Prof. Umberto D'Alessandro (MRC The Gambia Unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,(MRCG@LSHTM))
Prof. Umberto D'Alessandro is professor of Epidemiology and director of the MRC Gambia Unit at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2014. Prof. D'Alessandro has a long working experience in Africa, first as a clinician (Benin and Kenya) and later as a clinical epidemiologist (The Gambia). He has extensive experience in clinical trials in pregnant women. He has been involved in malaria research since 1990 and is also involved in hepatitis B research since 2011. The MRC Gambia unit @LSHTM has been involved in hepatitis B research activities for more than 30 years.
Dr Ramou Njie (IARC,MRCG@LSHTM)
Dr Ramou Njie is a specialist in liver diseases trained in the UK. She was in charge with Dr Maud Lemoine of the implementation of the PROLIFICA programme and the clinical assessment of the participants in The Gambia. She is currently leading the Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study, (GHIS) based at the MRC Gambia.
Dr Gibril Ndow (MRCG@LSHTM / Imperial College London)
Dr Gibril Ndow has been awarded a clinical PhD fellowship by Imperial College London (UK). He is currently in charge of the clinical re-assessment of the PROLIFICA HBV-infected participants in The Gambia (MATCH-B study).
In addition to her background in molecular virology and infectious disease and cancer, Dr Mendy has over 25 years’ experience on hepatitis research including vaccine efficacy studies and HBV variants. Working at the Medical Research Council laboratories, Fajara,The Gambia (MRC@lshtm) and focusing on HBV molecular studies, assembling and managing longitudinal cohorts and biological resources and coordinating the biobank activities. Dr Maimuna Mendy worked for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) from 2010-17 as Head, Laboratory Services and Biobank Group and in 2017-18, as a Senior Visiting Scientist within the Education and Training Group and collaborating with the GHIS project based at MRC, Fajara. Dr Mendy designed the first PROLIFICA studies (WATCH and HC4 studies) with Prof. Mark THURSZ and received the first funding (from the European Commission) to launch the PROLIFICA programme. She led the prolifica research activities at IARC, focusing on HBV variants, biomarkers and aflatoxin exposure studies and biobanking.
Saydiba Tamba (Specialist nurse,MRCG@LSHTM)
Saydiba Tamba is a Specialist Nurse trained in Infectious Diseases with extensive experience in counselling, testing and managing patients with viral hepatitis and HIV infections in The Gambia. He is the nurse coordinator for the liver clinic at the MRCG Unit, and contributed significantly to the setup and implementation of the PROLIFICA project in The Gambia. He is in charge of monitoring adherence to antiviral therapy in HBV-infected patients enrolled in PROLIFICA.
The late Dr Harr Freeya Njai was a virologist in charge of the lab activities related to PROLIFICA before becoming the executive secretary at The Gambia Country Coordinating Mechanism office of The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She received her PhD from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belguim and contributed in viral research. Dr Harr Freeya Njai passed away unexpectidly in 2014, she would have been very happy to see the progression of the Prolifica group and we all miss her.
PROLIFICA also collaborates with the Gambian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (http://www.moh.gov.gm), the National Hepatitis Programme, and the National Public Health Laboratories (Dr Ignatius Baldeh). Our group also receives strong support from the Gambian Patient Association.