For the 10th annual face to face meeting the PanACEA consortium came together in Mbeya, Tanzania, on 19-20 February 2020. This year our partner Mbeya Medical Research Centre (NIMR MMRC) hosted the event. The warm hospitality and great organisation of the team made for a very positive meeting environment.
We were off to a great start with a number of workshops held before the meeting by our so called Expertise Cores. Patrick Phillips and Molly (Xue) Gong from the Statistics Core led workshops for statisticians and non-statisticians alike. The Biomarkers Core had a full program of presentations about ongoing MBLA research, discussions on treatment response biomarkers and new plans for biomarkers data analysis and modelling. Robert Hunt from the Microbiology Core gave a hands-on workshop with troubleshooting and sharing good practice.
The Annual Meeting was opened on Wednesday by the Honourable Deputy Minister Dr. Faustine Ndugulile of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), together with Dr. Nyanda Ntinginya, director of NIMR MMRC, Prof. Yunus Mgaya, director of NIMR, Dr. Deodatus, chairman of the NIMR council and Martin Boeree Coordinator of PanACEA. Another guest of honour at the meeting was Dr. Christian Lienhardt, chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of PanACEA.
The first day the consortium updated eachother on project activities and progress. The BTZ043 trial is steadily enrolling; preparations for the SUDOCU trial are progressing; and the operationalization of the PHENORIF trial has started. The Expertise Cores each gave an extensive update on their progress as well. We ended the day with discussion about the current and future PanACEA scientific program.
The second day was dedicated to research projects not or only indirectly related to PanACEA. Some of the clinical trial sites showed impressive scientific and clinical development since joining PanACEA. This was confirmed by the results of a recent questionnaire about capacity development and leadership that Stellah Mpagama and Nyanda Ntinginya conducted and presented.