Saffiatou Darboe has been appointed as the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Young Ambassador to The Gambia

Saffiatou Darboe joined MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM as a laboratory technician in 1999. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2011 on a scholarship from the University of Westminster in London. Saffiatou currently supervises the Microbiology section of the Clinical laboratories at MRCG at LSHTM. She has worked on several projects including ‘Salmonella infections in The Gambia’ and ‘Risk factors for GBS colonisation in Gambian women’ which described the trends in disease in both pathogens. Saffiatou contributed immensely in the PVL study which was looking at the prevalence of a virulent gene linked with disease severity and antimicrobial resistance in clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus from The Gambia, the manuscript of which was recently submitted for publication.

Saffiatou is currently working on her MPhil thesis titled ‘Molecular Characterisation of Salmonella isolates associated with disease in The Gambia’ with the Open University, funded by MRCG at LSHTM. Her work focuses on the use of whole genome sequencing to investigate for highly pathogenic lineages described in Salmonella from Sub-Saharan Africa.

She worked with the neonatal unit of the main referral hospital in The Gambia in identifying, reporting and investigating the outbreaks of multi-drug resistant Burkholderia cepacia and ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. She continues to collaborate with investigators on various research projects leading to joint publications.

Saffiatou was recently appointed by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) as their young ambassador to The Gambia. This program is a prestigious volunteer position for young leaders in Microbiology who represent ASM in their home country to address global challenges in the microbial sciences and engage other early career scientists. The goal is to facilitate networking, collaboration, awareness and professional development to strengthen Microbiology globally.

We wish her success in this new role.

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