VP Touray commissions Molecular Biology Laboratory, MRCG

Oct 13, 2021, 1:12 PM | Article By: Adama Tine

The Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray yesterday commissioned a new Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Medical Research Council Unit Gambia campus (MRCG).


The newly inaugurated laboratory will expand the research council’s laboratory footprint and provide a fit‐for‐purpose facility for cutting‐edge research. The building also will house support facilities, as well as seminar and conference facilities.

Giving a statement on behalf of President, Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray said for almost 75 years MRC Unit The Gambia and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have worked closely with the government of The Gambia especially the Ministry of Health to deliver ground breaking research and improve health outcomes in the country, in West Africa and beyond.

She added that across the country, the impact of the collaboration is seen in households and communities that continue to benefit from knowledge, services and support of staff and partners of the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM.

“Our hopes for the future lies on the expertise and experience we create today, and I am glad that the MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is supporting our mission to build a sustainable future for Gambians.”

She further added that the inauguration of the new laboratory building will enhance the contributions and support the work of the government. “I am convinced that this new facility will further strengthen the council’s research and diagnostic capacity as well as complement the government’s work particularly the Ministry of Health,” she said.

The unit director, MRCG at LSHTM, Prof. Umberto D’Allessandro revealed that the inauguration is an important event for the unit as the new infrastructure would further increase the council’s capacity for conducting ground-breaking research to inform health policies in The Gambia and across sub-Saharan Africa.

He said next year will be the 75th anniversary of activity - the MRC Unit The Gambia as LSHTM has produced excellent, world-class research which outputs have considerably shaped health policies in The Gambia, in sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.

Similarly he added that the unit has contributed substantially to building research and public health expertise and capacities in The Gambia and in sister institutions across Africa. “Some of the young scientists trained at the Unit have become recognised international research leaders,” he noted.

According to him, the relatively new integration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a leader in global health research, has further increased their capacity of both conducting cutting edge research and building local capacities.

He further highlighted that the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important research is in dealing with such a global threat as the Unit has contributed significantly to The Gambia’s national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have set up diagnostic facilities, both in our lab and at the National Public Health Laboratories, genotyped viral isolates and thus provided essential information for the national response, provided expertise, and donated essential items to support the national response,” he continued.

“We will continue to investigate and evaluate new interventions/approaches to provide evidence supporting health policies that will make this world a fairer place where everybody will have the same opportunities to develop his/her own potential.