Wellcome Trust Masters Fellow Dr Modou Jobe Talks about his Funding and Research Project

Dr Modou Jobe, a research Clinician with the Nutrition Theme of MRC Unit The Gambia, is a recipient of the Wellcome Trust Masters Fellow in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The Wellcome Trust provides more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. The full-time grant Dr Jobe received is for an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and to undertake an 18-month research project to investigate which of several mechanisms represents the most likely route by which metabolic endotoxaemia leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Dr Modou Jobe, a research Clinician with the Nutition Theme of MRC Unit The Gambia, and recipient of the Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Dr Modou Jobe, a research Clinician with the Nutrition Theme of MRC Unit The Gambia, and recipient of the Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Dr Jobe joined the MRC Unit The Gambia in September 2014, where he currently works under the supervision of Professor Andrew Prentice, to study the role of metabolic endotoxaemia in the development of insulin resistance in urban Gambia. He studied Medicine at the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of The Gambia, and obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree. Subsequently, he went on to train under Professor Serigne Abdou Ba and his team at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Aristide Le Dantec in Dakar, Senegal and obtained a Diplôme d’Études Spécialisées (DES) de Cardiologie (Postgraduate Specialist Diploma in Cardiology) at Université Cheikh Anta Diop. He is currently at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he is undertaking a 1-year MSc course in Epidemiology.

Dr Jobe’s research interests focus on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular disease, especially in developing countries. His current project seeks to understand the poorly understood link between obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is a proof of principal study to investigate the role of metabolic endotoxaemia in the development of insulin resistance in urban Africa.

‘Research into this novel hypothesis has the potential to radically transform public health approaches to diabetes prevention by identifying a new causal pathway. It would, therefore, be of particular interest to researchers investigating the aetiology and prevention of non-communicable diseases in lower income countries. If we are successful in confirming a likely causal pathway linking diet composition, changes in the microbiota and consequent translocation of inflammatory mediators in type 2 diabetes, this would narrow the focus on intervenable pathways,’ said Dr Jobe.

According to Professor Andrew Prentice, Nutrition Theme leader, ‘Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine are highly competitive and prestigious awards for exceptional candidates such as Dr Modou Jobe. The flexible package of 30 months’ funding has allowed Modou to fuse his clinical skills with training in experimental medicine in order to examine the aetiology of insulin resistance and obesity; a rapidly escalating problem in The Gambia. Combining this with the world-leading MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will provide Modou with an enviable skill set that will be the platform for a PhD and a future career in academic medicine. The Trust recognises that early investments in the careers of stellar candidates can do much to strengthen the capacity for research in Africa and hence will accelerate progress in global health.

About Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust offers a wide variety of funding schemes to support individual researchers, teams, resources, seed ideas and places. They also fund major initiatives in areas which are strategically important by invitation but welcome the opportunity to discuss ideas which might fit with their strategic priorities.