Imperial College London

ProfessorThomasChurcher

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 3265thomas.churcher

 
 
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Location

 

G35Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus

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Summary

 

Overview

Controlling mosquitoes is the most effective way of preventing malaria but new tools are urgently needed as cases are again on the rise. I use laboratory and surveillance data to understand how best to use existing and novel interventions to improve disease control and push for elimination.

How best to kill mosquitoes and control malaria

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Over 2 billion bednets have been distributed across the world but the rise of mosquitoes resistant to net insecticides is reducing their effectiveness and putting global disease control under threat. In collaboration with the World Health Organisation we are tracking the spread of pyrethroid resistant mosquitoes across Africa. Using field experiments and mathematical models we are examining to what extent resistance is diminishing the effectiveness of mosquito control and supporting the development and scale up of novel insecticides to control the disease.

Evaluating the effectiveness of new tools

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These include the development of transmission blocking vaccines (a vaccine given to humans which prevents mosquitoes acquiring infection), new formulations of insecticide, new classes of bednets and novel insecticide delivery mechanisms (for example, the use of passive emanators or attractive sugar baits). The work has lead to an improved understanding of the biological processes governing transmission from human-to-mosquito and mosquito-to-human. These projects also supports the design and analysis of cluster randomised control trials evaluating novel products and the evaluation of easy to measure entomological surrogates for costly epidemiological studies.