12 July 2019
Dr Modou Jobe, Research Clinician at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at LSHTM has been awarded the Wellcome Trust International Training Fellowship, following a competitive process. The three-year Fellowship offers nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at postgraduate or postdoctoral level.
Through the Fellowship, Dr. Jobe seeks to contribute to addressing a critical knowledge gap on hypertension, as general understanding of its causes, features and treatment in native Africans is derived from studies done elsewhere, despite the increasing evidence that the clinical manifestations may be different.
He says, “It gives me an excellent opportunity to investigate the aetiological drivers and mechanisms of hypertension in The Gambia. Using deep phenotyping, I will also explore whether hypertension phenotypes cluster into identifiable sub-groups that would better characterise the possible mechanism(s) of their hypertension drive. This will hopefully inform better preventative and therapeutic strategies”.
He will also validate the use of a novel artificial intelligence-enabled electrocardiography as a screening tool for left ventricular dysfunction. If successful, the innovative tool will be of great help in settings like The Gambia, where echocardiography and the required technical support are generally lacking.
Dr. Jobe joined the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM in September 2014, as a Wellcome Trust Masters Fellow in Public Health and Tropical Medicine, supervised by Professor Andrew Prentice to undertake a research project to investigate the most likely route(s) by which metabolic endotoxaemia leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Professor Prentice, Nutrition Theme Leader at the Unit, who is one of Dr. Jobe’s supervisors for this Fellowship, highlighted that “Africans often display atypical types of the two most common nutrition-related chronic diseases (NRCDs): diabetes and hypertension. Specific research into the aetiology and treatment responses should therefore contribute to better outcomes in Africa. This fellowship will allow Dr Jobe to perform innovative clinically-orientated research on African hypertension, with a view to improving treatment paradigms”.
Other supervisors are Prof. Pablo Perel (LSHTM), Prof. Paul Leeson (Oxford Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility) and Prof. Fredrik Karpe (Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism).