Dr Abdoulie Bojang, Senior Scientific Officer at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, has been awarded an African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) Fellowship, hosted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The post-doctoral training fellowship program, launched in 2019, is supported through a partnership of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and implemented through the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) platform, NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, under the auspices of the Coalition of African Research and Innovation (CARI).
Dr Bojang is one of ten Fellows in the second cohort of APTI Fellows drawn from seven African countries, who will focus on a broad range of research areas during the Fellowship. He will be hosted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and will focus his research on microbiome, respiratory infections and bioinformatics.
Reacting to the news of his fellowship, Dr Bojang said “I am really excited to have won the prestigious and highly competitive postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH. It is an opportunity to equip myself with sufficient skills and expertise in molecular biology and bioinformatics on my journey to become an independent scientist”.
Dr. Bojang joined the MRCG at LSHTM in October 2000 as a laboratory technician attached to Haematology Laboratory. In 2001, he left for his undergraduate and post graduate studies in the UK and re-joined the Unit in 2008 after completing his MSc in Biomedical Science. He worked as a Scientific Officer for 5 years primarily responsible for the management, training, and supervision of laboratory technicians on a number of epidemiological studies and clinical trials. In 2013, he was promoted to the role of Higher Scientific Officer in charge of the PregnAnZI-1 project. Abdoulie was responsible for the training and supervision of the Scientific Officer.
In 2016, Abdoulie won a scholarship to undertake a 4-year PhD study entitled Epidemiology of s. aureus transmission, genetic diversity, long term prevalence and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance following one oral dose of azithromycin given to women during labour. One of the objectives of his PhD study was to determine the long term (12 months) impact of the azithromycin on the carriage and antibiotic resistance of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus
Dr Bojang defended his PhD thesis in 2020 and was conferred a PhD degree by the Graduate School of the Open University, UK.
Associate Professor Anna Roca, Deputy Theme Leader for Disease Control and Elimination at the MRCG at LSHTM said, “I think that what Dr Bojang has achieved is an example of training success at the Unit. He successfully finished his PhD at the Unit and now is ready to move on to a very competitive environment and keep growing as a scientist and independent researcher. Hopefully, he will eventually come back to the Unit to implement in The Gambia all that he has learnt in the US. This is an opportunity for growth for Abdoulie, as well as an opportunity for an expansion of collaborations for him and the Unit as a whole.”
The NIH institutes and centres hosting fellows include the NIH Clinical Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).