SRA has a longstanding tradition of running workshops in our countries of operation. In 2019, we are excited to transform our annual workshop in The Gambia into a conference as the programme is gradually growing into a West African Regional Bioinformatics conference at the country’s Medical Research Council.

SRA’s 2019 Conference

The Royal Society in the UK has awarded a two-year grant to the collaboration between the Blundell Research group in Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge and the Science Resources Africa Programme (UK). The grant will enhance a new project to combat drug resistant tuberculosis in The Gambia as well as provide support SRA’s mission to advance science education in the region. This project is in partnership with the West African collaboration network at the Medical Research Council in The Gambia with Dr Assan Jaye and the West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and MALARIA (WANETAM) with Prof Martin Antonio.


As part of this initiative, a conference has been scheduled to take place from 2nd to 6th December 2019 in Banjul, The Gambia. This conference will bring together health researchers from the West African region including The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Ghana. Delegates will focus on two areas:

Series 1: Identifying microbial drug targets: druggability, hotspots and emergence of resistance

Series 2: Comparative Genomics and infectious disease research with Ensembl

Prof (Sir) Tom L. Blundell, a renowned professor from the University of Cambridge, will initiate the programme with a keynote presentation. The bioinformatics workshop sessions will be led by Dr Bridget Bannerman, Dr Pedro Torres and Dr Astrid Gall and supported by the European Bioinformatics Institute, The Wellcome Trust and the University of Cambridge.

The objectives of the programme are to share preliminary results and facilitate networking and collaboration between the tuberculosis research group at the MRC @LSHTM, The Gambia, the West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and MALARIA (WANETAM), the Science Resources Africa programme and the Blundell group at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.

Keynote speaker

We are thrilled that our patron, Prof Sir Tom Blundell, will be providing the keynote speech for the conference. Prof Blundell has played a pivotal role in supporting SRA over the past several years, and we look forward to hosting him in The Gambia. Prof Blundell’s contributions to the scientific discipline have been widely commended. Prof Blundell is Director of Research and Professor Emeritus in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry and founded Astex Therapeutics in 1999. Amongst other positions, Prof Blundell has served on PM Margaret Thatcher’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology, as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environment, and as President of the UK Science Council. A more detailed biography of Prof Blundell can be found here.

More information about the MRC The Gambia and its ties to the UK can be found here.

For more information about the conference, please contact

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