Michael G. Chipeta, a current PhD student in CHICAS at Lancaster University, has been awarded an MLW/LU postdoctoral fellowship which will see him spending time between Blantyre and Lancaster to develop geostatistical and spatio-temporal design and analysis methods for improving disease surveillance and mapping in Africa.
The focus of fellowship training is the extension of ‘’adaptive geostatistical designs’’ in optimising sampling for disease mapping and assessing them in field settings. These novel methods can inform more efficient design and analysis of surveys aimed at understanding geographical variations in intervention coverage and health outcomes, especially at sub-district scales in low-resource settings where comprehensive registries do not exist.
On the fellowship award, Michael said: “I’m very proud and delighted that the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust/Lancaster University partnership chose to recognize and support my work on geostatistical designs and analysis for estimating disease burden. This is an important achievement that will help to advance my career and give me the opportunity to form key collaborations with experts in spatial epidemiology. The training will provide an excellent career opportunity in an exciting, fast developing field of statistics that has broad application opportunities, and offers strong potential for my long-term academic career development.”
Michael is currently working on novel geospatial methods that are currently being applied to a large scale 5-year multidisciplinary community-based malaria transmission reduction project within communities living around Majete Wildlife Reserve (MWR), Chikwawa, Malawi. For his postdoctoral fellowship training, he will continue working under the on-going supervision of Professor Peter Diggle (Lancaster University), and Dr Dianne Terlouw (MLW/LSTM).
After graduating from Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Michael joined the University of Liverpool, UK and College of Medicine, Malawi, on a joint Statistics and Epidemiology PhD programme. He later moved to Lancaster University, continuing on the same trajectory of research.