Prof. Mark Taylor - Theme Leader
Prof. Taylor is the Director of the AWOL Consortium, which is funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and aims to develop new drugs against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Mark is also Executive Committee Chair for the Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) Elimination Programme, for the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNTD) and the Department for International Development (DFID).
He joined the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1993 and developed his own independent research group through sustained Fellowship support from the Wellcome Trust and MRC. He is currently Head of Parasitology and Director of A·WOL a large international programme of drug discovery and development against onchocerciasis and LF.
His research is focused on the role of Wolbachia-bacterial endosymbionts in the
symbiotic relationship with filarial nematode and their driving filarial disease pathogenesis through activation and regulation of host immunity and immunopathology and as a target for treatment and control.
In collaboration with colleagues in Africa, Asia and Europe, Prof. Taylor’s research team have completed a series of RCT and implementation field trials using doxycycline as a novel treatment against lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. This work was the catalyst for the formation of the 'Anti- Wolbachia' (A·WOL) consortium in 2007. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation A·WOL aims to search for new drugs active against Wolbachia that are suitable for community-directed MDA.
He chairs the Senior Executive Committee for the LSTM Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease.
VECTOR CONTROL GHANA
Dr Lisa Reimer - Lead
Lisa Reimer is a lecturer at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She is currently conducting experimental work to determine vector competence to malaria and filariasis and the impact of vector control (and/or mass drug administration) on parasite uptake, development and transmission.
Dr Reimer received her PhD in Entomology from theUniversity of California, Davis in 2008 after which she joined Case Western Reserve University, Center for Global Health and Diseases, as a post-doctoral research associate (2009-2011) and then as a senior
During these four years she was seconded to the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research as Head of the Entomology Unit. In this role she developed a research programme to complement the PNG National Department of Health’s goals for vector-borne disease control. She recruited and trained a group of 15 laboratory and field scientists who now continue to conduct competitively funded research to inform local control strategies.
Dr Reimer joined LSTM department of Vector Biology in February 2013, with a secondary appointment in the department of Parasitology.
Her research profile involves a combination of field and laboratory studies to evaluate the entomological aspects of vector-borne disease transmission.
She has managed large-scale country wide operational research (Papua New Guinea) as well as experimental research that responds directly to the needs of national control programmes (Mali, Cameroon, Malawi, Papua New Guinea).
Dr Corrado Minetti - Post Doctoral Researcher
Corrado Minetti is a parasitologist with a background in epidemiology and molecular epidemiology and is working on lymphatic filariasis transmission and vector control in Ghana.
Corrado graduated in Biology (BSc) and Animal Biodiversity and Conservation (MSc) from the University of Turin in Italy and MSc in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, before completing his PhD on Giardia epidemiology and molecular epidemiology at the University of Liverpool. Corrado recently joined LSTM as a Post Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Vector Biology, working on lymphatic filariasis as part of the COUNTDOWN research consortium.
Corrado's research involves the use of both epidemiological and molecular genetic data to better understand parasite transmission and the interactions between parasites, hosts and vectors. This integrated approach is pivotal in assessing whether and how parasites and vectors are responding to control interventions such as mass drug administration (MDA) and vector control, and which consequences these changes may have on the efficacy of our disease elimination efforts. The current project, part of the COUNTDOWN research consortium, aims to better understand the epidemiological, parasitological and entomological determinants for the transmission of lymphatic filariasis in areas under MDA in Ghana.
Corrado also has an interest in the development of cost-effective molecular diagnostic tools and in the genetic and physiological factors influencing parasite-vector interactions.
Macrofilaricidal Control Cameroon
Dr Joseph Turner - Lead
Dr Turner is a Senior Lecturer in Parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Joe’s team are innovating research at the pre-clinical and clinical level for the development and implementation of novel cures for filarial NTDs as well as anti-morbidity interventions for lymphatic Filariasis.
His post-graduate studies defined human adaptive immune responses to gut nematodes and immunological interplay with filarial nematodes in Cameroon and he subsequently obtained funding from The Royal Society to examine the impact of gut worm polyparasitism on human innate immune responses in Pemba Island.
From 2003-2007 he was a member of the LSTM team that demonstrated drug targeting of Wolbachia as a curative treatment for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis and identified the molecular basis for Wolbachia-mediated inflammation. In 2007 he moved to The Centre for Immunology and Infection at York University and gained a Wellcome Trust Departmental Fellowship in 2009 to investigate the host-parasite interactions of experimental schistosome transmission.
Dr Turner’s research encompasses the spectrum of immunological responses that dictate three major outcomes of human parasitism by helminths (resistance, susceptibility and pathology). Dr Turner is applying this basic research to both refine usage of the existing drug ‘tool-box’ and evaluate novel therapies targeting helminth NTDs. Dr Turner is presently funded as a PI and co-investigator on Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation projects for discovery and development of macrofilaricidal drugs.
Dr Louise Hamill - Post Doctoral Researcher
Dr Hamill is currently working on Macrofilaricidal control in Cameroon.
Her area of interest is epidemiology and control of neglected tropical diseases, including human African Trypanosomiasis, animal African Trypanosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, rabies and others. Molecular diagnostics and molecular biology as they can be utilised in the research of the aforementioned neglected diseases.
She also has an interest in emerging and re-emerging infections, and general infectious disease biology and epidemiology.
Previously, she worked on a project looking at the control of human African Trypanosomiasis in Uganda.