MRCG Unit transfers to London School

Monday, February 12, 2018

Medical Research Council in The Gambia has moved their unit to London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine faculty after following a close discussion with stakeholders and partners.

The partnership, according to the UK-based medical researcher will create a stronger scientific collaboration, best value for money and maximum training and career potential for staff and students. It will also enhance the unit’s regional impact and strategy and create more visibility and opportunities for both parties.

The managing director Dr. Umberto D’Alessandro said at the launching ceremony on Wednesday at Fajara celebrated his unit’s partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, saying the move represents a strategic benefit to both parties.

He said they have a long-established working relationship with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and have collaborated on numerous trials and projects for nearly 70 years.

Medical Research Council in The Gambia is one of two research units established in sub- Saharan Africa by the Medical Research Council UK and is the MRC’s single largest investment in medical research in a low and middle income country. MRCG represents a unique concentration of scientific expertise and high quality research platforms in the West African region.

The Unit’s investigator-led research is underpinned by the combination of excellent laboratory facilities and easy access to the field with well-defined populations that are highly supportive to research, excellent clinical services, rigorous ethical procedures and ability to deliver GCP-compliant clinical trials.

Dr. Umberto said that currently, a number of staff are already holding positions within both institutions and more opportunities would be created, adding that  the Unit director will continue to direct the scientific strategy of MRCG  and the relationship with key collaborators, suppliers, funders, local ethics committee, tax authorities, the local population and local trade unions will remain unchanged.

“The MRC UK will continue to provide core funding to the unit and review the scientific strategy in the existing way,” he said.

The Unit’s Director of operations Joan Vivestomas said this is a significant partnership between the two sides, appealing to them to work hard to move ahead.

Lamin Bojang, chairman of the MRC workers union expressed optimism that the transfer and their partnership with the London School of Hygiene will bring growth and development.

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh