My research focuses on human cutaneous (CL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL). My group uses a multifaceted approach to investigate the wide clinical spectrum of these neglected tropical diseases, centred on the highly endemic country of Ethiopia.
Our current projects include investigating the mechanisms underlying the control of infection in asymptomatic individuals infected with Leishmania parasites, as well as failure to control parasite replication in patients with progressive VL; identifying markers of VL relapse in HIV/VL co-infection; and studying the differences between the diverse clinical presentations of CL.
Capacity building has been a central focus of my work in Ethiopia, including the set-up of various research laboratories and training local scientists. I have supervised numerous MSc and PhD students in Ethiopia and have organised two international conferences for young scientists (IUIS-FAIS Immuno-Ethiopia 2017 and 2020).
Increasing awareness about leishmaniasis has also been an essential part of my work in Ethiopia. We have worked closely with local and national health authorities, held awareness events, and successfully advocated for and coordinated the set-up of a new leishmaniasis treatment centre in the Amhara region.
I am also a co-investigator at The Imperial College March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centre. Under the theme of 'Insights into links between microbiology and preterm birth', I am co-leading a project on understanding the role of neutrophils in inflammation and infection driven preterm labour.