mass of specialized and qualified people resources capable of advancing traditional medicine and pharmaceutical biotechnology for Africa’s socioeconomic development.

In this episode of Frontrunners Innovate, Anke shares how they are approaching this goal and the vision that has yet to be realized. Co-host for this episode is Dr. David Ajibade, a physician, memory disease specialist, broadcaster, and founder of the ⁠Brain and Body Foundation.⁠

“We are open to discussions about a variety of topics, including innovation incubation, scholarships, research grants, exchanges, infrastructure development, and technical assistance to other institutions/countries in creating centers similar to ours, among others.”  Anke Weisheit

PHARMBIOTRAC Story:

The Pharm-Biotechnology and Traditional Medicine Centre (PHARMBIOTRAC) is one of 24 Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE II) Programs, founded in 2017 at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda. The goal of PHARMBIOTRAC is to create a critical mass of specialized and qualified people resources capable of advancing traditional medicine and pharmaceutical biotechnology for Africa’s socioeconomic development. Traditional medicine, a fundamental component of the PHARMBIOTRAC objective, is mostly made up of herbal remedies derived from medicinal plants that have been utilized for thousands of years in Africa. At PHARMBIOTRAC, we have graduated 22 PhDs and over 75 master’s students on full scholarships in the fields of pharmacognosy and clinical pharmacy, incubated and funded over 30 start-ups, and taught over 800 herbalists in herbal medicine conservation and production improvement. Dr. Casim Umba Tolo is the center’s leader, overseeing a world-class team of scientists and practitioners. He is also a distinguished scientist and academic and serves as the CEO of  Friends of PHARMBIOTRAC Foundation (FPF) Uganda.

Prof. Patrick Engeu Ogwang, Principal Investigator of PHARMBIOTRAC, led the creation of COVIDEX an herbal medicine to treat COVID-19, which has provided many Ugandans and others around the world with a natural treatment alternative for COVID-19. Prof. Robert Tamukong, a Visiting Professor from the University of Minnesota, is leading the development of the Clinical Pharmacy Program at MUST and directing the postgraduate program at PHARMBIOTRAC and is the President of the Friends of PHARMBIOTRAC Foundation (FPF), USA. PHARMBIOTRAC’s Innovation Incubation and Business Mentoring Program is coordinated by Eng. Anke Weisheit. To engage with benefactors in the United States, we founded the 501c3 Friends of PHARMBIOTRAC Foundation (FPF).

Anke Weisheit’s Contact:

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST): https://www.must.ac.ug/
Pharm-Bio Technology and Traditional Medicine Center (PHARMBIOTRAC): https://pharmbiotrac.must.ac.ug/
Friends of PHARMBIOTRAC Foundation (FPF):  https://pharmbiotracfoundation.org/
Anke Weisheit LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/aweisheit

Resources:

WELCOME TO MBARARA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejRGOWjeTLk&list=PLocMkD_oKYf2qy0IYu18gVVXfgDG7_pn6
PHARMBIOTRAC MUST, Uganda Documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VQ6tBLs0lU&t=12s
PHARMBIOTRAC – A Model for Teaching, Research & Innovation in Pharmaceuticals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls_qkAV0-cM
PHARMBIOTRAC –  An African Centre of Excellence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV4PgbtdHUg&t=3s
In Conversation with Patrick Ogwang Professor COVIDEX and PI PHARMBIOTRAC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pClcTCFhFng&t=12s
INFLUENCE-MAGAZINE – Special Edition highlighting the work of PHARMBIOTRAC, March 2024 by David J. Dunworth https://pharmbiotrac.must.ac.ug/downloads/INFLUENCE-MAGAZINE%20MARCH%20SPECIAL%20EDITION%202024.pdf

Dr. David Ajibade, Founder, Brain & Body Foundation

Special Thanks to our Co-Host:  Dr. David Ajibade

Brain and Body Foundation

Dr. Ajibade on Linkedin