Professor Umberto Dalessandro
MD MSc PhD
Director of the MRC Unit The Gambia
MRC Unit The Gambia
Prof. Umberto D'Alessandro (MD, MSc, PhD) has a long working experience in Africa, first as a clinician (Benin and Kenya) and later as a clinical epidemiologist (The Gambia). He has been involved in malaria research since 1990 when he carried out the evaluation of the Gambian National programme on insecticide-treated bed nets. He joined the Department of Parasitology at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium in 1996 where he was, until the end of 2010, was the head of the Epidemiology Unit. There, he developed a research program around three themes: antimalarial treatment, including drug resistance, malaria prevention, and the P. vivax in vitro cycle, implemented in several malaria endemic countries, e.g. Uganda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Vietnam, Peru, etc.
In 2011, Professor D’Alessandro joined the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia (MRCG) as theme leader of disease control and elimination. In January 2014, he was appointed director of the MRCG. His research program on malaria at the MRCG is built around questions related to malaria elimination/eradication.
Prof D'Alessandro has supervised 22 PhD students. He is currently supervising 3 PhD students.
Recently completed doctoral students:
Francois Noulin (France) - " Production of stem cell-derived reticulocytes for the in-vitro culture of Plasmodium vivax blood cycle. Leuven University, Faculty of Medicine, 2014.
Christine Manyando (Zambia) - "Options for Treatment and Control of Malaria in Pregnancy in Zambia." University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medical Sciences, 2014.
Eniyou Oriero (Nigeria) -"Field implementation and evaluation of novel isothermal, nucleic acid -based diagnostic tools for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa. University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medical Sciences, October 2015.
Daniel Kajungu (Uganda) - "Data mining methods for pharmacovigilance in Africa. Catholic University of Leuven, December 2015.
Kevind Opondo (Kenya)- "Roles of biting preference and insecticide resistance in determining malaria transmission heterogeneity in The Gambia". University of Liverpool, June 2016.
Marc Tahita (Burkina Faso) - "Case management and control of Malaria in Pregnancy: Case of Burkina Faso". University of Antwerp, Faculty of Medical Sciences, May 2017.
Joseph Okebe (Nigeria)- "Identifying residual foci of malaria infection in a context of decreasing transmission. From control to elimination: reducing residual malaria transmission in The Gambia". Faculty of Medical Sciences, May 2017.
Current PhD candidates:
Michael Nambozi (Zambia) -" Antimalarial treatment efficacy and safet in pregnant women."
Expected completion: 2019
Julia Mwesigwa (Uganda) - "Malaria residual transmission and mass drug administration in The Gambia."
Expected completion: Spring 2020
Abdullahi Ahmad (Nigeria) - "The importance of asymptomatic malaria carriers in maintaining transmission"
Expected completion: 2022