Skip to Content

Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit, The Gambia

The research portfolio of the Unit spans basic scientific research (immunology, microbiology, virology and molecular biology), clinical studies, large epidemiological studies and intervention trials. The field and laboratory-based work draws on excellent research and clinical facilities and attracts international funding. The Unit has an established staff complement of about 200 scientists, clinicians and senior administrative staff from many parts of the world, as well as hosting many visiting researchers, and over 500 support staff. There are field sites upcountry – Basse, Keneba and Walikunda (in The Gambia) and Caio (in Guinea Bissau) – each in a different ecological setting, providing varied research opportunities.

VISION: Leading scientific research to save lives and improve health across the developing world


  • To deliver innovative, world-leading research aimed at reducing the burden of illness and death in the developing world, supported within an enabling, cost-effective research environment.

  • To maintain the ability to attract and retain the highest calibre staff by ensuring that the unit’s reputation for scientific integrity, quality and excellence is preserved.

  • To transform the outputs and outcomes of the unit’s research, using a variety of mechanisms, into changes in practice and policy that maximise the health and economic impact of the research.

  • To train and develop unit staff in order to meet the required capacity to manage processes, people and resources effectively, and to increase capacity in health research in the sub-region.

  • To address health issues of priority across the developing world by strengthening partnerships and engagement with a range of stakeholders including the people and the Government of The Gambia and the sub-region, funding partners and research collaborators.