Braintools The Gambia

The Gambia is a low-income country in which access to diagnostic services for child and adolescent mental health are somewhat lacking. In addition, post-diagnostic treatments are typically expensive and inaccessible to most patients. The Braintools project aims to develop a protocol and toolkit for measuring early markers of childhood mental health which can be used in low and middle income countries.

Using the protocol and toolkit developed in the UK, the Braintools project in The Gambia will run a test-retest design to asses the reliability and feasibility in this low-income setting. This will also improve the engagement between sites, allowing for  more effective knowledge sharing .

Meet the Teem The Gambia

Sam McCann

I started working on BRIGHT in Keneba in 2016 as a research assistant, then transitioned to PhD student within the project in January 2018. I am now based in King’s College London researching the relationship between growth, nutritional status and brain development. My role in BRAIN TOOLS is advising the team on issues relating to work in MRC Unit the Gambia and assisting with processes and logistics needed to set up the project.

Lena Acolaste

I am a nutritionist interested in child development, especially infant brain development and the different pathways that affect child neurodevelopment. I am currently the team lead on the BRIGHT project in MRCG@LSHTM Nutrition Theme in Keneba, the Gambia and also helping with data acquisition on the Brain tools project. Eclectic reader and almost avid runner!

Jasmine Siew

Following my undergraduate degree in Psychology, I completed my master’s degree in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences, at King’s College London. Currently, I work on the Brain Imaging for Global HealTh (BRIGHT) Project in Keneba, The Gambia; a collaborative multi-site study investigating early brain development from 0-24 months. Additionally, I am working with the BRAINTOOLS project based in Keneba, facilitating the set-up of the pilot study and acquisition of brain imaging data. ​I have a broad interest in research investigating the impact of numerous risk factors on infant brain development, and more specifically, how we can utilize brain imaging techniques to examine biological mechanisms underlying the links between early parental care and child neurodevelopmental outcomes.​

Fabakary Njie

I have been working with M R C since in january 2000. I work with many projects along the way, which are very interesting. I really had interest in them and remain having interest in Research still. My role in Braintools is be responsible of the participant. From the time they arrieve to the departure. Measurement of the head, changing head bans, making sure the child is happy. If the participants are sick I take them to the clinic and also crosscheck the forms before closing for the day.

Jannath Begum-Ali

I completed my MSc and PhD at the Goldsmiths InfantLab at Goldsmiths, University of London. Here, I investigated the spatial representations of touch in the first year of life. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher working on the ‘Studying Autism and ADHD Risks’ and ‘BrainTools’ projects at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London. My areas of expertise include multisensory processing and sensorimotor experience in typically and atypically developing populations. I am especially interested in how sensory stimuli are processed at the neural level.

Amy Goodwin

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD), at Birkbeck, University of London. My main role on the BRAINTOOLS project involves collecting EEG and eye tracking data across sites, in collaboration with the MRC Unit The Gambia, and Sangath, New Delhi. Prior to joining the CBCD, I completed a PhD in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London, and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York.