23 July 2018
Dr Madikay Senghore Post-doc Research Fellow in Microbial Genomics has been awarded a 25,000 USD Robert Austrian Research Award for his research project titled “Understanding the pathogenesis and virulence traits of a novel clade of vaccine preventable streptococcus pneumoniae with outbreak potential”.
Dr Madikay Senghore PhD MSc joined MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM in 2006 as an intern in the HIV research platform. After six months he was awarded a prestigious Medical Research Fund scholarship to study Medicinal and Biological Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. He graduated in 2010 with first class honours and was awarded the Takeda prize for highest academic achievement.
Madikay returned to the MRCG at LSHTM after graduating and joined the Tuberculosis Immunology research group as a Trainee Scientific Officer. He helped set up the laboratory component of the African European Tuberculosis Biomarker Study, which eventually went on to discover important biomarkers for tuberculosis infection. He was later awarded a scholarship by the Pneumococcal African Genomics Consortium to complete a Master’s in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. He graduated with distinction from the University of Manchester.
He was awarded a competitive seed grant worth 12,000 Euros by the Tuberculosis Network to work on his PhD research “Towards understanding the genomic epidemiology of bacterial infections in West Africa”.
Madikay’s work as a PhD student generated novel insight into the population structure of Staphylococcus aureus in The Gambia, which has been published in an American Society of Microbiology journal. This was the first study that employed whole genome sequencing to study the transmission of S. aureus between humans and another mammalian species in sub Saharan Africa.
As a PhD student, he worked with the outbreak response team from the WHO Collaborating Centre hosted at MRCG at LSHTM to identify a novel clade of serotype 1 S. pneumoniae as the main aetiological agent of a meningitis outbreak in Ghana in 2016.
After successfully defending his PhD thesis, Madikay was awarded a competitive postdoctoral fellowship by MRCG at LSHTM in July 2017. He is currently leading the analyses on a dataset of over 3500 Gambian Streptococcus pneumoniae genomes that were sequenced as part of the Global Pneumococcal Sequencing Project.
As a postdoctoral fellow in microbial genomics, Madikay mentors junior scientist and co-chairs the invasive bacterial disease writing group at MRCG at LSHTM.