Some of Imperial's current research into neglected tropical diseases are outlined below.

Neglected tropical diseases

Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research

Professor Sir Roy Anderson

The London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research (LCNTDR) is a joint initiative between Imperial , the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Natural History Museum. The Centre undertakes innovative research to build evidence around the epidemiology, transmission dynamics and control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases. The research also involves mapping, clinical study and diagnosis of some of the most common NTD infections; namely, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms (collectively known as soil-transmitted helminths), filarial worms, onchocerciasis and Trachoma and schistosomiasis. From the three partner Institutions, 45 academic staff are associated with the research of the Centre.

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

Dr Wendy Harrison

In 2002, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Programme granted a £20 million award to establish the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI). The award has been directed to delivering treatment for the parasitic disease schistosomiasis (snail fever) and intestinal worms to millions of sub-Saharan Africans at high risk of serious disease. Since then SCI has received additional support from the Gates Foundation, plus from the USAID funded NTD programme, the British Government DFID, the ENDFUND, and several other private donations.

SCI works with the World Health Organisation and national governments to improve the health and development of the world’s poorest populations by eliminating the poverty sustaining and life-threatening effects of schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and intestinal worms (hookworm, whipworm and roundworm). SCI works on eliminating symptoms such as anaemia and impaired growth and aims to prevent the infections invading children; thus, protecting them against the development of life-threatening conditions of bladder cancer, kidney malfunction or liver and spleen damage. With the support received to date SCI has already facilitated over 100 million treatments against schistosomiasis and plans to treble that number by 2018 in 16 countries.

Sickle Cell

Professor Tom Williams

Tom Williams is Professor of Haemoglobinopathy Research at Imperial. The focus of the research is the burden and clinical consequences of inherited defects of the red blood cell and their relationship to malaria and other diseases.  The classic example of such defects is sickle haemoglobin.Carriers of this condition, who have sickle cell trait, are strongly protected against malaria while those with a double dose of the condition, who have sickle cell disease, are burdened with chronic ill health and premature mortality.  Professor Williams is studying both the positive and negative consequences and burden of a range of similar conditions with a particular focus on Kenya and the East African region.