On Tuesday 14th February 2017, MRC Unit The Gambia was visited by Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, the United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The visit also coincides with MRCG’s 70th anniversary and was the first time a UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs visited The Unit.
Mr Johnson was impressed by the quality of science The Unit produces and its impact on global health. Highlighting the importance of research at MRCG, Boris stated, “it fills me with great pride to see the multinational venture being supported by the UK Government, helping to tackle disease of global health importance such as Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), Pneumonia and Meningitis.”
When asked about the significance of the bilateral relationship between UK and The Gambia, the Foreign Secretary said “it had been difficult building partnership with the former government. But with President Adama Barrow’s Government, Britain could help The Gambia develop its education, security, infrastructure and boosting its wonderful tourism industry. Moreover, the Embassy in The Gambia will soon become a High Commission as Gambia re-joins the Commonwealth”.
At MRCG, the Foreign Secretary’s was given a brief overview of our research priorities and achievements by the Unit Director, Prof D’Alessandro, including a tour of our Laboratory facilities. In addition, Dr Anna Roca, Theme Coordinator Disease Control & Elimination DCE presented on Disease Control and Eliminations Theme, Prof Martin Antonio, Unit Molecular Biologist & Principal Investigator, presented on Vaccines and Immunity Theme, Prof Andrew Prentice, present on the Nutrition Theme while Dr Assan Jaye (Senior Manager, Research Training and Career Development) touched on the Research Training and Career Development Department.
About Mr Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is a Member of Parliament (MP) and a member of the British Conservative Party. He has been UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July 2016 and is the MP for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency since May 2015. He had previously been an MP for the Henley constituency from 2001 to 2008 and was later Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.