Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 1431–1441 | Cite as

Using invertebrate model organisms for neuroscience research and training: an opportunity for Africa

  • Wasiu Gbolahan BalogunEmail author
  • Ansa Emmanuel Cobham
  • Abdulbasit Amin
  • Azman Seeni
Original Article


Africa is faced with an increasing underrepresentation of her research progress in many fields of science including neuroscience. This underrepresentation stems from the very low investments directed towards research by African governments as these are thought to be high-priced. Scientists and researchers within the continent are left to compete highly for the very limited research grants or choose to fund research from their personal purse. Therefore, presenting a need for all possible strategies to make science and research approaches more affordable in Africa. This paper presents one of such strategy, which advocates the use of invertebrate animal models for neuroscience research in place of the commonly used vertebrate models. Invertebrates are cheaper, more available and easy to handle options and their use is on the rise, even in the developed societies of the world. Here, we investigate the current state of invertebrate neuroscience research in Africa looking at countries and institutions conducting neuroscience research with invertebrates and their publication output. We discuss the factors which impede invertebrate neuroscience research in Africa like lack of research infrastructure and adequate expert scientists and conclude by suggesting solutions to these challenges.


Invertebrates Neuroscience Africa Modelling Research Training 



BWG is grateful to USM and TWAS for the award of doctorate fellowship, CAE is grateful to Monash University, Australia for the award of Dean Scholarship, AA is grateful to the FCG, Portugal for the doctorate fellowship and the University of Ilorin, Nigeria for staff development award.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Medical and Dental InstituteUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical SciencesUniversity of CalabarCalabarNigeria
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical SciencesUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria
  5. 5.Instituto Gulbenkian de CiênciaLisbonPortugal
  6. 6.Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and NutraceuticalsNational Institutes of Biotechnology MalaysiaGelugorMalaysia

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