The African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) is the first state-of-the-art genomics lab on the African continent.
Designed by the Mass Design Group, the center is located at the Redeemers University in Ede, Nigeria. Its design typifies modern tropical architecture with courtyards, shaded walkways and overhangs. One of the most notable features of the scheme would be the array rammed earth walls built by AsaDuru, a green building firm based in South Africa.
The center will provide much needed medical infrastructure that is made possible by strong and long-standing partnerships between academic, clinical, and research institutions in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, as well as collaborating US partners at Harvard University, the Broad Institute, and Tulane University.
The African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), led by Dr. Christian Happi and Dr. Pardis Sabeti, was one of the first organizations to respond to the 2014 appearance of Ebola in Lagos, Nigeria. Their work allowed for a rapid and effective response by the Ministry of Health, which prevented the spread of the disease in a city of over 20 million people.
In partnership with the Broad Institute and MASS Design Group, ACEGID is leading an effort to further equip the entire African continent to stop future epidemics even more quickly and effectively. Central to this initiative is the construction of a new genomics laboratory located in Ede, Nigeria.
The new building will be the first of its kind on the continent, enabling African scientists to use cutting edge technology in a state of the art facility that can handle highly toxic pathogens. The new center will build capacity by training a critical mass of African scientists in genomics-based tools for the control and elimination of infectious diseases. By sharing these findings globally, ACEGID will become part of a bio-surveillance network monitoring some of the world’s greatest health threats and supporting clinical care.
To encourage connections between people and their environment, the center is designed to increase collaboration between scientists, students, and international partners through an integrated layout of labs, shared space, offices, and classrooms. This will allow all collaborators to share ideas more fluidly, rather than in the traditional silos of lab spaces. The building is also a showcase for the high tech potential of locally available materials such as stabilized rammed earth walls.