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The Future of Global Health: MRC Unit Panel

This panel brings together researchers from different career stages and disciplines across the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s (LSHTM’s) Medical Research Council (MRC) Units in the Gambia and Uganda, to discuss the future of global health. MRC Unit The Gambia (MRCG)  is a leading research centre in sub-Saharan Africa that carry out global health research under three major Research Themes: Disease Control & Elimination (aimed at interrupting transmission and/or reducing the burden of diseases); Vaccines & Immunity (studies the ontogeny of immunity as a baseline to inform the design of vaccines and implement clinical trials to maximise their impact); and Nutrition theme (aims to understand the pathophysiology of diet‐disease interactions in order to accelerate the development of more effective next‐generation community and clinical interventions).

MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit has a mission to conduct research to add knowledge and improve the control of infectious and non-communicable diseases in Uganda, in Africa and globally. We have three main themes which include: HIV and Emerging Infections, Vaccines and Immunity and Chronic Diseases and Cancer. The science is delivered through six programmes feeding into each Theme: The HIV Epidemiology and Intervention Programme, Pathogen Genomics, Phenotype and Immunity, Social Aspects of Health across the Life Course, Immunomodulation and Vaccine, Cancer and the NCD Phenotype Programme.


Dr Assan Jaye

Dr Assan Jaye is Head of Research Training and Career Development at MRC the Gambia Unit of LSHTM. Dr Jaye has worked at MRC for 25 years as a viral immunologist and in a number of different leadership positions: heading the Viral Diseases Program, heading the MRC West Africa Collaboration and coordinating a regional collaborative HIV-2 Research and Intervention Network. Dr Jaye is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (2015) and has received a number of professional recognition awards, including the LSHTM Director’s Award for Excellence and Innovation in Developing Students as Researchers.

Dr Alfred Amambua Ngwa

Dr Alfred Amambua Ngwa is an Associate Professor at MRC The Gambia Unit of LSHTM. His research focuses on applying population genomics and epidemiological data types to gain insight into the adaptation of malaria parasites to different environments. He is particularly interested in drug resistance and human genetic variation that determine malaria outcomes. He also collaborates with other scientist across Africa to employ genomics as a tool for better resolving transmission paths and assess the effect of interventions on parasite populations.

Professor Moffat Nyirenda

Professor Moffat Nyirenda is Head of the NCD Phenotype Programme, a Diabetologist/Endocrinologist and Professor of Medicine at the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. Professor Moffat’s research interests lie in the aetiology of chronic NCDs, including: i) the association between early environmental insults and the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension in adulthood; ii) cross-cutting approaches to examine the interactions between infection and NCDs; iii) genomics studies of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Moffat has particular interest in research capacity building, and was Director of the Southern Africa Consortium for Research Excellence (SACORE), funded through the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Agnes Ssali

Dr Agnes Ssali Agnes Ssali is a social scientist who has been leading on an HIV intervention project for which the MRC Uganda Unit of LSHTM was an implementing partner.  Supported by PEPFAR through the American CDC, the project targeted the reduction of HIV in a key population of female sex workers, their male regular sexual partners and children in Kampala. Agnes is currently working on a study to investigate the social, health and economic vulnerabilities and resilience of children of women at high risk of HIV. She has also been working on social and behavioural research on HIV for over twenty years, and also collaborates on Schistosomiasis and Ebola research. Her main areas of interest are on the ethics of the conduct of biomedical research and exploring potential interventions for vulnerable populations.


Please note that the time listed is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

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