19 July 2022
Saffiatou Darboe, Supervisor of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM), has been announced joint winner in the student category of the LSHTM Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMRC) Publication Prize.
Saffiatou is being honoured for her genomic work on multidrug resistance (MDR) diversity in clinical non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) from The Gambia.
The award-winning paper, published in Microbial Genomics, shows epidemiological differences in invasive NTS serovars associated with disease, and confirmed the presence of the virulent multi-drug resistant (MDR) West African clade of Salmonella Enteritidis.
The prestigious Publication Prizes are awarded by the AMR Centre each year to one LSHTM staff member and one PhD student for their research into antimicrobial resistance published in the previous year. The papers are judged by a panel from the AMR Centre’s management committee, with criteria focused on the applicant’s authorship role, scientific excellence, and impact in the field of AMR. Each winner is awarded a prize of £500.
Reacting to the news of her award, Saffiatou said, “I am extremely honoured to receive this prestigious and competitive prize from the AMRC. This is the reward of hard work and tenacity. I am grateful to my supervisory team, mentors, and collaborators in this project.”
Saffiatou recently completed her MPhil thesis titled “Molecular Characterisation of Salmonella associated with human disease in The Gambia” with the Open University, funded by MRCG at LSHTM. Her work focused on the use of whole genome sequencing to investigate highly pathogenic lineages described in non-typhoidal Salmonella from Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research interest includes understanding the dynamics of zoonotic foodborne and enteric pathogens with focus on antimicrobial resistance burden.
Saffiatou Darboe joined the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM as a laboratory technician in 1999 and continued to rise in ranks. She currently supervises the microbiology section of the Clinical Laboratories at the MRCG at LSHTM. Saffiatou has led her team to attain exceptional outputs through designing projects that improve pathogen and antimicrobial resistance surveillance. She continues to contribute to the research output of the Unit and subsequently contributing in the global collaborations. This has led to several projects including “Salmonella infections in The Gambia” and more recently was part of the collaborators on the ‘Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance’.