The Team


Prof. Paul Garner - Theme Leader

Prof. Garner has been instrumental in bringing research synthesis to tropical diseases, through the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group.

He is a Specialist in Research Synthesis of world renown. For the last 15 years, Prof. Garner has been instrumental in bringing comprehensive research synthesis and review to tropical diseases, mainly through the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group.

He is currently Director of the Effective Health Care Research Consortium committed to preparing and updating systematic reviews relevant to middle- and low-income countries. Using this research to promote evidence-based health policy and practice, he has led a programme of research coordinating a network of over 300 people synthesising research to inform global, regional and national policies. This has had substantive effect on global and national policies, particularly in diarrhoea, malaria and tuberculosis.

He has also overseen seminal Cochrane reviews on the efficacy of anthelminthic drugs used for integrated control of NTDs. He also has extensive past clinical experience in Papua New Guinea which included managing a range of NTDs, and field research in delivering disease control programmes 


Cara MacFarlane - Research Assistant

Cara is a Research Assistant in Neglected Tropical Diseases Synthesis working within the Department of Clinical Sciences.

Cara obtained her BSc in Zoology at the University of Dundee in 2012, and her MRes in crop and insect pest biology from the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute in 2013.

She first joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2013 after being awarded the LSTM studentship, where she was based in the Parasitology Department. Her research focused on the use of plasma for diagnosis of onchocerciasis infection, which involved proteomic biomarker discovery and evaluation of miRNA and DNA markers. During this time, she also assisted on the schools Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTM&H) practical diagnostic sessions in parasitology.

Cara is currently working with the Cochrane Infectious Disease Group (CIDG) to develop and update Cochrane reviews in neglected tropical diseases. She is also an author for the online BugBitten blog for the Parasites and Vectors community, and is a member of STEM.





Prof. Imelda Bates - Theme Leader

Imelda Bates is a Clinical Tropical Haematologist based at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where she heads up the Department of International Public Health. For the last 25 years she has been involved in capacity development for research and education through collaborative partnerships. More recently Imelda has established an expanding and vibrant Capacity Research Unit within which is at the forefront of research into how to design, measure and evaluate programmes to strengthen research capacity and laboratory systems in low and middle income countries. Since 2012 Imelda has been a Member of the WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases Capacity Strengthening Working Group.

Professor Imelda Bates is Head of the Capacity Research Unit (CRU) at LSTM. Imelda is a highly respected clinical academic leader with a well-established international reputation on research in capacity building, evidenced by several influential publications. She has almost 30 years’ experience working in and collaborating with African institutions and has published around 200 academic papers.

Her research areas include capacity strengthening for health research and laboratory systems, and public health aspects of blood transfusion and haematology. She has a strong track record of successfully managing multidisciplinary, multi-site projects and in supporting teams to achieve outputs of the highest international standard, on time and within budget. She has consistently managed projects totalling £0.5-1M/year, predominantly with collaborators in sub-Saharan Africa, and promoted uptake of findings to influence policy and practice.

With the CRU she has developed an innovative and rigorous approach to designing capacity strengthening programmes and for measuring their progress and effectiveness using a ‘developmental evaluation’ approach. She has applied this approach to strengthening the capacity of laboratories in Africa and Asia to support NTD activities and has also recently completed a scoping study for WHO to map and describe laboratories in each WHO region with potential to become reference centres for NTDs. 



Dr Stefanie Gregorius - Post Doctoral Researcher

Dr Gregorius has a disciplinary background of human geography and development studies. She did an undergraduate degree in Applied Human Geography at the University of Trier, Germany, and an MPhil in Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. Stefanie completed her PhD at Loughborough University in August 2014, where she undertook research investigating the transitions to adulthood of youth with disabilities in Accra, Ghana.

Her area of interest is health systems capacity strengthening in low and middle income countries, qualitative research methodologies, disability studies and youth studies.