My research focusses on the genetics of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Most of my work can be characterised as malaria molecular surveillance, which is a branch of malaria epidemiology in which we aim to extract useful information about malaria transmission from signals stored within the Plasmodium genome. This type of analysis typically involves coordinated efforts and long analysis pipelines, going all the way from data collection in the field to wet lab and bioinformatics and finally to statistical analysis of the processed data. My role is towards the end of this pipeline where I focus on developing new mathematical and computational methods to get the most value out of genetic data.
Current projects include development of the SIMPLEGEN pipeline, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this project we will develop a simulation pipeline to allow researchers and control programmes to explore sampling designs in silico before committing real world resources, thereby leading to more efficient use of resources. I am also working on several projects that will use molecular inversion probes (a type of DNA sequencing) to characterise Plasmodium populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries, with the aim of quantifying levels of drug and diagnostic resistance within and between countries.
My broad research interests include population genetics, Bayesian statistical methods, and analysis of spatial data. In 2020/2021 I worked as part of the Imperial College COVID-19 response team, where myself and colleagues provided some of the earliest estimates of COVID-19 fatality rates.
For more info check out my website at www.bobverity.com
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et al., 2017, Modelling the drivers of the spread of Plasmodium falciparum hrp2 gene deletions in sub-Saharan Africa, Elife, Vol:6, ISSN:2050-084X
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et al., 2014, Spatial targeting of infectious disease control: identifying multiple, unknown sources, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-210X, Pages:647-655