MRCG at LSHTM Hosts Scientific Advisory Board Meeting

The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM), recently welcomed its newly established Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for a weeklong meeting from March 18th to 22nd, 2024.
Scientific Advisory Board Meeting professional group photo

The SAB meeting was aimed at evaluating the progress of MRCG at LSHTM's strategic research endeavours over the current five-year program and offering strategic insights and guidance for future research initiatives in The Gambia and the wider West Africa region.

During the meeting, the SAB delved into various research and overarching themes at the Unit, seeking a deeper comprehension of its strategic priorities in The Gambia and research collaborations across the sub-region. Some of the issues discussed were around the activities and strategic approaches of core platforms and cross-cutting themes over the past two years, as well as their planned efforts for the future.

As part of their engagements at the Unit, the SAB members also toured the Unit’s Keneba field station, immersing themselves in the heart of MRCG at LSHTM’s research activities and seeing how these translate into positive impact for communities and the global health discourse.

They also witnessed presentations by postdoctoral fellows and PhD students on their various projects. Among the presentations, Saffiatou Darboe, a postdoctoral fellow, shared her work on Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), and the genomics of certain bacteria in The Gambia which cause diseases in humans. Saffiatou’s presentation explained the ethology of bacterial febrile illnesses and strategies for implementing effective antimicrobial resistance containment.

Additionally, Dr. Oghenebrume Wariri, a PhD candidate, presented his work on exploring the timeliness of routine childhood vaccination in The Gambia, analysing its burden, spatial patterns, determinants, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These presentations provided the SAB an insight into MRCG at LSHTM’s contributions to research and the academic and career development opportunities it provides for early-career scientists to excel.

According to Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, Unit Director MRCG at LSHTM, said: “The SAB review is very useful as it provides insights on how well we are doing as a research institution. They were impressed by the work we are doing.”

The newly established SAB will continue to provide strategic guidance to the Unit in advancing its efforts to lead health research in West Africa to save lives and improve health across the world.

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