21 October 2020We are delighted to announce that Martin Antonio, Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Global Health at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, has been elected to the prestigious African Academy of Sciences (AAS) Fellowship.
Prof Antonio is one of 39 Fellows announced by the AAS for the 2019 election year. Fellows are recognised for attaining the highest level of excellence in their scientific field and for making significant contributions to the advancement of science regionally and globally.
AAS Fellows are elected for life through a rigorous peer review process on the basis of excellence in their publications record, innovations, leadership roles and contribution to policy and society.
Originally from Ghana, Prof Antonio trained in molecular microbiology in the UK and set up the MRC Unit The Gambia’s molecular microbiology research group in 2005. Since then, Martin has been instrumental in establishing the molecular capabilities at The Unit.
His research is focused on the leverage of new molecular technologies in diagnosis of tropical infections, investigation of microbial transmission and clinical trials. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and supervised eleven PhD students in UK and African universities.
Prof Antonio is also Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for New Vaccines Surveillance, a member of the MRC Unit’s Senior Strategic Leadership Board and chairs the West Africa Strategy and partnership, as well as serving on numerous other scientific advisory boards and committees in both Africa and the UK.
He is currently advising on the COVID-19 ‘rapid support team’ in The Gambia and working with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation to support the pandemic response across the continent.
On becoming a Fellow, Prof Antonio said: “ It is a great honour to be elected to the African Academy of Sciences and to join the ranks of eminent African scientists, especially as we bring our thoughts together to fight COVID-19 in both the continent and globally. I would like to acknowledge the great support from my research team at the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, the LSHTM and the long-term support from the Medical Research Council (UK). Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Joyce and my son, Nene Agudey for allowing me to do the job that I love!”
Prof Umberto D’Alessandro, Unit Director at the MRCG at LSHTM said, “I congratulate Martin for this fantastic achievement, a well-deserved recognition for the major role he plays in promoting and carrying out scientific research in West Africa. Indeed, he has been essential in expanding the Unit’s collaborative links with West African institutions. Martin is a key senior scientist at the MRC Unit The Gambia at the LSHTM and, besides contributing to its scientific output, he has a major role in its management thanks to his membership in several committees, including the Unit Leadership Board. It is always a pleasure to work with him”.