Chronology

1945
The Gambia first mentioned in MRC reports, when staff were appointed to a Nutritional Field Working Party to undertake studies in a rural area of The Gambia in conjunction with the Human Nutrition Research Unit in London.
1947
Nutrition Working Party established at Genieri in the Central River Division, under the leadership of Dr W T C Berry.
1948
Lieutenant Colonel Dr J Walters appointed Resident Director in The Gambia.
1949
Dr Ian McGregor recruited to study the relationship between parasitism and nutrition; in the same year, Keneba Field Station was established.
1953
Following recommendations, the laboratories were converted to a research establishment of wider scope administered directly by MRC UK Council. Dr John Newsome appointed Director.
1954
Dr I McGregor appointed Director.
1956
The Trachoma Group transferred from Jordan to The Gambia.
1964
The role of antibodies in protection against malaria established (McGregor & Cohen); the effect of malaria on birth weight and child growth also established (McGregor)
1973
MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit relocated from Uganda to Keneba.
1974
Dr Bray appointed Director.
1978
Dr I Mc Gregor appointed Director.
1980
Dr Brian Greenwood appointed Director; a new programme of work established with an emphasis on intervention studies against malaria, schistosomiasis and hepatitis.
1980
Scientific direction of the Keneba Unit taken over by the main MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge.
1982
Basse field site established; it was initially a focus for studies on schistosomiasis, which had a high prevalence rate in the area and its environs.
1983
Farafenni field site established; it was chosen as a suitable site for community studies on the prevention of malaria
1986
Commencement of the Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study.
1986
Chloroquine resistance demonstrated in studies in the Farafenni area.
1986
HIV research programme started.
1988
Caio field site established to undertake a long term study of the epidemiology of HIV 2 infection. (Caio was given full MRC field site status in 2006.)
1988
Discovery by Sarah Rowland-Jones and colleagues in The Gambia and Oxford that some heavily exposed commercial sex workers are resistant to HIV infection.
1995
Established that insecticide treated bednets decrease overall mortality in children aged 1 to 9 years by 25%.
1995
Professor Keith McAdam appointed Director.
2001 
First efficacy trial of RTS,S malaria vaccine in semi-immune adult men in The Gambia. The Lancet. 2001 Dec 8;358(9297):1927-34.
2004
Appointment of a Unit Executive Management Board: Professor Tumani Corrah – Unit Director, Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones – Director of Research; Mr Mark Radford – Director of Operations.
2004
‘Flies and Eyes’ study findings published: Role of flies and provision of latrines in trachoma control: cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2004 Apr 3;363(9415):1093-8.
2004
Professor Tumani Corrah appointed Director.
2005
Successful completion of the Pneumococcal Vaccine Trial in Basse.
2005
Elimination of Hib in The Gambia, following the incorporation of the vaccine into The Gambia’s Extended Programme of Immunization (EPI) ; findings published in The Lancet.
2008
Findings on investigation into dramatic decline in malaria prevalence in The Gambia published: Changes in malaria indices between 1999 and 2007 in The Gambia: a retrospective analysis. The Lancet. 2008 Nov 1;372(9649):1545-54.
2009 
Mosquito screens found to be cheap and effective in malaria prevention. Efficacy of two different house screening interventions against exposure to malaria and anaemia in children in The Gambia: a randomized controlled trial. The Lancet. 2009 Sep; 374, (9694):998–1009.
2011 
Publication of data on substantial reductions in child death rates in The Gambia. Reaching Millennium Development Goal 4 – The Gambia. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2011 Oct. 16(10):1314–1325.
2013 
Study confirms rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrheal disease among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children in developing countries (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, GEMS): a prospective, case-control study. The Lancet. 2013 Jun. 382(9888):209-222.
2013
In August 2013 the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of The Gambian Government formerly introduced the rotavirus vaccine into its Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).
2014 
Professor Umberto D’Alessandro appointed Director.
2014
Results of the SANTE study show combining insecticide sprays and bed nets “no more effective” in cutting malaria than nets alone. Efficacy of indoor residual spraying with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane against malaria in Gambian communities with high usage of long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2014 Dec.
2014
Study findings show a fall in the number of deaths caused by pneumonia and measles in The Gambia. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2014 Dec.