PACE graduates celebrate their success!

Marieme Ba, founder and CEO of PACE and Pharmalys with the first graduates of Pharmalys Academy of Clinical research Excellence

Celebrating Success: Class of 2023-24 PACE Graduation Ceremony

The Pharmalys Academy of Clinical research Excellence (PACE) recently held its inaugural graduation ceremony, marking a significant milestone in the journey of our pilot cohort. The ceremony, held on 14 March 2024, was a celebration of academic achievement, personal growth, and the promising future ahead for young professionals in health research in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the globe.

What is PACE?

Developed by Pharmalys CRO (, PACE is the pioneer developer of an innovative professional and developmental programme in clinical research. We have created a unique learning experience that tightly integrates online interactive classrooms and practical experience via internships to deliver job ready clinical research professionals. The first pilot cohort launched in April 2023, with students from several countries enrolling onto the programme to begin their journey towards becoming clinical research professionals.

The ceremony

The evening of the graduation ceremony commenced with a welcome speech by Marieme Ba, founder and CEO of PACE and Pharmalys ( While congratulating the graduates, Marieme discussed the foundations and motivation behind the programme, addressing the global requirement for advancements in the health research industry, while also contributing to the strengthening of the African clinical trial ecosystem, and more specifically, ‘filling a gap [in the industry] within francophone West Africa’.

Marking the first of many graduation ceremonies to come, the evening featured speeches by renowned guests. These included Professor Maimouna Ndour Mbaye, Professor of Internal Medicine at Cheikh Anta Diop University and Director of the National Centre of Diabetology in Dakar; Mrs Virginie Fanny Dias, Director of Transitions and Head of Programs – Human Capital Development at the Mastercard Foundation; and Professor Serigne Magueye Gueye, General Manager of the French-Senegalese Campus and President of the Regional Council for the training of Healthcare Professionals of the Western Health Organisation.

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First dive into research: my PACE experience

Clinical research: an unexpected opportunity

What meaningful health career options exist outside of the hospital?  As a medical doctor, this was a question I pondered before enrolling in the Pharmalys Academy of Clinical research Excellence (PACE). Contrary to popular belief, healthcare is not limited to hospital care. Following a one-year work contract in a private clinic, I was looking for something different from my current experiences to date. As a healthcare professional, it was important for me to work in a field dedicated to the overall wellbeing of individuals.

In that context, my introduction to clinical research came in quite an unexpected way – through a post I’d come across on one of my social media platforms. The post was an invitation for young healthcare graduates to participate in a pilot cohort for an innovative training programme – the PACE programme. My attention was piqued immediately. I remember updating my CV and submitting my application the same night I had read the announcement. While my concept of research was somewhat vague at the time, this felt like an opportunity to do something new. An opportunity to grasp. Read more about the PACE experience here: