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Debre Berhane Selassie

Debre Berhan Selassie an easy stroll 2km northeast of town. Despite its walls hosting the nation’s most vibrant ecclesiastical artwork, it’s the ceiling that captures most visitors’ imaginations. Think of Mona Lisa’s smile and multiply it 104 times!

Debre Berhane Selassie Debre Berhane Selassie

www.afewerktekle.com

A Dedicated Website for The World Most Honorable Maitre Artiste World Laureate IOM.CH Afewerk Tekle will be launched by StudioNet as part of its social responsibility program.

www.afewerktekle.com www.afewerktekle.com

Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano

Erta Ale is a very remote and rarely visited shield volcano in the Afar region of East Africa.

Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano Erta Ale, the living Shield Volcano

Mulatu Astatke

The Father of Ethio Jazz: Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Astatke

Churches in Ethiopia

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Churches in Ethiopia Churches in Ethiopia

Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal

The Ethiopian wolf is the rarest canid in the world (Sillero 2001), and is one of the world's rarest mammals.

Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal Kay Kabaro: Simien jackal

Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia

Awasa , southern Ethiopia’s largest city, is 100km further south and sits on the shores of attractive Lake Awasa. With plenty of facilities, a great fish market and row boats to boot, Awasa is a great place to stop.  

Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia Beautiful Scenery of Ethiopia

Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia

The Center of Ethiopian art and culture Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635, is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches.

Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia Gonder: Medieval castles of Ethiopia

Dr Teshome Mebatsion: A Recognized Ethiopian Scientist

 

Dr Teshome Mebatsion: A Recognized Ethiopian Scientist

By Yohannes Ruphael

For various reasons, thousands of Ethiopians are scattered all over the world. Some of them have excelled academically and have been recognized by reputed research institutions. One such scientist is Teshome Mebatsion, who was recently honored by receiving an award from “Pettenkofer-Foundation.”

This prize is presented every two years to scientists who perform outstanding research with practical application in the prevention and therapy of infectious diseases. “Viruses as tools” was the actual theme of the award for the year 2001.

Teshome Mebatsion was given the award for his contribution to the development and application of the reverse genetic system that enables genetic modification of specific virus groups called negative strand RNA viruses.

Teshome worked for several years on the first infectious clone of the rabies virus. Using this approach, Teshome is now constructing a safer, oral vaccine candidate for dogs.

In 1997 the potential of this development in therapeutic treatment of HIV infections by using the rabies virus as a “viral bullet” was described by him and his colleagues during his research period at the Federal Research Center for Virus Diseases of Animals, BAFV, Tubingen, Germany.

In cooperation with BAFV, Teshome made efforts in obtaining infectious clones of Newcastle Disease Virus, a severe viral infection in poultry. This work makes it possible to acquire candidate vaccine viruses with high efficacy but improved safety in chickens.

“ This award is intended for young scientists in Germany who have accomplished significant research. The award came after I moved from Germany to the Netherlands,” says Teshome.

Max von Pettenkofer (1818-1901) was a German chemist and hygienist, who studied medicine at Munich. Pettenkofer is considered a founder of epidemiology and is known for his research in health risk factors in air, water, food, buildings, sewers etc.

He strongly influenced the development of international hygiene and public health.

“ I am surprised and proud to have received the award. I think I am the first foreigner to receive it,” says Teshome.

Teshome graduated in 1985 from the veterinary faculty of the Addis Ababa University at Debre Zeit. Upon graduation he was retained by the University to work as an assistant lecturer. After two and half years service here he got a scholarship in Germany for Ph.D studies researching in molecular biology.

“ My intention was to come back to Ethiopia. However, I was granted a post-doctoral position at the same institute and decided to continue for a couple of years. My post-graduate studies and at that time my major focus was on a group of viruses called negative strand RNA virus and this group of viruses contains major causative agents of animal and human diseases like rabies virus, measles virus, and a lot of other viruses which unlike the DNA or positive-strand RNA viruses are relatively difficult  to manipulate by cDNA technology.

“The technique for manipulating the negative strand RNA viruses was at that time very difficult.  Our lab was the first to establish reverse genetics system, which enables genetics manipulation of negative strand RNA viruses. Actually recovery of a non- segmented negative strand RNA viruses using rabies as a  model virus, was done in 1994. We have published a paper which describes a detailed technique of genetic manipulation of rabies virus and soon after the publication a number of laboratories around the world used the same system and were able to recover infectious viruses completely from cDNA. Actually that gave our laboratory recognition,” says Teshome.

That was one of the group’s accomplishment followed by  a number of papers and articles dealing with the use of viruses for  vector and vaccine development.

After some ten years in Germany and 5 years in the Netherlands,Teshome decided to go to the United States where he now lives and works. Eventually, he says, he would pack up and come back home for good.

“ During my current visit here I would like to meet the staff at the veterinary faculty at Debre Zeit and find out how I could contribute. I understand that they are intending to start a post-graduate program. I am willing to come at least for a week or two once or twice a year to lecture,” he says.

How is it like living and working in a foreign land? “There is nothing like home. I miss my county. I have a firm decision to come back in the near future,” quips Teshome

 

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