Keynote Speakers

Prof (Sir) Tom Blundell

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.

Prof Martin Antonio


Bridget Bannerman is an adjunct research fellow at the CRI, the research director of the Science Resources Africa programme and the Science Manager of the Africa Research Excellence Fund, UK. Bridget received a PhD from the University of Cambridge and continued as a Postdoc researcher in Prof (Sir) Tom Blundell’s lab where she designed a network analysis protocol for investigating drug targets in mycobacteria. At the CRI, Bridget is translating her research skills to support microbial drug discovery projects. 

Ariel Lindner is co-founder and research director of the CRI. He received a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Chemical Immunology.  He also holds the position of research director at INSERM and serves as co-director of the AIV CRI master program. His research interests revolve around applying Physical, Chemical and Systems/Synthetic Biological approaches to study key questions in life and death.

Jake Wintermute is a long-term CRI research fellow using systems and synthetic biology to discover new drugs against tuberculosis and other human pathogens. He holds a PhD in systems biology from Harvard University, where his doctoral thesis focused on metabolic engineering and microbial communities. He is the lead teacher and creator of, a free, open online course in DNA design.

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