The Malaria Research Programme of the Gambia Medical Research Council

History

Established in The Gambia in 1947, the MRC is the UK’s single largest investment in medical research in a developing country. The Unit’s research focuses on infectious diseases of immediate concern to The Gambia and the continent of Africa, with the aim of reducing the burden of illness and death in the country and the developing world as a whole.

Research on malaria in The Gambia has a distinguished history, well known particularly for the unparalleled work of the late Sir Ian McGregor and currently very active Professor Brian Greenwood and Dr.David J Conway (Head of the Malaria Research Programme). Along with many eminent colleagues working alongside them, they established much of the current understanding of clinical epidemiology, immunology and genetics of malaria, as well as evaluation of preventative interventions. A new generation of researchers at the Unit is part of a growing malaria research community in Africa. It is central to the mission of this group to collaborate with colleagues at other research institutions in the West African region, and they will increasingly prioritize such joint activities that can enhance capacity development and research productivity in the region. Therefore, the group is very pleased to give support to this well directed EDCTP consortium, particularly to help with aspects of molecular genotyping and clinical protocol development and training, and any advice on design or analysis requested for the proposed studies.

Core Objectives of MRC Malaria Research Programme

  • To design and perform with excellence:
    • Efficacy trials of novel preventative and therapeutic interventions
    • Effectiveness trials and methods for delivery of effective interventions
    • Novel diagnostic and molecular methods that strengthen intervention trials
  • To make a leading contribution to the international understanding of:
    • Molecular parasitology, immunology, and pathogenesis of severe malaria
    • Targets and mechanisms of naturally acquired immunity and immune regulation

The team prioritizes the training and career development of a new generation of research scientists and clinicians who will make a long term contribution to understanding and control of malaria.

Research Site Description

The Malaria Research Programme of the Gambia Medical Research Council is located at the Atlantic Boulevard, in Serrekunda (the biggest city of The Gambia). Training and research will be conducted in excellent laboratories, including core molecular and cellular biology and immunology equipment allowing on site DNA sequencing, genotyping, cell culture and immunoassays, as well as solid statistical and data management support, and specialist GCLP training for laboratory and clinical staff.

WANECAM Team at the Malaria Research Programme at MRC

Dr David J Conway, Head of Malaria Research Programme

Dr. David J Conway, Head of Malaria Research Programme

Dr Kalifa C Bojang, Senior investigator in Clinical Trials

Dr. Kalifa C Bojang, Senior Researcher on Clinical Trials

Dr Davis C Nwakanma, Senior Research Fellow in Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics

Dr. Davis C Nwakanma, Senior Research Fellow in Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics

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